COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 22, 2017) - Colorado State University-Pueblo Head Wrestling Coach Dax Charles has been named 2016-17 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Wrestling Coach of the Year, in an announcement from the conference office Wednesday.
Charles guided the ThunderWolves to the 2017 RMAC Championship, the first league title since 2001 and the seventh overall. Nine of the 10 wrestlers placed fifth or better (six in the top three), while Jones was crowned RMAC Champion at 165.
For winning the conference title, Jones garnered All-RMAC First Team honors for the third straight season. Fantin finished second at the RMAC Championships and has earned All-RMAC Second Team recognition.
The Pack finished the dual season with an 11-5 record, which included a 5-2 mark against RMAC competition. CSU-Pueblo went 5-3 against nationally ranked opponents, which included a 22-21 upset of then-No. 2 University of Nebraska-Kearney.
The ThunderWolves travel to the 2017 NCAA Super Region Four Championships Feb. 24-25 in Golden, Colorado. The top four wrestlers from each of the 10 weight classes advances to the NCAA Division II Championships in Birmingham, Alabama March 10-11.
Charles is in his ninth season as head wrestling coach after taking the reins of a CSU-Pueblo program that had lied dormant after an eight-year hiatus.
Charles has coached one national champion (125-pounder Jesse Hillhouse in 2013), nine All-Americans, two regional champions, two RMAC Tournament champions and 16 national qualifiers.
The Pack finished 12th at the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championships and raised the hand of three All-Americans. The team ranking was the best since the program re-start in 2008 (previous best was fifth in 2001). The three All-Americans was also a program-best since 2008 (six in 2001). Following the season, Charles was named National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Colorado Chapter College Coach of the Year.
Jones owns a 14-4 overall record with five falls this season ... Went 3-0 at the RMAC Championships to claim his second straight RMAC title (won at 157 last year) ... He finished with a perfect 5-0 record in RMAC duals ... Jones has won six straight bouts and has been victorious in 12 of his last 13 matches.
Fantin carries a 21-11 record with two pins into the regional championships ... He went 2-1 at the RMAC Championships to finish second ... Fantin posted a 6-1 record (one fall) in RMAC duals ... He has won six of the last seven bouts.
- 30 -
As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.