Craig Dempsey
Craig Dempsey
Title: Class of 2016
Organization: Wrestling and Football

A dual sport student-athlete, Craig Dempsey was a three-time All-New England performer for the wrestling program and a star linebacker for the football team.

On the wrestling mat, he was sixth at 167 in 1970 before finding even more success at 177 his final two years on Boynton Hill. He earned third place as a junior and was the runner-up as a senior, which led to an invitation to the NCAA Championships. He finished with a dual meet record of 44-15 with 12 pins.

“He was a fierce hitter as a linebacker for WPI,” recalls Hall of Fame wrestling coach Phil Grebinar. “That tenacity carried over with Craig in every wrestling match as an important contributor of the building blocks that transformed WPI Wrestling into a dominant New England team. He added three New England placings to his other on-the-mat accomplishments.”

During his run, the Engineers steadily increased from fourth (1978–79) to second (1980–81) in the regional tournament.

As a senior, Craig was co-captain of both teams and earned All-New England honors in both sports. While he football team earned its first winning season since 1968, he set records for tackles and earned the ECAC player of the week award as a senior in a win at Coast Guard Academy with 27 tackles, a fumble recovery, and a blocked pass.

“Craig was already at WPI when I arrived as head coach,” remembers former coach Bob Weiss. “He was the captain and one of the better players of the Trumbull High School that played my Fitch High School in Connecticut’s first large-school Super Bowl in New Britain. It seemed like he was in every play that day! Fortunately, he didn't lose any of his intense playing ability at WPI.”

“Being selected as a two-sport captain is a great achievement as well as indicator of the respect his teammates had for him as a leader,” says Grebinar. 

A native of Trumbull, Conn., Craig graduated from WPI in the spring of 1981 with a degree in mechanical engineering. His IQP examined fire protection improvements in the city of Worcester. He completed his Sufficiency in literature and drama and played the lead role in the play “Arms and the Man,” produced by the WPI Drama Club at Harrington Auditorium. Craig is currently an executive manager at the Naval Nuclear Laboratory in Schenectady, responsible for the design of nuclear warship reactor plants. He and wife, Maria, live in Clifton Park, N.Y.; they have three adult sons, Corey, Justin, and Brendan.

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