On This Day in History | 1968

Wrestling 1968
The 1968 wrestling squad

On this day 48 years ago, the wrestling squad won the sixth Ivy League Championship in program history.

Dreams of postseason glory were dimmed when three days before the season beloved coach Don Marshall came down with a sudden illness and was lost for the season. A pall still hung over the team as they dropped their opening match to Horace Mann (19-23), losing three bouts by a single point. However, under newly-minted coach Bruce Dodd ’49, the boys found new resolve to succeed in honor of coach Marshall.

It was met with purpose and dedication in the form of extra clinics, longer practices, more miles of early morning running, and a grim resolve to succeed. If a coach’s worth can truly be measured by his influence during absence, this man walks tall.

~ April 1968 Stony Brook Bulletin

The extra motivation paid off as the Blue and White ran the table, winning seven straight matches to close the season. The April 1968 edition of The Stony Brook Bulletin recounts the excitement at the Ivy League Tournament:

On the night of the Ivy League coaches’ seeding meeting, Horace Mann polled six firsts to Stony Brook’s one, but by suppertime on the day of the tournament, the handwriting was on the wall.

Stony Brook, leading in score with six men in the finals and five in the consolations, was steadily squelching Horace Mann’s hope of retaining its championship. The “magic number” (a potential score differential based on Stony Brook’s worst vs. its closest competitor’s best) was 18. After the consolations, in which Rick Ferris and Pete Stavrides won third places at 148 and 168 pounds respectively, the magic number had diminished to eleven.

Sun Bin Lee’s championship at 106 lbs lowered it to three. When Norman Olley at 123 pounds demolished defending champion Dumansky of Horace Mann, 8-1, he insured a Stony Brook team title which retired permanently the coveted plaque. In the process, Olley distinguished himself in the eyes of coaches and officials as the outstanding wrestler of the tournament, high praise for the sophomore strongboy.

Gary Nye put the proverbial frosting on the cake with the third championship, at 130 pounds. Mark Bleeker at 98 lbs, Bill Marshall at 136 lbs, and Ed Lipscomb at 141 lbs were runners-up. The final tournament team scores were: Stony Brook 71, Horace Mann 63, Hackley 45, Poly 44, Trinity 30, St. Paul’s 29, Riverdale 28.


Season Results

Horace Mann19-23
New York Military Academy33-13
St. Paul’s41-9
Poly Prep31-13
Ivy League Championship1st Place



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