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George Mason University sweeps Colonial Athletic Association awards



George Mason University head coach Brian Shaffer, sophomore Donnie DeFilippis and freshman Tony Howard have swept the major wrestling awards from the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2000-01 season. Shaffer was named the CAA "Coach of the Year," while DeFilippis was selected the league's "Wrestler of the Year" and Howard was chosen as the CAA "Rookie of the Year." Shaffer earned "Coach of the Year" laurels for a second time, joining former Patriot mentor Mike Moyer as two-time recipients of the honor. DeFilippis became the second George Mason wrestler to be named "Wrestler of the Year," joining two-time honoree John Curtis (1992-93), and Howard follows in the footsteps of Chris Mansueto (1995), Sean Shea (1996) and DeFilippis (2000) as Patriots honored as "Rookie of the Year." Shaffer guided George Mason to a school-record 105.5 points and its fifth CAA team title in the 10 years the conference has hosted a championship event. Shaffer has led George Mason to CAA titles in 1996, 1997 and 2001, and he earned "Coach of the Year" honors in his first year with the Patriots in 1995-96. In six seasons with the Patriots, Shaffer has an overall record of 51-24, and he has a nine-year career mark of 77-44-1. DeFilippis (New Providence, NJ/New Providence HS) was ranked nationally all season at 141 pounds and entered the NCAA Championships seeded fifth and ranked fifth in the nation by both Amateur Wrestling News and InterMat. He defeated James Madison's Pat Diaz to win the CAA title at 141 and advance for the second straight year to the NCAA Championships, where he won two matches and was within one victory of earning All-America honors when he injured his knee and was forced to default. DeFilippis finished the 2000-01 season with a 27-5 overall mark to increase his career record to 51-16. Howard (Gaithersburg, MD/Magruder HS) recorded an outstanding freshman campaign by posting a 21-5 mark at 165 pounds. He defeated American's Denis Alampiev to win the CAA title at 165 and advance to the NCAA Championships, where he entered the competition ranked 20th in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News. George Mason was 8-4 overall, 2-1 in the CAA, in 2000-01. The Patriots had six individual CAA champions and seven NCAA qualifiers, setting school records in both categories. Six of the NCAA qualifiers return to lead George Mason in 2001-02.
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