Grandfather Is Co-Captain On University Of Southern Maine Wrestling Team

Rick ChipmanRick Chipman is a scholar All-American wrestler at the University of Southern Maine, so it’s no surprise he was named co-captain of the Huskies in his senior year. What’s unique about Chipman, though, is that he’s 44 years old — and a grandfather.

Last weekend, Chipman finished his four-year collegiate wrestling career at the NCAA Division III Northeast regional tournament. “Wrestling with a fractured rib and at 174 pounds — two classes above his weight to make room for a teammate at 157 — Chipman lost on opening day,” Stuart Miller wrote in the Wall Street Journal. Chipman finished his collegiate career with a record of 32-46 and no postseason wins.

Chipman had been a high school wrestler in a small town in Maine, nearly winning the state championship twice, according to the Journal. He had dreams of wrestling in the Olympics, but Chipman’s high school coach advised him to try college, the Journal noted. Life happened to Chipman, as it often does, and circumstances forced him to drop out of college in his first year and start a career as an insurance salesman, and eventually a firefighter and paramedic.

Chipman always¬†had wondered how good he could’ve been had he wrestled in college, and at age 40, he enrolled at Southern Maine to prepare for his life after firefighting. Because of the NCAA’s rules on eligibility, he also got the chance to wrestle again. According to the Journal, Chipman added wrestling to a full course load, his 42 hours per week as a firefighter and his one full-day weekly shift as a paramedic.

Despite a less-than-stellar freshman season in which the Journal said Chipman was “ostracized by his teammates, ridiculed by his son (a fellow student on campus) and clobbered by opponents,” he persisted and will graduate from the university this spring. He made the dean’s list each semester and plans to enter law school in the fall.

Photo via Facebook/University of Southern Maine Wrestling

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