The Binghamton men’s wrestling team finished its 2023-2024 season at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships with junior Brevin Cassella, graduate student Jacob Nolan, graduate student Lou DePrez and graduate student Cory Day representing the Bearcats. Cassella, DePrez and Day picked up two wins each, the first time since 2012 that Binghamton has had three wrestlers win two matches at the NCAAs.

“It’s always an amazing experience,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “Hopefully for our guys we have left, it drives them to be more successful in the future. It is the best wrestling event in the world, hands down. I’m proud and thankful for [Cassella, Nolan, DePrez and Day] to have all gotten back there again this season.”

With two wins, Cassella became the first Bearcat with 30 wins in a season since DePrez won 33 matches during the 2018-2019 season. Cassella shut out his opponent from Virginia Tech 5-0 before suffering an 11-3 loss by major decision against his Penn State opponent, the eventual NCAA runner-up. In the consolation bracket, Cassella narrowly defeated his Indiana opponent 1-0 before a loss to his Oklahoma State opponent ended his season.

“[Cassella] had a great year,” Borshoff said. “I think he made a lot of improvements. Notably, beating the Virginia Tech guy in the first round at nationals this year, that was the guy who knocked us out of the tournament last year and tightened the match up with the Penn State guy from earlier in the season. It was overall a really nice season with a number of really good wins over nationally ranked opponents.”

In the 184-pound bracket, Nolan took an early major decision loss to his Columbia opponent before moving on to the consolation bracket, where he took a close 9-6 decision loss to his Gardner-Webb opponent. With his career as a Bearcat concluding, Nolan finished with 84 wins and four appearances at the NCAAs. Nolan was also selected as Pipe Dream’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2022-2023.

“[Nolan] leaves this school being a four-time NCAA qualifier and there are not many other guys in the program’s history that have done that,” Borshoff said. “[Nolan’s] been a bedrock of the performance of the team over the past five years and it’s going to be tough to fill his shoes. He’s an unbelievable wrestler, a great person and he’ll be graduating with his master’s degree in business administration this spring, [so] he’s got a lot to look forward to.”

After an overtime decision loss to his opponent from Navy, Day earned his first career win at the NCAAs with an overtime consolation win over his Indiana opponent. Day then pinned his opponent from Cornell to earn his 29th win, before his season ended with a loss to his opponent from Campbell.

“[Day] got pinned by his [Cornell opponent] at the EIWA championships a couple of weeks ago, [but] this tournament, [Day] was able to secure the pin and flip the script,” Borshoff said. “Nice to see [Day] get that win, as well as over the Indiana wrestler. Those were [Day’s] first and second win(s) at this event. Overall, a really incredible season, [Day] finished the year with 12 pins and scored a lot of team points for us.”

DePrez moved to the quarterfinals with two early wins before a loss to his opponent from South Dakota State and an overtime loss to his opponent from Little Rock brought his career as a Bearcat to an end. DePrez earned 156 career wins while setting Binghamton records with three individual EIWA Championships, five NCAA Championship appearances and becoming the first two-time All-American Bearcat at the Division I level.

“Looking back on his time at Binghamton, you can really define the whole period of time that he’s been here as essentially the [DePrez] era of Division I wrestling for Binghamton,” Borsoff said. “He’s done so many positive things for the program, both as an individual and from a notoriety standpoint as a four-time top twelve finisher at the [NCAAs]. Truly an incredible legacy that he will leave behind. One of the best, if not the best, to do it at Binghamton.”

In their seventh season under Borshoff, the Bearcats earned a 9-4 overall record — including a 7-3 EIWA record — and another season with multiple NCAA qualifiers.

“The program is in a strong position,” Borshoff said. “We have great leadership in the athletics department. I think we have a lot of people on campus that recognize and realize that we are putting [BU] athletics on ESPN. We are a forward-facing program to a lot of people and I think that the future is bright for the program. I’m just genuinely thankful for the athletes on the team and all the work they put in because nothing I do would matter without those guys.”