Kevin Sutherland: Definition of a Student-Athlete

By Adam Alexander

Kevin Sutherland has a familiar face both on and off the wrestling mat. A face that is part of the new Rhode Island College campaign “I AM RIC”, which includes Sutherland in a group of people with stellar resumes.



“He leads by example both in the practice room and in the intercollegiate competitive arena,” Head Coach Jay Jones said about his junior captain. “He continues to prove how essential he is to our program.”


Sutherland was named a Scholar All-American by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) as a sophomore in 2008-09. “It is also important to me to excel in the classroom because it is the main reason I am at college: to get an education,” the health and physical education major said. “I am not going to be able to wrestle forever, but the education I receive here at RIC will help me in my future.”


Last year, the Anchormen finished 24th in the nation with a team 3.185 cumulative grade point average, something Jones is proud of. “Academically, we are striving for a 3.0 or better as a team and to once again finish in the top-25 in the nation in GPA.”


Sutherland put in the hard work over the off-season to get him back to where he was last season as a New England 149 lbs. champion. “I mainly stayed in shape and tried to get stronger,” Sutherland said. “I did this by running about four miles every other day. I would also swim for a mile or go for a long bike ride every now and then. On the days I did not run, I would lift to improve my strength, so that this upcoming wrestling season I would be a bigger 149-pounder.”


Through two seasons on the mat for the Anchormen, Sutherland has attained All-New England status twice, winning the 149 lbs. weight class as a sophomore, which sent the Dauphin, Penn. native on to the NCAA National Championships for the first time in his career. He dominated at the 2009 New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championships, going undefeated, to help RIC place third overall, and claim the tourney’s Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. Sutherland finished with an outstanding 41-12 record. In just two years, Sutherland has compiled a 71-24 record and been one of the most feared wrestlers to face in the conference.


Sutherland would like to add to what is an already dazzling list of achievements, and believe it or not, he is still just a junior. “My goals for this season would be to win New England’s and move on and place in the top eight at nationals to become an All-American.”


“Kevin is always in great position, never reacts overly emotional, and just flat out wrestles tough,” Jones said.  “Kevin's destiny lies ahead on the All-America podium and his leadership will guide many of our young talented student-athletes in that direction.”


Though he is just entering his upperclassmen years, Coach Jones will look to Sutherland for leadership on the team. “The role I play as a leader this year is mainly lead by example,” Sutherland said about his captaincy. “I’m not much of a vocal captain, but I work hard and try to do the right things and I like to think that my teammates see that and do the same.


His hard work seems to have paid off as Sutherland is currently 11-1 and ranked No. 1 in New England, well on the way to achieving his goals. He’ll next see action when RIC competes in its home opener on Wednesday, Dec. 2 against NEWA rival Plymouth State at The Murray Center.