Boccella inducted into Hall of Fame
Kevin Boccella was among six individuals inducted into the Shippensburg University Athletics Hall of Fame last week.
The 2020 SU Athletics Hall of Fame class was announced in a pre-produced video ceremony that is availableonline here.
The 35th annual induction ceremony would normally have been held on campus during Homecoming weekend. The lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic prevented that.
The virtual ceremony features:
- biographical information about each inductee;
- a message from SU President Laurie Carter;
- and segments of Zoom videoconference interviews with each inductee.
Boccella’s NCAA record
Boccella is one of the most successful wrestlers from the first decade of Shippensburg’s transition from the NCAA Division I level to the NCAA Division II level. From 1998-2001, Boccella qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships in three of his four seasons, winning a pair of NCAA East Region Championships at 184 pounds and finishing as the national runner-up at 184 pounds as a junior in 2000.
As a junior in 1999-00, Boccella’s most successful season resulted in a second-place finish at 184 pounds at the NCAA Division II National Championships. He became the first Raider to make it to a Division II National Championships final. Boccella finished second to three-time national champion Steven Saxlund of North Dakota, who gained the lead with eight seconds remaining in the national championship match.
Boccella was injured earlier in the season, but overcame that setback to achieve the All-America classification. He was one of five Raiders to qualify for the NCAA Championships that season. With the combination of his performance and teammate Jeff Putt’s fourth-place finish at 125 pounds, the Raiders finished 12th overall at the 2000 NCAA Division II Championships.
As a senior in 2001, Boccella moved up to 197 pounds and was the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the nation at the weight class during the fall. He won the Binghamton Open and finished second at the Kutztown Invitational. He later qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year, and for the first time at 197 pounds.
His PSAC record
Also in his career, Boccella finished as a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships runner-up, an especially difficult feat given that half of the conference at the time was competing at the NCAA Division I level.
Boccella had a single-season career best for wins (30), achieved as a sophomore in 1999. He is one of just 12 Raider wrestlers in history to achieve at least 30 wins in a season.
His post-grad career
Boccella graduated from Shippensburg in 2001 with a degree in sociology. He was a graduate assistant coach at Chadron State before returning to Pennsylvania. He later returned to coach at his alma mater, Upper Merion High School; where he spent four years as head coach and four years as an assistant coach.
Boccella has worked for more than 12 years as a real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway. He recently returned to school to study physical therapy.
He and his wife of 13 years, Dana, are the proud parents of six-month-old fraternal twins, Lexi and Paxton.