|Title:||Class of 2011|
Jeff Horowitz showed up at WPI in the fall of 1981 with a mohawk haircut. His wrestling coach, Hall of Famer Phil Grebinar, told him, “You better be good if you are going to walk around like that.” Three All-New England honors, including a championship, proves he was more than good enough.
Horowitz wasted no time making a name for himself in the New England wrestling circuit. On a talented 1982 team, he earned a spot to wrestle at the New England Championships and delivered with a third-place finish.
After an injury curtailed a promising sophomore campaign (8-1-1 dual meet record), he came back with vengeance in 1984 and posted a record of 14-4-1 at 142 lbs. with a career-best eight pins. At the New England championships, he collected a second-place showing.
Jeff simply dazzled as a senior co-captain during the 1984-85 season. He registered a 16-1-1 mark in dual meets and won the 1985 New England championship at the 142-lb. weight class, a class that featured four former or future champions. One of his greatest accomplishments was defeating an eventual Greco-Roman Olympic medalist twice that season, pinning him during the Bay State Games.
As a team, the Crimson and Gray won their first-ever New England title and Horowitz was one of four WPI wrestlers to qualify for the 1985 NCAA Championships. His 85 team points that season tied him for eighth all-time in program history.
Classmates and Hall of Famers Paul Wyman and Rich Testa agree that Jeff knew more about wrestling than most of us forgot. “He was a master at knowing just what to do in almost any situation to finish a move to score,”they claim. “He had this uncanny ability to score from counter situations after defending an offensive attack. He was the most ‘complete’ wrestler of us all. He was proficient from any position—from the neutral, top, or bottom position, Jeff could score big points.
Horowitz finished his standout career with a 43-10-3 overall dual-meet record, including 18 career pins, with three occurring in under a minute. He also was a standout in the classroom, earning National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic All-America honors.
“Jeff arrived at WPI with as good skills and technique as any previous WPI wrestler,” says Phil Grebinar. “He was dominant in his weight class for WPI, beating outstanding competitors, including one wrestler who ended up with an Olympic bronze Greco-Roman medal. A real team guy, Jeff was a great leader who led by example, and a great ability to keep our team loose.”