NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The Cal Poly wrestling program hosted its annual Southern California Alumni Social last weekend at the Balboa Bay Club.
Hosted by Scott and Stephanie Bragg, the event drew over 30 former Mustang wrestlers and supporters from all eras. The schedule included a pre-social, lunch, and talks from Director of Development Brian Brantley, head coach Jon Sioredas and alumnus Mike Applegate.
"It takes an army to build the foundation for any successful program and we are extremely grateful for the support from our administration, our support staff and, most importantly, our alumni for buying into our vision and our strategic plan," said Sioredas.
With the help of generous alumni and supporters in attendance, the social was able to generate a total of $77,000 toward the Wrestling Scholarship Fund, which will make an immediate impact. The Cal Poly wrestling program launched its scholarship fund earlier this year with a goal of becoming a fully-funded program per NCAA regulations, vital to long-term success. With the addition of the donations from the SoCal Social, the program has surpassed $345,000 in total commitments.
"Our alumni are providing us with the additional ammunition to go out and recruit the best student-athletes in the country," said Sioredas. "For that, we are thankful."
The investments into the scholarship fund are already paying off, as Cal Poly's incoming 2019 recruiting class is currently ranked No. 8 in the country in the early recruiting rankings from TheOpenMat.com. This is the first class that is impacted by the fund. Coupled with the support from the athletic department, this campaign is leveling the playing field as the team competes against powerhouses in the Pac-12 for the top recruits.
"A special thanks to our development team that consistently put forth tremendous effort to help us with our outreach," said Sioredas. "We have a lot of momentum behind our program and people are taking notice. Our alumni are excited to see progress and it shows in their increased involvement in our program."
Cal Poly is coming off of some significant landmarks in all areas of its program. The team captured the highest GPA of all male sports in the winter quarter at Cal Poly, Colt Schilling was the Mustangs' first Pac-12 champion in five years, and the overall fundraising is at a four-year high.
"Our staff is fired up to continue on this journey to help build upon the storied tradition of Mustang Wrestling," said Sioredas.