UNK Athletic Hall of Fame: Tervel Dlagnev


So to find out about Tervel, his head wrestling coach was a guy by the name of Henry Harmony, who was a graduate from
Kearney High School, and my brother was Henry’s assistant coach in Arlington, Texas at
Arlington High School. And so Henry had called me up and he said, “I have a dark horse for you,
a guy that I really think “could do really well in college, “but he’s only been
wrestling for three years.” And I, you know, immediately
that’s kinda like a red flag. And you know, Tervel weighed
like 210 pounds at the time, and just coming into college, he had just turned 17 years old, so he was a really young kid, and you just never know, you never know how somebody’s gonna adjust
to a collegiate level. Tervel was a sponge. When he first came in, right
when the school year started he had come into the office
and he said, he asked me, he goes, “Is there, Coach,
do you have video on the guys “on the team, of the guys on the team?” And I’m like, “Yeah sure.” And before the first practice had come, he had watched everbody’s video and I remember coming
into the wrestling room and he was out there
impersonating every wrestler on the team and the guys
were trying to guess who it was, just by their
stance, the way they moved. And I thought to myself,
you know that, that’s really kinda interesting that
somebody was that interested in learning how everybody’s move, and how he picked up on it so quickly. But honestly as he progressed
through his college career one of the things I learned about Tervel was that he’s very laser
beam focused on something that he’s interested in. He figured out that he was a wrestler and he committed to it. And he wanted to be the best he could be. And so he put all of his
attention into doing just that. And he went literally from maybe like a 13 and 10 record his red shirt year to winning over 30 matches that freshman year and
All American League. And you know finishing
with a, I think a 6th place finish at the national tournament and earning All American Honors. So, he was off to a good start. You know 2008 was the first year we won the national tournament. Tervel was a big part of that obviously. Coming down to the end of the tournament Tervel was the final match and we were losing by 3 1/2 points and all we needed was
for him, no pressure, to go out and win a national title for us. That he could clench the
national championship by winning the last match
of the national tournament which was really special. And in 2008 he went from
helping our team win a national championship, our
first national championship to earning a spot on the 2009 World Team, the freestyle team, and
he went on to place 3rd at the World’s that year. [Announcer] And we have a
victory for the United States! Tervel Dlagnev! And beyond that, you know, his career, he just continued to blossom because again he was just a sponge, absorbing all different
kinds of techniques. I remember him coming back
and working with our kids and our program or even coming to some of our camps
and he taught us a lot. He taught our program,
he taught our wrestlers a lot of different techniques that went on to become kinda staples in our program. But anyway he went on to, you know, make five World teams
and two Olympic teams. And then just this, just recently he was awarded The Bronze Medal from the 2012 Olympics in London. And those times were very
special for our program, even after he was gone. He truly put UNK Wrestling on the map and I’m not talking just the national map, he put us on the world map. And I don’t think there’s
anybody more deserving of being inducted into our
Hall of Fame here at UNK.

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