Lee Roy Smith
Executive Director
National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum
405 W. Hall of Fame Ave.
Stillwater, OK 74075
Phone: (405) 377-5243
Fax: (405) 377-5244
http://www.wrestlinghalloffame.org

Dan Gable Day to be declared by governor

WATERLOO—Iowa’s greatest sports figure and Iowa’s longest serving governor will be the focal point of a special presentation in Waterloo. Iowa governor Terry Branstad will declare October 25, 2012, as Dan Gable Day statewide with a special proclamation to be read at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.

Gable was born in Waterloo, Iowa, on October 25, 1948. He turns 64 on the day of the presentation.

“Dan Gable embodies commitment, perseverance, and dedication—values that are the foundation of the great state of Iowa and its people,” said Branstad. “I am honored be part of this historic event.”

Gable won three individual state wrestling titles at West Waterloo (1964-1966) and compiled a 64-0 career high school record. He went on to win two individual NCAA titles at Iowa State University with a career college record of 117-1. Gable won an Olympic gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics without surrendering a point.

Gable went on to lead the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA championships and 21 consecutive Big 10 titles in 21 seasons (1977-1997) during his tenure as head wrestling coach. In 2000, Sports Illustrated named him the top sports in the state. There are three statues throughout the state dedicated to Dan Gable’s legacy.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with a reception at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. A short program will begin at 10 a.m. with comments from Governor Branstad and Dan Gable. The proclamation declaring October 25, 2012, as Dan Gable Day will be read aloud by Governor Branstad.

National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum announces Class of 2012

(RELEASE COURTESY KIRSTA GRAFF, NATIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME) STILLWATER, Okla. - Two World champions, a successful coach and wrestler, and the heaviest athlete in Olympic history will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum on June 1-2, 2012 in Stillwater.

Distinguished Members selected for the Class of 2012 include Fred Fozzard, Stephen Neal, Greg Strobel and Chris Taylor.

"We are fortunate to have such a rich heritage of wrestling in the United States and the Class of 2012 certainly perpetuates this sport's extraordinary legacy," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. "I am excited that our Hall of Fame gets to honor such a prestigious and diverse group."

Fozzard made history at the 1969 World Championships in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. He joined Rick Sanders as this country's first World champions in freestyle wrestling. Fozzard was also a three-time All-American for Oklahoma State, winning an NCAA title in 1967.

Neal won the 1999 World Championships in Ankara, Turkey. He competed for California State-Bakersfield, winning NCAA titles in 1998 and 1999. Neal went on to a successful career with the New England Patriots despite never playing football in college and was part of three Super Bowl championship teams.

Strobel excelled as a wrestler, coach, and as a wrestling leader. He won NCAA titles for Oregon State in 1973 and 1974, and was the head wrestling coach at Lehigh from 1994-1998. Strobel also coached on the 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams and was in leadership positions for the NCAA and USA Wrestling.

Taylor, the heaviest competitor in Olympic history, won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in freestyle wrestling. He also competed in the Greco-Roman division the same year. Taylor was an NCAA champion for Iowa State in 1972 and 1973 following his junior college career at Muskegon Community College. He died in 1979.

Four special award winners will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. These recipients have contributed to the sport's viability and success in uniquely different ways.

The Medal of Courage, given to a wrestler who has overcome insurmountable challenges, is being awarded to Anthony Robles. Robles, who was born with one leg, earned three NCAA All-American honors while claiming the 2011 NCAA title at 125 pounds for Arizona State University. He is now an assistant wrestling coach for the Sun Devils.

Bill Lied, Jr. will be honored posthumously with the Lifetime Achievement for Officials award. He was honored by FILA as "first category exceptional" for life. Lied was an official for many international tournaments, including the 1964 Olympic Games.

Al Bevilacqua will receive the Order of Merit for his contributions to the advancement of wrestling. Bevilacqua has been coaching and promoting wrestling for 47 years as an organizer, administrator, teacher, and coach at the national and state levels. He is also one of the founders of Beat the Streets New York City wrestling program.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame will honor two recipients with the Outstanding American Award in 2012. This year's winners are Chris Bevilacqua and Andrew Barth.

