The Bucknellian

Through the gates: Kevin LeValley ’11

Graphic by Jared Shapiro

Graphic by Jared Shapiro

Bri Pomonis, Senior Writer

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Most athletes would consider Kevin LeValley’s ’11 senior season a good place to end their career. The two-time All-American wrestling captain’s final season highlights included making his third appearance at the NCAA tournament, holding a 34-3 season record, winning the prestigious Christy Mathewson Award, and becoming the second Bison in program history to take gold at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships. For many, success would end here, but LeValley was only preparing for what was to come.

“I plan to wrestle until I can’t anymore,” LeValley said. The program icon has held true to his word. When he is not competing on the international level, LeValley is busy training the next generation of record-breakers as an assistant coach for his alma mater.

LeValley has had a lifetime to develop his love for being on the mat.

“When I was seven years old, my dad took me to my first wrestling practice. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the more time, effort, and energy I put into the sport, the more positive my results. I was attracted to that correlation,” LeValley said.

The trail of titles LeValley has left in his wake is testimony to this work ethic. Besides the aforementioned honors, he was awarded the Coaches Award in 2009 and the William A. Graham IV Most Outstanding Wrestler for two consecutive years during his collegiate career.

After graduation, LeValley settled in Minneapolis while pursuing a master’s degree in applied kinesiology and sport management at the University of Minnesota. During this time, he worked with the Gopher wrestling program as an administrative assistant and recruiting coordinator, all while maintaining a rigorous training regimen.

LeValley continued to compete at the 149-pound weight class throughout the years, winning his first post-college gold at the 2012 Hargobind International in Vancouver. He has gone on to add nine more top-three titles to his resumé, citing his silver at the 2014 Alexander Medved International in Belarus as his proudest achievement.

He returned to Lewisburg as an assistant coach in May 2015 in the hopes of inspiring the program’s future to “leave it all on the mat.”

“I feel that as a coach, the most valuable attribute that I bring to the table is a passion for the sport. When I arrive on campus each morning, I still don’t feel like I am going to work,” LeValley said. “Wrestling is a tough sport, and training requires an immense amount of time, effort, and energy. I hope that my mindset can help our student-athletes to learn embrace that process and make the most of each opportunity they have to step on the mat.”

Besides bringing a wide body of knowledge to his coaching position, LeValley’s recent history as a University student-athlete gives him a unique edge when working with wrestlers.

“In my time at Bucknell, I grew as a student, as a wrestler, and as a person. I’ll never have everything figured out, but I do believe that our student-athletes can use me as a resource to help them navigate the challenges that come with balancing Bucknell’s academic rigor with Division I wrestling,” LeValley said.

With his contagious enthusiasm, unshakable work ethic, and wealth of experience, Bison Wrestling is sure to benefit from LeValley’s return.

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Through the gates: Kevin LeValley ’11