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Justin Gaethje will be one of six members of University of Northern Colorado’s 2020 Hall of Fame class.
The college recently announced the news in a release. UNC Hall of Fame inductees are chosen because “they have gone on to be at the top of their sports and bring great recognition to the university and athletic department after leaving Greeley.”
Gaethje was an NCAA All-American for the school at 157 pounds in 2010, the first wrestler to earn that honor since the program rejoined the Division I level. He qualified for the NCAA championship three times and earned first team All-Western Wrestling Conference honors and won the NCAA West Regionals title as a freshman.
The induction ceremony is expected to take place in 2021. Gaethje reflected on the honor in an Instagram post.
“Got a call that I was being entered in the [UNC Bears] hall of fame for my time wrestling,” Gaethje wrote. “I left home to wrestle there in ’07 or ‘08. I did not know one person when I arrived, and I remember specifically having the thought right before I left home of ‘I wonder where I will be when I’m 30.’ This one would have made some of my closest friends and family and I proud.
“It was some of the best times of my life. I met a bunch of solid dudes I put in tons of work with,” he continued. “The athletic department staff had their hands full keeping me on the mat for four years, and I’m very thankful they never gave up on me. It was a major blessing my coach [Ben Cherrington] joined the team my first year right off his 2006 NCAA Championship. He whooped my ass repeatedly and taught me how to wrestle. His one in a million type family helped me as much as they could to keep my nose to the grindstone.”
Gaethje claimed the interim lightweight championship with a fifth-round technical knockout of Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, his fourth consecutive victory within the Las Vegas-based promotion. The former World Series of Fighting titlist is expected to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in a 155-pound title unification bout in September, though the bout has not been formally announced.
This article first appeared at Recent News on Sherdog.com
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