Chris Bevilacqua, a two-time All-American for Penn State, is the founder and CEO of Bevilacqua Media Company, whose mission is to be a principal investor and strategic advisor for media and entertainment assets. Prior to forming BMC, Bevilacqua was the CEO of Creative Artist Agency (CAA) Sports Media Ventures, Co-Founder of CSTV which was sold to CBS Sports in 2005 and Global Director of Negotiations for Nike Inc., from 1994-1999.

Chris is also the son of Al, which makes these honorees the first father and son to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in the same year.

Barth was a member of the varsity wrestling team at Columbia University from 1979-1983 and co-captain of the team his senior year. He represented the New York Athletic Club in Greco-Roman and freestyle events from 1980-1985. Upon graduation from the Columbia Business School in 1985, Barth moved to Los Angelis to begin working for The Capital Group, a global financial investment firm as a financial analyst. Today, Barth is Chairman of the Capital Guardian Trust Company.

In September 2005, Barth made a gift to fully endow the head wrestling coaches' position at Columbia, creating the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling position.

If you would like to attend the inductions please contact the Hall of Fame to receive an invitation to be mailed by March 2012. For more information on Honors Weekend contact Krista Graff at (405) 377-5243 or kgraff@nwhof.org.

National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum announces Class of 2012

STILLWATER, Okla. - Two World champions, a successful coach and wrestler, and the heaviest athlete in Olympic history will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum on June 1-2, 2012 in Stillwater.

Distinguished Members selected for the Class of 2012 include Fred Fozzard, Stephen Neal, Greg Strobel and Chris Taylor.

"We are fortunate to have such a rich heritage of wrestling in the United States and the Class of 2012 certainly perpetuates this sport's extraordinary legacy," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. "I am excited that our Hall of Fame gets to honor such a prestigious and diverse group."

Fozzard made history at the 1969 World Championships in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. He joined Rick Sanders as this country's first World champions in freestyle wrestling. Fozzard was also a three-time All-American for Oklahoma State, winning an NCAA title in 1967.

Neal won the 1999 World Championships in Ankara, Turkey. He competed for California State-Bakersfield, winning NCAA titles in 1998 and 1999. Neal went on to a successful career with the New England Patriots despite never playing football in college and was part of three Super Bowl championship teams.

Strobel excelled as a wrestler, coach, and as a wrestling leader. He won NCAA titles for Oregon State in 1973 and 1974, and was the head wrestling coach at Lehigh from 1994-1998. Strobel also coached on the 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams and was in leadership positions for the NCAA and USA Wrestling.

Taylor, the heaviest competitor in Olympic history, won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in freestyle wrestling. He also competed in the Greco-Roman division the same year. Taylor was an NCAA champion for Iowa State in 1972 and 1973 following his junior college career at Muskegon Community College. He died in 1979.

Four special award winners will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. These recipients have contributed to the sport's viability and success in uniquely different ways.

The Medal of Courage, given to a wrestler who has overcome insurmountable challenges, is being awarded to Anthony Robles. Robles, who was born with one leg, earned three NCAA All-American honors while claiming the 2011 NCAA title at 125 pounds for Arizona State University. He is now an assistant wrestling coach for the Sun Devils.

Bill Lied, Jr. will be honored posthumously with the Lifetime Achievement for Officials award. He was honored by FILA as "first category exceptional" for life. Lied was an official for many international tournaments, including the 1964 Olympic Games.

Al Bevilacqua will receive the Order of Merit for his contributions to the advancement of wrestling. Bevilacqua has been coaching and promoting wrestling for 47 years as an organizer, administrator, teacher, and coach at the national and state levels. He is also one of the founders of Beat the Streets New York City wrestling program.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame will honor two recipients with the Outstanding American Award in 2012. This year's winners are Chris Bevilacqua and Andrew Barth.

