Photo: UW-Eau Claire Athletics

Fader honored as 2024 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year by The Open Mat

The Open Mat presents awards annually in three categories for each division of college wrestling at the conclusion of the season. Awards are presented for Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Wrestler of the Year.

Tim Fader has been honored as The Open Mat's 2024 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year after guiding the UW-Eau Claire wrestling program to a historic season.

Fader, in his ninth season as head wrestling coach at UW-Eau Claire, led the Bluegolds to a fifth-place finish at the 2024 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, which was the highest finish in program history as well as the first top-10 finish. Four UW-Eau Claire wrestlers earned All-America honors, which was also a program record. The group was led by Jared Stricker, who won the NCAA title at 174 pounds, becoming the program's first NCAA wrestling champion since 2006. He finished the season with a 42-2 record, including an undefeated mark against non-Division I opponents.

UW-Eau Claire concluded the dual meet season ranked No. 5 by The Open Mat and compiled a record of 19-4, which set a program record for dual meet wins in a season. The Bluegolds tied for first (with UW-La Crosse) at the WIAC Championships and placed third at the Upper Midwest Regional.

Fader has now guided three different Wisconsin college wrestling programs (UW-La Crosse, UW-Whitewater and UW-Eau Claire) to top-five finishes at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships. He is a member of the NWCA Division III Coaches Hall of Fame.