Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Central Michigan head coach Tom Borrelli announced the hiring of Ryan Cunningham and Ben Bennett to the wrestling program Thursday morning.
Former All-Americans Cunningham and Bennett Join Wrestling Staff

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Two of the greatest wrestlers in Central Michigan history have joined head coach Tom Borrelli’s coaching staff for his 24th season at the helm of the Chippewas.

Ryan Cunningham, a three-time All-American and 2010 CMU Hall of Fame inductee, and Ben Bennett, the program’s only four-time All-American, will join Borrelli as the Maroon and Gold pursue their 14th Mid-American Conference regular season title.

“I am very excited to have both Ryan and Ben as full time assistant coaches in our program,” Borrelli said. “They were both tremendous competitors and share the same philosophies and mindset that Chippewa Wrestling has been built upon. I am confident that they will do their best to instill these beliefs and work habits when working with our current student-athletes.”  

Cunningham was the first wrestler in CMU history to earn Division I All-America honors three times. He also was a three-time MAC champion and finished his career with 104 wins to just 30 losses. Of his career victories, 23 were pins.

The CMU wrestling program’s rise to national prominence coincided with Cunningham’s career. He helped lead CMU to a pair of MAC championships and three MAC Tournament titles, while CMU finished in the top 20 at the NCAA meet in three of his four seasons, including a school-record fifth-place showing in 1998.

Bennett will remain with the program that he has led as a student-athlete over the last four seasons in which he became the first four-time All-American in program history. He finished his career with a record of 121 wins and just 25 losses and claimed four MAC titles along the way.

A native of Rockford, Mich., Bennett placed sixth at 174 pounds in 2010 as a redshirt freshman and eighth as a sophomore before moving up to 184 pounds for his final two seasons. He went on to post back-to-back sixth place finishes at 184 pounds during his junior and senior campaigns.