Chris Bevilacqua, a two-time All-American for Penn State, is the founder and CEO of Bevilacqua Media Company, whose mission is to be a principal investor and strategic advisor for media and entertainment assets. Prior to forming BMC, Bevilacqua was the CEO of Creative Artist Agency (CAA) Sports Media Ventures, Co-Founder of CSTV which was sold to CBS Sports in 2005 and Global Director of Negotiations for Nike Inc., from 1994-1999.

Chris is also the son of Al, which makes these honorees the first father and son to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in the same year.

Barth was a member of the varsity wrestling team at Columbia University from 1979-1983 and co-captain of the team his senior year. He represented the New York Athletic Club in Greco-Roman and freestyle events from 1980-1985. Upon graduation from the Columbia Business School in 1985, Barth moved to Los Angelis to begin working for The Capital Group, a global financial investment firm as a financial analyst. Today, Barth is Chairman of the Capital Guardian Trust Company.

In September 2005, Barth made a gift to fully endow the head wrestling coaches' position at Columbia, creating the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling position.

If you would like to attend the inductions please contact the Hall of Fame to receive an invitation to be mailed by March 2012. For more information on Honors Weekend contact Krista Graff at (405) 377-5243 or kgraff@nwhof.org.

California's Morgan McIntosh Wins the 2011 Dave Schultz High School Excellence National Award

STILLWATER, Okla. - Morgan McIntosh, a high school senior from Calvary Chapel High School in Santa Ana, California, has been selected as the national winner of the 2011 Dave Schultz High School Excellence National Award presented by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum.

The High School Excellence Award is named in honor of Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz. Each award recipient is evaluated on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship, and community service.

McIntosh was selected from the 49 state winners and five regional winners that were announced on April 19.

"Dave Schultz was an outstanding college wrestler as well as one of the greatest international wrestlers to come out of America," said McIntosh. "He represented the United States by competing in different countries around the world and became an influential ambassador for the sport of wrestling.

"This honor is extremely gratifying and humbling because I was chosen out of thousands of high school wrestlers in the United States."

McIntosh compiled a career record of 189-5 with 128 pins. He was a three-time state champion and a freestyle national champion at USA Wrestling's Junior Nationals in 2010. McIntosh was also a double junior Western Regional champion in 2008 in freestyle and Greco-Roman, a 2010 Ironman champion, and a two-time Flo Nationals champion.

His community service includes being involved with the Calvary Chapel hydroponic project, which included a mission trip to Mexico to construct and maintain the unit near Ensenada. McIntosh was also the only high school student to go on the tsunami relief trip to America Samoa in 2009 to help rebuild a devastated village. In addition, he volunteers as a coach with Team Thunder Kids, as well as assisting with camps and clinics. He maintains a 3.2 weighted GPA and plans to attend Penn State this fall.

"Morgan McIntosh is an outstanding recipient of this honor," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum. "He has balanced his priorities both on and off the mat with humility and a keen sense of purpose in academics, wrestling and community."

McIntosh will attend Honors Week on June 8-9 to accept the award. The following is a list of previous award winners:

Dave Schultz High School Excellence National Winners

1996 David Kjeldgaard, Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa
1997 Jeff Knupp, Walsh Jesuit High School, Akron, Ohio
1998 Garrett Lowney, Freedom High School, Appelton, Wisconsin
and Justin Ruiz, Taylorsville High School, Salt Lake City, Utah
1999 Zach Roberson, Blue Valley North West High School, Overland Park, Kansas
2000 Ben Connell, Lugoff-Elgin High School, Lugoff, South Carolina
2001 Steven Mocco, Blair Academy, Blairstown, New Jersey
2002 Teyon Ware, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Oklahoma
2003 C. P. Schlatter, St. Paul Graham High School, Urbana, Ohio
2004 Coleman Scott, Waynesburg High School, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
2005 Troy Nickerson, Chenango Forks High School, Chenango Forks, New York
2006 David Craig, Brandon High School, Brandon, Florida
2007 Zachary Sanders, Wabasha-Kellog High School, Wabasha, Minnesota
2008 Jason Chamberlain, Springville High School, Springville, Utah
2009 David Taylor, Graham High School, St. Paris, Ohio
2010 Logan Steiber, Monroeville High School, Monroeville, Ohio
National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum Announces Class of 2011

STILLWATER, Okla. - The nation's first undefeated four-time NCAA champion, Cael Sanderson, joins three other of America's best wrestlers chosen for induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum on June 8-9, 2011 in Stillwater.

