Sepp Dobler '93
Year Inducted: 2008
As part of Brown’s superb wrestling teams of the early 1990’s, Sepp Dobler was still a standout. A three-time NCAA qualifier, 1992 EIWA Champion, and two-time All-Ivy honoree at 150 pounds, Dobler compiled a record of 67-20 in his four seasons, overcoming adversity with a tenacious work ethic.
Dobler’s career actually started one season later than expected, as an early-season injury cost him what would have been his freshman season. However, Dobler came back the following season healthy, going 6-5-2 on the year, 4-3-2 in dual matches.
However, Dobler transformed himself during the summer of 1990, coming back to Brown a changed wrestler. In the winter of 1990-91, he had his first dominant season, going 20-6 and losing just one of 11 dual matches. He made it to the championship match at 150 pounds at the EIWA Championship, just barely losing a tight match to Cornell’s Jason Roach, but qualifying for his first NCAA Championship just the same. He was named Second Team All-Ivy, and received the Bears’ awards as the team’s Most Improved and Most Dedicated wrestler.
Fueled by his near-miss at Easterns, Dobler came back even better in the 1991-92 season. He swept his way through the campaign, winning an EIWA Championship by avenging his previous loss to Roach in the final, and entering the NCAA Championship undefeated at 20-0. He went 1-2 at NCAAs for a final record of 21-2. First Team All-Ivy at 150, Dobler was named the Bears’ Unsung Hero. The team went 19-3, placing third at EIWAs as he and six teammates all had 20 or more wins, with Joe Mocco and Steve Thoma joining him in winning Eastern Championships.
A team captain as a senior, Dobler again had to deal with injuries, coming back from what was at one point described as a career-ending knee injury to still make the Bears’ starting lineup and compete at Easterns. However, in the week before the tournament, Dobler suffered a cracked rib during practice. Although able to compete after rehabbing, Dobler finished fourth as the Bears placed second, their highest finish ever. Dobler still received a wild card berth at NCAAs, his third time qualifying. He ended the year with a 20-7 record, joining seven other Bears with 20 or more victories, and posted his second 10-1 dual record. He was named the team’s Most Dedicated wrestler for the second time, also winning the Don Van Heest Award for coming back from adversity.