Following head coach Pat Popolizio to NC State from Binghamton University after his freshman year, Nick Gwiazdowski spent the rest of college dominating at NC State and in the ACC, and he’s gone down in NC State and conference record books as one of the best wrestlers in the school’s history — and probably the best since Sylvester Terkay in the ‘90s.
Gwiazdowski wrestled for the Pack from 2014 to 2016. In the three years Gwiazdowski wrestled for the Pack, he broke numerous school records, most notably in career win-loss percentage, a staggering .973 (110-3). Current fifth-year wrestler Hayden Hidlay holds the second highest percentage in this category, but doesn’t even come close at .919.
Gwiazdowski’s NC State records don’t stop there. In the 2014 season, Gwiazdowski notched both the highest number of single season wins and number of wins by any wrestler in their sophomore year, with 42. Gwiazdowski also has the longest winning streak in school history with 88 wins spanning from 2015 to 2016.
Not only did he shine at NC State, Gwiazdowski dominated for three years at the ACC Tournament. He earned the heavyweight champion title in 2014 and defended it through 2016. Gwiazdowski earned both ACC Wrestler of the Year, as well as NCAA All-American Honors in all three of those years. In addition, Gwiazdowski earned ACC Most Valuable Wrestler in 2016 and a spot on the All-Conference teams in 2015 and 2016.
He wasn’t just a phenomenal wrestler, Gwiazdowski was also able to keep up in the classroom, earning him ACC Academic Team selections in 2015 and 2016, and he was ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2016.
Gwiazdowski held the heavyweight champion title in 2014 and 2015 at the NCAA Tournament. He went to defend his title in 2016, but ultimately fell and was the runner-up in that year. If Gwiazdowski had won the title again that year, he would have been just the third heavyweight wrestler in the tournament’s history to achieve that feat.
Post graduation, Gwiazdowski stayed busy. In 2017, Gwiazdowski earned bronze at the World Championship and won the US Open that year. In 2018, a big year for the wrestler, Gwiazdowski earned bronze once again at the World Championship, in addition to being the Final X and the Pan American champion. In 2019, Gwiazdowski kept his streak at both Final X and Pan American; he was the champion at both.
Looking at all the records Gwiazdowski broke in his time at NC State and his long resume of achievements at both the ACC and the NCAA tournaments, it’s safe to say that he is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in program history.