Distinguished Members selected along with Sanderson for the Class of 2011 include Dennis Hall, Dan Brand and Richard Delgado, posthumously.

"This is another outstanding class of inductees," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. "I am excited that our Hall of Fame gets to honor such a prestigious group whose legacies span over 60 years of wrestling in this country."

Sanderson made history by becoming the first four-time undefeated NCAA Division I champion in collegiate history. The former Iowa State star went 159-0 from 1999 through 2002. He capped his career by winning a Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Hall won the World Championships in 1995, becoming only the second wrestler in American history to win a World title in the Greco-Roman discipline. He placed third at the 1994 World Championships and won a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also won 10 U.S. National titles.

Brand was a seven-time national champion in freestyle and Greco-Roman. He made two Olympic teams, placing fifth in 1960 and third in 1964 at 191.5 pounds. Brand was a member of both the 1965 Greco-Roman and Freestyle World Championship Teams finishing fifth in Greco-Roman and fourth in Freestyle, while earning a bronze medal at the 1966 World Championships.

Delgado was an NCAA champion for the University of Oklahoma in 1957 and in 1958, while claiming his second national collegiate title, he was selected the championship's most outstanding wrestler. He was also a member of the 1956 Olympic team and the 1954 World team at 114.5 pounds.

Four special award winners will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. These recipients have contributed to the sport's viability and success in uniquely different ways.

The Medal of Courage, given to a wrestler who has overcome insurmountable challenges, is being awarded to Bob McPhee. McPhee, a high school wrestler with a promising career ahead of him, was paralyzed during a football scrimmage leading into his senior year.

Sonny Greenhalgh will receive the Order of Merit for his contributions to the advancement of wrestling. Greenhalgh's involvement with the New York Athletic Club has produced 21 U.S. Olympians, 73 U.S. World Team members, and 28 National team championships.

Mike McCormick will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement for Officials award. McCormick has officiated 16 NCAA Division I tournaments, including 13 championship finals.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame's prestigious Outstanding American award recipient will be announced in January 2011.

The Class of 2011 will be inducted in Stillwater, Okla., June 8-9. The event will mark the 35th anniversary class of the Hall of Fame and Museum and will take place prior to the World Team Trials being held in Oklahoma City on June 11-12.

For more information on Honors Weekend contact Krista Graff at (405) 377-5243.
National Wrestling Hall of Fame to Pilot Rivalries Revealed Program for the 154th Edition of the Bedlam Series

STILLWATER, Okla. - The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum will host its first Rivalries Revealed program inside the museum in Stillwater on Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. prior to the Bedlam wrestling dual between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The program will feature former OSU NCAA champion Kenny Monday and OU All-American Roger Frizzell reflecting on their days of competing in the Bedlam meet.

"The Rivalries Revealed program is an attempt to celebrate the heritage of wrestling's greatest collegiate rivalries while building anticipation for the dual with fans," says Hall of Fame Executive Director Lee Roy Smith, himself a veteran of Bedlam competition.

Longtime wrestling broadcaster J Carl Guymon will moderate discussion between Frizzell and Monday about their Bedlam memories and will also offer a weight-by-weight preview of the upcoming dual.

"Wrestling rivalries need to be spotlighted because of what they mean to the wrestlers, coaches, teams, alumni and public," Smith says. "We want not only to preserve the heritage of these rivalries, but also to inspire the next generation of wrestlers and fans to appreciate what they represent."

Monday is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame who was inducted in 1999. Roger Frizzell was inducted in the Oklahoma Chapter of the Hall of Fame as an Outstanding American in 2010. Rivalries Revealed is free to the public.

