The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

National champion crowned: Matt Malcom moves to new wrestling journey after historic career

BRAYDEN WILLS / UNK ATHLETICS Malcom went 30-2 this year earning DII’s “Most Dominant Wrestler Of The Year” Award.

Matt Malcom obliterated the Division II competition this year, winning his second National Championship in his career. The five-time All-American was a crucial piece in the Lopers winning their fourth National Championship, but now he faces a new task.

Coaching high school wrestling.

Malcom accepted the head coaching position at Bellevue East earlier this month, taking over for 24-year coach Todd Porter, who is retiring. 

“It was a no-brainer,” Malcom said. “I had to apply. I kind of put all of my chips in that basket right away and ended up having some good connections with some people in Bellevue.”

Matt’s fiance, Lilly Lutter, secured a teaching and coaching job in Omaha at Westview High School as the girl’s cross country coach. As a result, Matt started looking for jobs in the area, the Bellevue East position ended up being the perfect opportunity. 

“Bellevue is a great community,” Malcom said. “I’m really excited for the opportunity, and I’m excited to transition into that phase of my career.”

As a sixth-year senior, Malcom student taught this fall and graduated this December with a degree in elementary education. The Glenwood, Iowa, native is taking online classes toward a master’s degree to stay eligible this spring.

Malcom lost at the NCAA Championships last year, placing fifth at 165 pounds. He came back this year and beat Shane Gantz of Wisconsin-Parkside 1-0 in the championship match.

“I sat down with Coach (Dalton) Jensen about a week before nationals,” Malcom said. “He told me that if I was to go out without winning there would be a little bit of a hole in my heart for the sport of wrestling. Being able to end it the way it did, everything feels right. I’m excited for the next part of my life.”

After a scoreless first period, Malcom took bottom to start the second period. He was able to escape from Gantz to take a 1-0 lead.

Gantz tried to be the aggressor in the third period and chose to stay neutral since he had already gotten off a few good shots. Malcom was able to fight them off once again for two minutes in the third period. 

“Biggest key to that one was staying in a great position for seven minutes,” Malcom said. “I knew it was gonna be a battle. We’ve wrestled a couple of times and they’ve always been close matches.”

After transferring from Iowa, Malcom made the most of his opportunity with the Lopers. He became the first five-time All-American in program history due to the extra year of eligibility from COVID-19.

“He’s the backbone of this team,” Jensen said. “That guy wanted to win a team title for these guys more than anything. He’s continued to develop his skill and get better as a wrestler and really started to hone in on becoming a better leader each year. He betters everyone around him.”

Ending on an individual and team championship, it truly was the most remarkable year of Malcom’s career.

“Being able to go out the way we did as a team means everything to me,” Malcom said. “It will go down as my favorite memory from the sport of wrestling. It was the most special moment of my career up until this point.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *