Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Adam Tirapelle

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Adam Tirapelle

Twelve years ago Sunday, coach Mark Johnson’s Illini wrestling program had two athletes win NCAA titles at the championships in Iowa City, Iowa. Adam Tirapelle (149 pounds) and John Lockhart (heavyweight) were individual titlists, leading Illinois to fifth place in the standings, its highest finish since a third-place showing in 1948. Tirapelle ended his season at 31-2. He is one of 18 Illini wrestlers to have won NCAA championships. He was a Big Ten champion his junior year. The eldest of the Tirapelle boys, Adam was a two-time California state champion at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento, Calif., and later Buchanan High. The three-time Division I All-American at Illinois holds the all-time pins record for the Illini (33) and is second on the all-time wins list to brother, Alex, 128-127. Adam recently concluded his ninth year of high school coaching at Clovis, 6 miles from downtown Fresno, Calif., where he serves as an assistant to his father, Steve. The Cougars have won three California state titles and have six consecutive top-five finishes. Tirapelle’s family includes his wife, Kim, and sons, Dylan and Zachary.

Illini Birthdays
Sunday: Arias Davis, basketball (37)
Monday: Rajeev Ram, tennis (29)
Tuesday: Eva Choe, tennis (30)
Wednesday: Marchoe Dill, basketball (37)
Thursday: Gary Galvin, football (60)
Friday: Craig Zirbel, football (52)
Saturday: Joseph Bertrand, basketball (22)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Wrestling, Sports

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