Rivalries Revealed will be broadcast live on LiveSportsVideo.com for free. For more information on Rivalries Revealed contact Krista Graff at (405) 377-5243.

Biographies on Kenny Monday and Roger Frizzell:

As an athlete, Roger Frizzell was a three-time High School State Champion for Midwest City High School, and went on to become a four-time NCAA Wrestling All American (1980, '81, '82,'83) for the University of Oklahoma while establishing a new career wins record for the Sooner Wrestling upon graduation. He was a national AAU freestyle champion and earned a silver and bronze medal in the US Senior Freestyle National Championships. Today, Frizzell is the Chief Communications Officer and Vice President of Corporate Communications for American Airlines. "Wrestling provides us with a foundation that serves us well throughout our lives," said Frizzell. "The lessons we learn about determination, commitment, hard work, discipline and goal setting are the very same principles that provide a framework for success in business and in other areas of life."

No matter what the calendar said, when Kenny Monday stepped onto a mat it was always "MON-day night!" Poise, patience and mental toughness propelled Kenny Monday to Olympic gold in 1988, silver in 1992 and sixth in 1996. Monday won a gold medal at the 1989 World Championships and silver in 1991. At Booker T. Washington, Monday chalked up an almost unblemished record of 140-0-1. He amassed four state high school championships at four different weights, tucking in a 1977 Junior Nationals title along the way. At OSU, Kenny ran up a career record of 121-12-2. Twice a runner-up, Monday captured an NCAA title in 1984. He ranked second on OSU's all-time list for falls. Monday re-joined the OSU Wrestling Program as its Club Coach in the fall of 2010 after 11 years of coaching the Team Monday Wrestling Club in Dallas, Texas.

OU/OSU Bedlam Series results during Monday and Frizzell era:
Dec 15, 1979, OSU won the dual 22-17
Roger Frizzell dec. Terry Jones 6-2 @150lbs.

Feb 9, 1980, OSU won the dual 16-13
Roger Frizzell dec Terry Jones 5-1 @150lbs.
(Frizzell - 1980 NCAA All-American 4th place at 150lbs.)

Dec 13, 1980, OU won the dual 30-8
Andre Metzger pinned Kenny Monday @142lbs.
Roger Frizzell dec. Matt Skove 2-1 @150lbs.

Feb 20, 1981, OU won the dual 28-15
Andre Metzger dec. Kenny Monday 8-4 @142lbs.
Roger Frizzell dec. Matt Skove 4-2 @150lbs.
(Frizzell - 1981 NCAA All-American 3rd at 150lbs.)

Dec 11, 1981, OU won the dual 26-14
Roger Frizzell dec. Peter Yee 12-4 @142lbs.
Kenny Monday tied Andre Metzger 6-6 @150lbs.

Feb 19, 1982, OSU won the dual 20-17
Kenny Monday dec. Roger Frizzell 8-2 @150lbs.
(Frizzell - 1982 NCAA All-American 3rd at 150lbs.)
(Monday - 1982 NCAA All-American 2nd at 150lbs.)

Dec. 11, 1982, OSU won the dual 22-14
Kenny Monday dec. Roger Frizzell 7-5 @150lbs.

Feb. 19, 1983, OSU won the dual 21-17
Kenny Monday pinned Glenn Goodman @150lbs.
Matt Skove dec. Roger Frizzell 7-3 @158lbs.
(Frizzell - 1983 NCAA All-American 3rd at 150lbs.)
(Monday -1983 NCAA All-American 2nd at 150lbs.)

Dec 9, 1983, OSU won the dual 27-13
Kenny Monday pinned Darren Abel @150lbs.
(Monday - 1984 NCAA All-American 1st at 150 lbs.)
Legendary Movie

Wrestling season will soon be upon us and I encourage you to review your favorite wrestling teams schedule and attend their competitions this season.

