July 27, 2012
Pete Cornell, who earned All-America distinction in each of his three seasons wrestling at Michigan, passed away early Thursday (July 26) in Dawson, Georgia from injuries suffered from a highway accident.
Cornell and two of his friends were cycling from Edmonton, Alberta to the Florida Keys as part of 3500 journey when they were hit by a tractor trailer. One individual was able to walk away from the accident; the second friend suffered a broken neck and remains in critical condition.
As a U-M wrestler from 1967 to 1969, Cornell contributed three top 10 NCAA finishes placing 3rd at 167 lbs. in 1967, 5th at 167 lbs. in 1968 with a second place finish at 177 lbs. in 1969. He was twice a Big Ten finalist and his 51-11-1 record stands among the most successful in Wolverine wrestling history. He won 14 of those matches by pins for a 27.45 pin percentage. The average is the 19th best in U-M history.
He was only the sixth man in U-M wrestling history to serves as team captain for two years.
In his high school senior season, Cornell had a 26-0 record and won the 165 lbs. state title, leading Lansing Everett its one and only MHSAA team title.
In 2010, he was inducted in the Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame.
In an interesting side note, Cornell chose Michigan over Michigan State and Central Michigan because he was allowed to play freshmen football. He played both defensive and tight end.
Following his graduation from Michigan (with a B.A. in history), Cornell spent 40-plus years working in real estate in the Ann Arbor area. He served as the CEO and President of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors for more than 10 years. The organization has 1,300 real estate professionals in and around the Washtenaw County area.
For a link to the obituary and information on Memorial Service: