February 18, 2003


NECCWA Hall of Fame to Enshrine Two
 Rhode Island College Wrestling Legends


Providence, RI—Former Rhode Island College wrestler Billy Cotter and Head Coach Rusty Carlsten are among this year’s class to be inducted into the New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Hall of Fame on Sunday, Feb. 23.


The ceremony will take place just prior to the Championship Finals of the 2003 NECCWA Tournament, which will be hosted by Roger Williams University. The ceremony will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m.


Cotter is Rhode Island College wrestling’s first and only National Champion, taking home the title in 1994 at 134 lbs. During that fabled season, Cotter posted a 31-1 overall record, losing only once all year.


He was part of RIC’s NECCWA Championship Team as a sophomore in 1991-92. One of the most dominant wrestlers in New England history, Cotter took home three consecutive New England titles at 134 lbs. in 1991-92, ’93 and ’94. He ranks third all-time in career wins and is eighth in career pins as an Anchorman.


Prior to attending RIC, Cotter competed at Plymouth State College, taking home a third place finish at the 1990 NECCWA Championships. Cotter was an outstanding high school athlete while at North Reading High School where he was a two-time Massachusetts State Champion.


When it comes to excellence in Rhode Island College wrestling, Rusty Carlsten’s name is at the top of the list. During his 22-year career at the helm, the Anchormen posted a 222-107-9 record, a .670 winning percentage. Even more impressive, Carlsten’s squads captured five consecutive New England College Conference Wrestling Association Championships in 1987-88, ’89, ‘90, ’91 and ’92, a feat that has never been duplicated.


He earned NECCWA Coach of the Year Honors five times in 1986-87, ’88, ’89, ’90 and ’92. Carlsten was named the NECCWA’s Man of the Year in 1992 as well. He coached 21 New England Champions, eight All-Americans and four Scholar All-Americans.


His teams earned ten or more wins 16 times and his 1975 squad posted an undefeated record. Carlsten currently resides in Cranston, Rhode Island with his wife Carole. His son, Scott, another former RIC wrestler, was inducted into NECCWA’s Hall of Fame in 2002.



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