March 6, 2011
NIU Head Coach Dave Grant
"The guys put their hearts on the line. At the end, the guy with the most determination ended up prevailing.
"Brad is extremely dedicated and hard-working. He put all of his passion out there and the result is a MAC Championship. I am extremely proud of him for what he brings to the mat and what he brings to the team. He's a special kid, a great person and he gave a great performance to win. "
"Deutsch and Dieckhaus - the freshman look up to those guys. They've got a lot of Huskie pride in 'em. I'm extremely proud of them. They are first class individuals who give great effort.
"I want to mention a couple of guys who found a way during this tournament. Caleb Busson and Mike Lukowski didn't win a MAC match all year. They came out here and did things they weren't supposed to do. Through hard work and desire, they found a way to get on the stand. Some of those matches were just fantastic.
"Our upperclassmen deserve a lot of credit. Those guys who have been here five years - Deutsch, Tristen DeShazer, Dakota Greenhaw, Vinny Castillo, Pat McLemore - have led the way. It takes a strong senior class to guide the way for the young guys, and they have been part of one of best academic teams in school history.
"Wrestling at home was great. It's your own home arena with our fans, we were on our turf, we got to wrestle on our dog. In a lot of those matches, the crowd definitely made a difference.
"Dieckhaus and Deutsch are the national qualifiers. For Brian to go for the third year shows what a consistent performer he has been for us. He's a three-time national qualifier and both of these guys still have goals to be excited about and now they have the opportunity to go to Philly and be All-Americans.
"The role our freshmen played was big. We talked about Caleb Busson
, but Kevin Fanta
was another key guy who had an outstanding performance at the championships. He was in the third place match.
"From upperclassmen to the freshmen, it was just an all-around tough performance by our guys. I am extremely proud of this team."
"My mindset was to be patient and mistake-free. I wanted to be positive and have a great attitude.
Winning at home seems surreal. I had a lot of emotions. It was a pretty good feeling.
"Coach Grant recruited me as a freshman. He's a father figure. He's worked a lot with me and I owed it to him to give him a good retirement. He's done a lot for me and for wrestling.
"I lost a handful of matches this year from on top so it was kind of strange to win one. I was putting as much pressure on him as possible [in the final period].
"In high school, I lost the state championship...so this is definitely the best feeling I've had - to be a MAC Champion."