If you have yet to see the recent movie "Legendary," produced by WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), I want to recommend that you either purchase or rent this movie staring professional wrestler John Cena. To preview trailers of the movie please click on the following link:

http://www.legendarythemovie.com/

I think you will agree once you see the movie that the writers, producers, and actors did a good job of portraying the sport in an authentic and positive light!
Iowa Great McIlravy Wrestling Hall of Fame induction

Lincoln McIlravy, Olympic medalist and past Iowa wrestling star, will be inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this weekend in Stillwater, Okla. Please share his Hall of Fame biography and Honors Weekend information with your media.

We can arrange an interview with Lincoln while he is at the Hall of Fame inductions this weekend. Please contact Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at 719-659-9637 cell or via email at gabbott@usawrestling.org to set up interview arrangements.

--
Lincoln McIlravy, Iowa City, Iowa Distinguished Member

One of the most intense competitors ever to step on a wrestling mat, Lincoln McIlravy pursued championships from the time he was a very small boy.

He started his run of national championships early, winning both Cadet and Junior national freestyle titles. He won five state championships for Philip High School in South Dakota and compiled a record of 200-25, piling up school records for most falls, most takedowns and most consecutive falls.

In 1993, he won the NCAA tournament as a 142-pound true freshman, coming from five points down with 45 seconds left in the finals to defeat Fresno State's Gerry Abas, 16-15. As a sophomore he moved up a weight class, won his first Big Ten title and repeated as NCAA champ. As a junior, he was on a 52-match winning streak heading into the NCAA finals when the unexpected happened-Illinois' Steve Marianetti scored a 13-10 upset in the finals, depriving McIlravy of the chance to become a four-time NCAA champion.

An Olympic redshirt year in 1996 allowed McIlravy to focus on trying to make the U.S. team for the Atlanta Olympic Games. He finished second in the U.S. Open Freestyle Championships and third in the Olympic trials. In 1997, returning to collegiate competition, he won his third Big Ten title and his third NCAA title. Overall, he finished his college career as a four-time All-American with a 96-3-12 record.

Shortly after finishing his senior season, he won the first of four National Open Championships and qualified for his first U.S. World team. He won the 1998 Goodwill Games, placed third in the 1998 World Championships and was second in the World in 1999. In 2000, he won a freestyle bronze medal in the Olympic Games in Sydney.
After a stint as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, McIlravy served as USA Wrestling's National Freestyle Resident Coach for 2001-2002.

As a fierce competitor at every level of wrestling, Lincoln McIlravy is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
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MEDIA ADVISORY

NATIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME HONORS WEEKEND
Stillwater, Okla., June 4-5

Media is invited to attend the Honors Weekend activities, and interview any and all of this year's inductees, which include:

Distinguished Members

David Auble of Ithaca, N.Y.
Russ Camillieri of Richland, Mo.
Rulon Gardner of Logan, Utah
Lincoln McIlravy of Iowa City, Iowa
Auble was a 1964 Olympian, 1959 Pan American Games champion and 1962 World fourth place finisher in freestyle wrestling. He won two NCAA titles for Cornell University (1959-60).
Camillieri was a two-time Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling (1960, 1964). He won six AAU National freestyle titles and six AAU National Greco-Roman titles and was Outstanding Wrestler six of those times. He competed for San Jose State.
Gardner was a 2000 Olympic champion, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and 2001 World champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. He won four U.S. National Greco-Roman titles, and was an All-American at the Univ. of Nebraska.
McIlravy won a 2000 Olympic bronze medal, a 1999 World silver medal and 1998 World bronze medal in freestyle wrestling, and was a three-time NCAA champion for the University of Iowa.

Other award winners include

Outstanding American, Chief Chad Smith of Tahlequah, Okla.
Order of Merit, Dr. Bernard Feldman of Palos Park, Ill.
Medal of Courage, Rick Yarosh of Windsor, N.Y.
Lifetime Achievement for Officials, Jim Ramirez of Arkansas City, Kansas

Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winner Logan Stieber of Monroeville, Ohio
A high school wrestler, Smith has been the Principle Chief of the second largest Indian tribe in the United States since 1999, the Cherokee Nation. Feldman has served the U.S. National and International Teams as a team physician since 1983 including five Olympic Games. Yarosh, an accomplished high school wrestler, suffered burns on his entire body when his tank hit an explosive in Baghdad in 2006. Ramirez is one of the most accomplished collegiate and folkstyle officials in the nation having officiated 16 straight NCAA Div. I National Championships. Stieber is a four-time state champion in Ohio, a bronze-medalist at the U.S. Senior Freestyle Open, and a multiple national champion in the international styles.

