|Year:||Class of 2019|
Many WPI wrestlers have tasted success on the mat but few have the combination of individual and team success that Steve Graveline enjoyed.
Graveline is one of only 17 wrestlers in the program’s history to be a four-time all-regional grappler and one of just nine of that exclusive club to have won a New England title.
He accomplished all his feats at the 190-pound weight class. He began with a fifth-place showing at the 1984 championships and finished a spot better as a sophomore in 1985. After another fifth-place showing as a junior, he saved his best for his senior campaign in 1987 when he brought home the New England championship.
In dual meets Graveline posted a stellar career record of 31–11, for a winning percentage of .738. His final two seasons on Boynton Hill were his most impressive, going 9–2 as a junior in 1985–86 before finishing with a 10–1 dual meet mark as a senior during the 1986– 87 season.
“Steve was one of the most team-oriented wrestlers, always working to pull everyone together for team unity and focus,” says Hall of Fame coach Phil Grebinar. “Wrestling at 190, Steve was one of our closers, wrestling at the end of a meet to successfully ensure a team victory.”
He helped the Engineers capture a pair of New England team championships during his career. They took home the crown in 1985 and he was the captain on the dominate 1987 team that saw all 10 wrestlers place in winning the title. WPI also won dual meets at an amazing clip during his career. The Engineers posted a 70–7 for an eye-popping .909 winning percentage.
After his days as a wrestler were over, Graveline stayed close to the sport, officiating the NCAA and high school levels, including several regional and national tournament and served as the Tournament Director when WPI hosted the 2018 NCAA Division III Northeast regional Championship.
“Digger is the epitome of what it means to be a member of the WPI Wrestling family," comments Hall of Fame teammate Steve Hall. “Not only was he a four-year starter on arguably the best team in the history of WPI, he has been a very active alumni supporter of the wrestling program for over 30 years. He is an example of what membership in the family means to everyone— where multiple members are present in wedding party and christening photos.”
WPI has been a family affair for the Gravelines—dad Stan ’58, brothers Stan ’89 and Jeff ’90; his daughter, Elizabeth ’20, competes on the women’s rowing team.
A native of Nashua, N.H., Graveline graduated with a BS in electrical engineering and earned his MS at the University of Massachusetts in 1990. He is currently director of the Advanced Microwave Products Center at BAE Systems in Nashua, where he has spent the majority of his career. He and Peg, his wife of 27 years, live in Litchfield; they have three children—Jonathan, Elizabeth, and Matthew.