SCMAT Exclusive Wrestling Article 1-25-11

Matt Kim - 
the last Clemson HWT
Matt Kim.jpg Matt Kim (far left) at Clemson wrestling reunion Five years ago SCMAT ran a series of articles entitled "Where are they now?" We looked at former South Carolina wrestlers such as: Dan Wirnsberger Tom Borrelli Shelton Benjamin David Patten Ben Connell Ike Anderson Ike Anderson update from 3 years ago It's time to open up the archives to wrestlers with SC ties and do some new spotlights. This week we will start with the last Clemson HWT, Matt Kim. The 1994-1995 wrestling season would be Clemson's last sporting an NCAA wrestling team. Though the decision to drop the wrestling team at Clemson would be controversial with calls that Title IX was to blame, Clemson had left it's mark on the world of wrestling. Clemson finished 7th at the NCAA's in the 1993-1994 season, behind 2x National Champion Sam Henson and third place finisher Tim Morrissey. Over the storied years, Clemson had 8 All-Americans and 59 NCAA qualifiers out of the ACC. Sam Henson would go on to become an Olympic Medalist in 2000 finishing as Silver medalist in Freestyle, giving Clemson it's second Olympic medalist after former NCAA Champion Noel Loban finished 3rd in Freestyle at the 1984 Olympics wrestling for England. Clemson gave Goose Creek H.S. and Citadel wrestler, Tom Borrelli, his first experience in coaching as an Assistant Coach. Coach Borrelli is now an icon at Central Michigan University. The Clemson wrestling program would also attract many great wrestlers from out of state, including a top name Pennsylvania wrestler and future Clemson head wrestling coach, Wade Schalles. Schalles would be known for inventing The Clemson Roll (also known as the Cross Wrist Roll) as seen on the second and third pages of this Wrestling USA Magazine article. Now, let's get on to our our main topic .... Matt Kim - the last Clemson HWT wrestler. Matt Kim would be recruited out of Pennsylvania as well and join the Clemson wrestling team in 1993, red-shirting that first season. Matt came from Hatfield, PA where he wrestled for North Penn High School. He was a PA state runner-up his senior season in high school losing in the state finals to eventual 2x NCAA All-American Bill Closson (Plum H.S. and Lehigh University). Matt would finish his high school career at 84-16 and move to S.C. to continue his wrestling career at Clemson University. Some articles from Matt's high school days are below: North Penn Rules District One North 3a Roost - March 07, 1993 North Penn's Tournament-sweep Quest Begins Tonight - March 12, 1993 Pennridge's Kuhns, 3 From North Penn In Finals - March 13, 1993 North Penn H.S. state placers list After Matt's red-shirt season at Clemson in 1993-1994 he would become the starting HWT the next season. Clemson had a young team and struggled during the season before the University announced it would discontinue the wrestling program. Most of the Clemson wrestlers would transfer to other schools and Matt would end up at Edinboro University where he would cut an inordinate amount of weight to become their 190 lbs. starter in 1995-1996. Wrestling friends from Clemson would stay in touch from Appalachian State University and convince Matt to come to ASU since they needed a HWT wrestler. Matt would be a two year HWT starter at Appalachian State, finishing fourth in the Southern conference his Junior season (1997) and second in the conference his Senior season (1998). Matt remained involved in wrestling for a number of years working with various programs in SC, but contributing the most time with Irmo H.S. while Dave Maas was coaching, another Appalachian State wrestler. In 2000 Matt was a part of the Irmo coaching staff that took the team to the Finals of 4A State Duals, losing a 40-19 match to Rock Hill. Matt was a manager in the trucking industry for many years and now resides in Hanahan where he is raising his two daughters and enjoying success with his passion for Painting. He has been asked to paint for several Olympic Champions and has produced outstanding work in the sport of wrestling as seen below. Kendall Cross.jpg Kendall Cross - Olympic Champion Brandon Slay.jpg Brandon Slay - Olympic Champion Aaron Strobel.jpg Aaron Strobel - Clemson and Oklahoma State Derek Strobel.jpg Derek Strobel - Clemson and Appalachian State For more paintings, visit Facebook's Paintings by Matt or go straight to Matt Kim's painting gallery. If interested in catching up with Matt Kim or inquiring about an interest in a custom painting, Matt can be contacted at or call him at 843-323-9364. He would be glad to work with anyone interested in a unique affordable painting. I can personally say the two paintings I had done for my kids was a masterpiece on canvas by Matt, purely working from photos. Matt has achieved the level of success as an artist that compares with his years of devotion to wrestling. SCMAT continues to cover the history of SC wrestling and hopes all information is accurate. If you notice any updates to this article or just want to comment please send a reply to thanks, Mark Buford