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  • Cornell Alumni

Joe Mazzurco '06: 2x All-American and JP Morgan Chase Executive Director

When interviewing, JPMorgan Chase Executive Director Joe Mazzurco '06 said he often gravitates toward athletes.

"They're battle tested," he said. "It sounds cliche, but my years at Cornell taught me so many important things - perseverance, how to multi-task, being cool under pressure, and how to thrive in aggressive environments. It's all applicable in the real world."

As a high school senior, Mazzurco said he chose Cornell because of its optimal mix of academics and athletics.

"Cornell felt like the right decision at the time," he said. "And it definitely turned out that way."

The two-time Big Red team captain found success both on the mat and in the classroom in Ithaca. He was a two-time All-American, an EIWA champion (and three-time finalist), and also a multi-time Academic All-America honoree. For all his accomplishments and contributions to the program, he was inducted into the Cornell Wrestling Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Mazzurco finished with a 110-20 career record, while wrestling at four different classes, beginning at 157 pounds as a freshman and ending at 184.

He got his hand raised frequently at every weight, including a 41-4 showing as a junior, when he captured the 174-pound EIWA title and earned fifth at the NCAA tournament.

That year featured the victory he called his most memorable, over Travis Frick of Lehigh, in a battle of top 10 wrestlers at the conference championships.

"I was undefeated going into our dual with Lehigh, and he beat me pretty handily," Mazzurco said. "It was a big rematch [at the EIWAs] because we were battling it out in the team race. Clint [Wattenberg] '03 and I spent a lot of time game planning for [Frick], which wasn't something I did often, but it ended up working out. I won in overtime." He went on to major the top seed in the finals to win the EIWA championship.

The next year, as a senior, Mazzurco again made the podium at Nationals, this time nabbing sixth at 184 pounds.

But Big Red wrestling was about much more than awards for Mazzurco.

"It's such an unbelievable atmosphere," he said. "We're a family. We spent so much time together and I love my teammates and the coaching staff."

That's not a past tense statement. Mazzurco counts many of his college teammates among his closest friends today. In fact, a day after the interview for this article, Mazzurco was set to meet up with Mike Mormile '06 and together they were traveling to the wedding of another Big Red wrestling alum, John Cholish '06.

The alumni connections were also key for Mazzurco. He calls the Cornell alumni network "second to none" and "full of people willing to help."

While an undergrad, Mazzurco worked one summer at Merrill Lynch and then later had an internship set up through Cornell wrestling alum Mike Polo '93 at JP Morgan, which assisted in launching his career.

He worked in multiple departments within the company before moving to his current area, (Interest Rates Sales) where he's been for more than a decade.

Outside of work, Mazzurco coached his son's wrestling team for the first time last season and said he got many compliments on the Big Red's NCAA performance from the other parents.

"It was another time that I was so proud to say I'm an alum," he said. "There's no other place that offers the best of both worlds. It's not even close. If you have plans for furthering your career outside of wrestling, it's a no brainer. The Cornell alumni network has people doing great things in every area. If you want to continue wrestling for the long term, the record speaks for itself with the success of guys like Kyle Dake, Yianni Diakomihalis, and Vito Arujau. Cornell wrestlers compete at the highest levels. I couldn't have been happier with my experience and for me, Cornell should be at the top of everyone's wish list."

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