USA Wrestling Jon Jon Millner of A...

Jon Jon Millner of App State to miss NCAAs, finishes career as a program all-time great

By Appalachian State Athletics | March 13, 2023, 7:20 p.m. (ET)

Jon Jon Millner, Appalachian State, arm raised in victory
Jon Jon Millner of Appalachian State. Photo by Andy McLean, courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics.

BOONE, N.C. — A one-time North Carolina high school state champion who didn't immediately break into App State Wrestling's starting lineup, Jon Jon Millner closes his career as one of the all-time greats in program history.

Millner became App State's first four-time SoCon champion, making him a four-time NCAA Championships qualifier at 149 pounds. He earned All-America honors in each of his two NCAA appearances, with COVID canceling the 2020 tournament and an illness forcing him to withdraw from this week's 2023 event.

After winning his fourth SoCon title in his final match, Millner walked off the mat in the Holmes Center with a 121-24 career record to leave him No. 3 on the Mountaineers' career victories list.

Millner's success set an example in coach JohnMark Bentley's program and a standard of excellence for younger teammates, including five who will continue on to Tulsa, Okla., this week and chase dreams of becoming All-Americans or having a hand raised on the sport's biggest stage.

A native of Greensboro, N.C., Millner went 100-12 in his four years as a starter, with half of those losses occurring during deep NCAA runs in 2021 (eighth-place finish) and 2022 (sixth-place finish). In conference action, he finished with a 41-0 career record in SoCon duals and tournament matches — the highest win total with no losses in the league's modern history.

Millner has been many things beyond just an accomplished wrestler in Black and Gold.

A team leader and a fan favorite. A role model for kids and an ambassador for App State. A loving husband and devoted father of two young children.

During his time in Boone, App State won a combined seven SoCon team titles, including four regular season championships. The Mountaineers were 37-9 in duals and 28-2 in SoCon duals during Millner's four years as a starter, and he took pride in being someone his teammates could count upon to deliver team points toward a victory.

That mindset contributed to a 47-4 dual record with a run of 34 straight dual wins — the second-longest streak in school history behind Austin Trotman's 42 straight. He often put on shows for the home crowds, posting a 38-3 record in Varsity Gym to go with his unblemished 11-0 record in SoCon tournament matches at the Holmes Center.

He has contributed greatly to the rise and sustained excellence of a program that finished the 2022-23 dual season with a national dual team ranking of No. 20 thanks to a 12-2 record, including a win at No. 21 North Carolina. The Mountaineers have at least five NCAA qualifiers for the fourth straight year, with No. 5 seed Caleb Smith and Tommy Askey also securing SoCon titles. Will Miller, Will Formato and Ethan Oakley will also compete in Tulsa.