JOHN REESE coached 42 seasons at Wilkes College from 1954-1995, the 2nd-longest tenure at any wrestling program. His career record of 541-164-10 ranks fourth in history among all divisions combined. His teams won 75% of their dual meets. He coached five unbeaten teams, had 38 straight winning seasons and 15 Middle Atlantic Conference titles in 19 years in Division III. John’s 1974 team won an NCAA Division III team title by sweeping three straight weights from 134-150. His 1966 team finished 2nd.
Wilkes stepped up to Division I in 1976 and Reese teams placed EIWA 3rd in 1980 and seven other times Top 5 through 1990, before leaving the conference after 1997. The college was re-named Wilkes University in 1990 and Reese maintained a rich tradition by annually hosting “The Rose Bowl of Wrestling,” the nation’s oldest holiday tournament, first held in 1932