March was a great month for Ohio State wrestling fans. The Buckeyes landed their first National Championship in the 94 year history of the program. Logan Stieber became just the fourth wrestler in collegiate history to win four NCAA titles.
Yet as a diehard OSU wrestling fan, I find myself just as, if not more proud of the decision made a little more than a week later by former 184 pound National Champion Mike Pucillo to come out as one of the first openly gay wrestlers.
Pucillo made his story public through a great article by Jason Bryant on the Open Mat, that shared his process of telling his friends, former teammates, and family about being gay.
This week, we sit down with Mike Pucillo on The Buckeye Battle Cry Radio Hour to talk about the amount of support he’s received since being open about who he is. Mike also shares how wrestling played a factor in his decision to come out, being a role model for younger athletes that are in a similar position he was, and what it will take for sport to one day look past athletes being gay as an issue.
Pucillo also breaks down what it has taken for Ohio State wrestling to become a championship caliber program, how Tom Ryan convinced him to join him at Hofstra, the current state of wrestling and the situation at Cleveland State, where the Athletic Department will stop funding the wrestling program, and how professional wrestling such as AGON Wrestling Championships can help keep the sport at many different levels.
We also break down Mike’s 2008 National Championship match with Jake Varner of Iowa State. Varner, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2012, was 29-0 when Pucillo beat him in the final match of the season.
Pucillo won 43 straight matches at one point during his Buckeye career, was a three-time All-American and claimed victory 107 times while donning the Scarlet and Gray.
Thanks to Mike for stopping by this week.
We also share some GREAT news! The Buckeye Sports Radio APP is available on iOS and on your iPhone, iPad and in the iTunes store! Soon, the app will also be available on Android and can be listened to on any browser by heading to the Buckeye Sports Radio Website.
Buckeye Sports Radio is bringing you Ohio State commentary, interviews and podcasts around the clock with the great shows and names that you trust!
As always, thanks for listening to The Buckeye Battle Cry Radio Hour on Buckeye Sports Radio and Buckeye Sports Radio.com. You can find us on iTunes, where we are always excited to hear your comments and feedback on the show. We welcome you to rate and subscribe as well.
To listen to this week’s show, click play below. To download the show directly, click here.