Two-time Big Ten Champion
2004 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year
2003 NCAA Finalist
2004-05: Ended the season ranked No. 14 in the school record books for career wins...Only two away from the coveted 100 career-win mark...Qualified for the 2005 NCAA Tournament...Earned the No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year after defeating Ryan Bertin in the finals at the Big Ten Tournament, becoming a two-time Big Ten Champion at 157 pounds... Went 6-1 in Big Ten dual competition...Went 4-0 at the Cliff Keen National Duals...Placed second at the Midlands Tournament, becoming a two-time Midlands finalist...Was the UNI Open Champion...Became a two-time Missouri Open Champion at 157 pounds...Named Academic All-Big Ten for the third straight year.
2003-04: Earned his second All-America honor with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships ... Was the No. 1 seed for the national tournament, following an undefeated regular season ... Entered the NCAAs as one of only five unbeaten wrestlers ... Won the Big Ten title at 157 pounds, defeating defending national champion Ryan Bertin of Michigan, 6-0 in the finals ... Named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Year ... Also earned co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Championship honors ... His 35 wins ranks eighth on school's single-season win list ... Twice earned Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors, first for win at Las Vegas Invite and second for Midlands Championship ... Win over two-time world team member Chris Bono in the championship of Midlands gave team its first Midlands title in the history of the tournament ... Defeated back-to-back No. 1 ranked wrestlers, Jesse Jantzen of Harvard and Bertin to win Las Vegas Invitational ... Also won Missouri Open at 157 pounds ... Was 14-2 vs. ranked opponents ... Went 8-0 in Big Ten duals.
2002-03: Became the first freshman NCAA finalist in school history ... Lost to No. 6 Ryan Bertin of Michigan in the finals of the NCAA Championships to take second and become an All-American as freshman ... Upset the defending national champion and No. 1 seed Luke Becker of Minnesota in the quarterfinals at NCAAs ... Finished seventh at the 2003 Big Ten Championships, recording a win over Clovis Crane to earn his first qualification to the NCAA Championships ... Highest ranking during the season was seventh by Intermat ... Big Ten dual record was 5-2 ... Placed fifth at Midlands with an upset-win over No. 8 Derek Jenkins of Rider, 5-4 ... Was a third-place finisher at both the Las Vegas Invitational and the Missouri Open ... Had seven upset wins (No. 1 Becker; then-No. 3 Bertin; No. 4 Gray Maynard of Michigan State; No. 4 Scott Owen of Northern Illinois; No. 8 Jenkins; No. 10 Adam Britt of VMI and No. 14 Kenny Burleson of Missouri) ... Went 5-0 at the Virginia Duals to be named Champaign News-Gazette Athlete of the Week ... Recorded a 9-7 record vs. ranked opponents.
2001-02: Redshirt season ... Came in first at the Missouri Open ... Placed first at the Northern Iowa Open ... Finished season with a 16-1 record with two falls at 157 pounds.
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-time California State Champion ... High School National Champion ... Dave Schultz Award winner for Western region ... Member of 2001 "Hat Trick" Valley Championship team ... Dapper Dan Classic member ... Dream Team member ... Four-year varsity letter winner in wrestling, two-year letter winner in football ... Asics All-American team member.
PERSONAL: Born April 25, 1983 ... Son of Stephen and Jayne Tirapelle and brother of Adam, Brooke and Troy ... Father Stephen was an All-American wrestler in division II ... Biggest thrill in sports was watching older brother Adam win the NCAA championship ... Favorite athlete is Cael Sanderson ... Class valedictorian in high school ... Plans on working on MBA after undergrad ... Father most influenced athletic career because he made him wrestle at a young age ... Brother Adam was his biggest Illini hero ... Majoring in business administration.
TIRAPELLE'S CAREER RECORD
YEAR W L F Big Ten NCAA 2002-03 33 8 3 7th 2nd 2003-04 35 2 8 1st 4th 2004-05 30 4 3 1st dnp Total 98 14 14