Honors Weekend begins Friday, June 4 at 6:00 p.m with the Reception and Unveiling of Plaques. On Saturday, June 5, the Golf outing will be followed by a luncheon at noon. The 34th Honors Banquet will be hosted at the OSU Student Union Ballroom on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

To set up media opportunities, contact Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at 719-659-9637 cell
Ohio's Logan Stieber Wins the 2010 Dave Schultz High School Excellence National Award

STILLWATER, Okla. - Logan Stieber, a high school senior from Monroeville High School in Monroeville, Ohio has been selected as the national winner of the 2010 Dave Schultz High School Excellence National Award presented by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum.

The High School Excellence Award is named in honor of Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz. Each award recipient is evaluated on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship, and community service.

Stieber was selected from the 49 state winners and five regional winners that were announced one week ago.

"I never knew Dave Schultz personally but Jeff Jordan, one of my mentors, talked a lot about what type of a wrestler and person he was," said Stieber. "It is really humbling to get this award and I hope someday I will be as good of a wrestler as Dave Schultz."

Stieber's high school career record stands at 184-1. He is a four-time state high school champion and was named Ohio Wrestler of the Year in 2010. He is also a three-time USA Wrestling National champion in freestyle as well as a National Champion in Greco-Roman on the Cadet and Junior levels. In addition, he is a FILA Junior National Champion in Freestyle and placed third in the US Senior Freestyle Open and fourth in the Senior World Team Trials in 2009.

Stieber also participates in other activities such as Spanish Club, FFA, Renaissance, and is a member of the Student Council. He was also the class Vice President for the 2009-2010 academic year. His academic achievements include a 3.78 GPA, recipient of the Presidential Education Academic Award, the Award of Merit, Wendy's Heisman Award as well as being a member of the National Honors Society. He will be attending Ohio State University this fall.

"The selection committee felt that Logan combined an impressive balance of excellence in his academic and wrestling credentials while being an active participant in school activities and giving back to his community in the form of community service," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum.

Stieber will attend Honors Weekend on June 4 and 5 to personally accept the award. Following is a list of previous award winners:

Dave Schultz High School Excellence National Winners

1996 David Kjeldgaard, Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa
1997 Jeff Knupp, Walsh Jesuit High School, Akron, Ohio
1998 Garrett Lowney, Freedom High School, Appelton, Wisconsin
and Justin Ruiz, Taylorsville High School, Salt Lake City, Utah
1999 Zach Roberson, Blue Valley North West High School, Overland Park, Kansas
2000 Ben Connell, Lugoff-Elgin High School, Lugoff, South Carolina
2001 Steven Mocco, Blair Academy, Blairstown, New Jersey
2002 Teyon Ware, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Oklahoma
2003 C. P. Schlatter, St. Paul Graham High School, Urbana, Ohio
2004 Coleman Scott, Waynesburg High School, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
2005 Troy Nickerson, Chenango Forks High School, Chenango Forks, New York
2006 David Craig, Brandon High School, Brandon, Florida
2007 Zachary Sanders, Wabasha-Kellog High School, Wabasha, Minnesota
2008 Jason Chamberlain, Springville High School, Springville, Utah
2009 David Taylor, Graham High School, St. Paris, Ohio
National Hall of Fame to Spotlight Native American Tribute at NCAA DI Championships


NCAA And National Wrestling Hall Of Fame And Museum To Spotlight The Native American Wrestling Experience At Championships Tribute to include live entertainment and autograph session

March 5, 2010
STILLWATER OK...The NCAA and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum (NWHOFM) are featuring a tribute to The Native American Wrestling Experience during this year's 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Neb.

