Two national champions who wrestled their last matches for Penn State this past March have joined the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.
The NLWC tweeted Wednesday afternoon than two-time national champion Roman Bravo-Young had joined.
Welcome to the NLWC! pic.twitter.com/sDfTEO2i15
— NLWC (@NittanyLionWC) May 24, 2023
Less than 24 hours later, it announced that 2021 national champion Max Dean had joined as well.
Welcome to the NLWC! pic.twitter.com/l2keApqZ7U
— NLWC (@NittanyLionWC) May 25, 2023
Per it’s Twitter bio, The NLWC “serves wrestling at all levels, including Scholastic, Collegiate & Olympic.” The 2024 Olympics, which are set to take place in Paris, are less than a year and a half away. The Penn State greats who will be representing team USA in the Olympics will also be representing the NLWC.
Dean started his college career at Cornell. He finished in eighth place at NCAAs at 184 pounds in his true freshman year (2017-18) season and came in second place at 184 the following year. He redshirted for the 2019-20 season, and Cornell canceled its 2020-21 year due to the pandemic, so Dean didn’t wrestle competitively for two years.
His career re-started in a big way when he transferred to Penn State for the 2021-22 season, where he netted himself a title at 197 pounds last year.
Dean’s last year at Penn State didn’t go the way he wanted. He ended up finishing in seventh place at 197 pounds at the national championships.
He gave an emotional interview after his tournament ended.
“I obviously wanted a little more, but that’s just the way that it goes sometimes,” Dean said. “This sport is unforgiving, but I don’t look back with any regrets. Sometimes the chips just don’t fall in your favor.”
“I’m really grateful. I got to be on the podium every year. I won an NCAA title. A lot of the people that I got to cross paths with, there’s a lot of amazing people in this sport. I’m just grateful for the way everything worked out.”
Bravo-Young put together one of the greatest careers in Penn State history. He was a three-time All-American, won three Big Ten championships and two national titles. Like Dean, Bravo-Young’s career didn’t have the storybook ending he and Penn State wanted. The 133-pounder lost his last college match, this past March, a national final against Cornell’s Vito Arujau.
Despite the disappointing endings, Dean and RBY left Penn State wrestling better than how they found it, and will continue to be associated with the program through the NLWC.