When UNC Greensboro elected to drop its wrestling program after the 2011 season, it left one of the nation’s largest tournaments, the Southern Scuffle, without a home. UTC coach Heath Eslinger leapt at the opportunity and drew an elite field of teams as well as a large crowd to McKenzie Arena around New Years Day, 2012, in Chattanooga’s first year hosting the event.

Wednesday afternoon, the school announced that the Scuffle will officially be back at McKenzie in 2013, with the event scheduled for Jan. 1-2. 

Again, the tournament will draw some of the best teams in the nation. First and second-place finishers in the 2012 NCAA tournament, Penn State and Minnesota, are both among entrants. No. 4 Cornell and No. 5 Oklahoma State will also be there. 

“The support we got for the Scuffle in its first year was so big that teams committed that weekend for 2013,” Eslinger said in a release. “We have had a number of other schools want to come which is making the field even stronger.”


Penn State won the event last year while the Mocs got a second-place individual finish from freshman Nick Soto (133) and took seventh as a team. The event drew nearly 5,000 fans over the two days.

“Word has gotten out in the wrestling community about how good of a host Chattanooga was for the Scuffle,” Eslinger said. “You will see bigger crowds for next year’s event and we hope to fill the lower bowl each day.”

The entire 2012-13 Chattanooga wrestling schedule is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

2013 Southern Scuffle Participants (by finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships)
1 – Penn State 
2 – Minnesota
4 – Cornell
5 – Oklahoma State
11 – Virginia Tech
19 – American
21 – Appalachian State 
26 – Missouri
28 – Virginia
33 – Ohio 
41 – Army
44 – NC State
48 – Navy
51- Chattanooga
54 – North Carolina
55 – Old Dominion
56 – Arizona State
59 – Campbell 
64 – Duke 
South Dakota State
Cleveland State