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Braintree's Colin Kilrain 
Mon May 12 2008, 10:22AM
Registered Member #2315
Joined: Tue Oct 18 2005, 02:23PM
Posts: 725
Four-time EIWA Champ Kilrain inducted into Lehigh Hall of Fame

DATE: 5/12/2008 9:58:00 AM
Bethlehem, PA
Lehigh Sports Information

Four former Lehigh greats have been elected to the Roger S. Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame. Formal induction took place on Lehigh’s Packer Campus on Saturday, May 10, 2008. Basketball standout Greg Falkenbach ‘72, four-time EIWA Champion Colin Kilrain ’82, cross country/track and field star Tim Steele ‘73, and two-way football standout Pete Williams ’58 are the newest members. Falkenbach and Kilrain comprise the class of 2007, while Steele and Williams make up the class of 2008. Formal induction for the Class of 2007 was held off for one year because Commander Kilrain was out of the country serving his duties as Captain of Special Forces for the Navy Seals.

One of only eight four-time champions in the 103-year history of the EIWA, Colin J. Kilrain ‘82 is one of just three wrestlers to win a championship at three different weight classes (167, 177, 190). A two-time captain and three-time third place NCAA finisher, Kilrain won over 90 percent (87-8) of his matches while at Lehigh, which ranks in the top-ten in school annals. During the last three years of his career in the Brown and White, Kilrain compiled an astounding 70-4 record with 23 wins-by-fall and 26 bonus wins. Four of those wins came versus NCAA Champions.

“It’s an honor to be inducted into the Lehigh Hall of Fame,” Kilrain said. “There were a number of folks who came before me that served as role models and sterling examples of what a Hall of Famer should be and I’m proud to be among this high caliber group.”

During Kilrain’s sophomore season, he pushed three time NCAA Champion Ed Banach of Iowa to the brink of elimination before suffering an injury and losing by just a single point. The next year, Kilrain exacted revenge on Banach, defeating him 9-5 at Stabler Arena in front of a raucous crowd of over 4,500 people. Kilrain was ranked first in the nation at 190 pounds as a junior, and later went onto earn the number-one seed for that year’s national tournament at 177 pounds.

Two time NCAA Champion Mark Lieberman ’79 was a teammate of Kilrain’s during one of the program’s most successful eras. “Colin was so gifted and so powerful and explosive. His technique was excellent and we really went after one another inside the wrestling room. There were very few matches where we faced better competition than we faced every day from one another.”

He continued, “Colin worked very hard to become the best wrestler he could. He had great technique and was really a student of the game.”

As a senior, Kilrain defeated eventual NCAA Champion Pete Bush of Iowa by major decision in their regular season dual in Iowa City by a score of 11-1. He again earned the country’s top seed for NCAAs, this time at 190 pounds, and finished his final season on the mat with a record of 23-1.

“Colin was an outstanding wrestler and a really good guy; he was one of the most popular guys on the team” Lehigh Hall of Famer and Kilrain’s coach Thad Turner said. “He was a good athlete, particularly for someone as big as he is and a great competitor. This is one of the most justifiable things we’ve done by electing Colin into the Hall of Fame.”

Kilrain’s accomplishments post-graduation have been even more impressive than his work on the mats. He currently serves as Captain of Special Forces for the Navy Seals, having completed countless assignments globally, including in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The sport itself taught me a lot about how to set goals and accountability,” Kilrain said. “I had an unbelievably positive experience wrestling at Lehigh. Everything about the program including the tradition to the support from the University, student body and surrounding community all contributed to the whole cultural experience.”

He added, “We were all privileged to wrestle for Lehigh University, but also for Thad Turner. His efforts to build the complete individual for life after graduation speaks volumes on the type of people that Lehigh and its wrestling program develops.”

“I’m not surprised one bit at what Colin has accomplished since he’s left Lehigh,” Turner added. “I always knew he would be successful no matter what he chose to do.”

Kilrain and his wife Susan have four children: Quinn Marie, Sean Joseph, Liam Porter and Maura Ann.

The annual Roger S. Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame induction is sponsored by the Lehigh Athletics Partnership.
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