"We are extremely excited to be able to bring awareness to the wrestling community on the many contributions the indigenous peoples of North America have woven into the sport's evolution," said Lee Roy Smith, executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. "We have assembled a group of Native Americans who have excelled in the sport and in life to participate in an exciting program that fans will not want to miss."

NCAA Fan Festival emcee Don Blasingame will engage former NCAA wrestling champions Ray Miller, Mark Branch, Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chad Smith, and several more Native American panelists. This presentation will take place from 5 - 6:15 p.m. Central on Thursday, March 18, on the main stage of the NCAA Fan Festival in Exhibit Hall C of the Qwest Convention Center. Admission to the NCAA Fan Festival is free.

The Hay-Lush-Ka Singers and Dancers from the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska will provide live entertainment before and after the program, and an autograph session with the panelists will take place immediately following the presentation.

All attendees at the Native American Wrestling Hall of Fame Presentation will receive a free 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships poster prior to the autograph session.

In conjunction with the presentation, the NWHOFM will have The Native American Wrestling Experience exhibit on display at the NCAA Fan Festival throughout the championship event.

The NWHOFM has published a book for the exhibit entitled The Native American Wrestling Experience: A Quiet Contribution. The 44-page booklet, authored by Roger Moore, features several wrestling legends that have been passed along for generations within the Native American culture.

The book also sheds light on the personal stories of those individual Native Americans who have excelled in the sport of wrestling, as well as providing an outline for the exhibit.

The NWHOFM will also be hosting its annual Champions Reunion in Room 213 of the Qwest Convention Center immediately following the first session of competition on Thursday, March 18. All former NCAA Champions, USA Olympians and Hall of Fame members are invited to engage in fellowship with fans and each other before the Native American Fan Fest program.

Advanced reservations are required for the Champions Reunion. Anyone interested in attending the reunion, or in purchasing the book on Native American Wrestling can contact the NWHOFM at 405/377-5243 or online at www.wrestlinghalloffame.org.

In addition to The Native American Wrestling Experience, the NCAA Fan Festival will feature other wrestling exhibit booths, displays, memorabilia, interactive games, souvenirs, and food and beverage sales.

Other NCAA Fan Festival events scheduled for Thursday, March 18, include free access to the USA Wrestling team practice and an autograph session with Wrestling Hall of Fame inductees Pat Smith, Ed Banach, Gray Simons, Olympian Brad Vering and former NCAA national champion Dave Martin. These five individuals represent former NCAA national champions from the past five decades.

The 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will take place March 18 - 20, at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb. For more information on the wrestling championships, log on to NCAA.com/wrestling.
Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award Winners Announced for 49 States

STILLWATER, Okla. -- The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum has selected its 2009 state and regional winners of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award as part of its Educational Outreach Program. Forty-nine seniors from those states that sponsor high school state wrestling championships have been chosen for the honor.

The High School Excellence Award is named in honor of Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz. Each award recipient is evaluated on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship, and community service.

"A graduate of Palo Alto High School and the University of Oklahoma, Dave Schultz was one of the most respected high school, collegiate, and international wrestlers the United States has ever had," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Regarded as a tireless competitor and supreme technician on the mat, Schultz was beloved throughout the world of amateur wrestling for his friendliness and eagerness to lend help or advice to teammates and opponents alike. He was inducted into the sport's Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 1997.

Since the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award's inception in 1996, the Wrestling Hall of Fame has recognized 579 student-wrestlers. The national award winner will be chosen from the state and regional winners and announced on April 30. The winner will attend Honors Weekend on June 5 and 6 to personally accept the award.

For the third straight year, the High School Excellence program will include a leadership camp for those individuals selected for the award.

"Thanks to a grant from a private foundation, we are pleased to provide the winners of our Dave Schultz Award with the opportunity to attend an all-expense-paid leadership camp from June 15-18 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.," Smith said.

USA Wrestling, the sport's governing body, will host the camp at the Olympic Training Center.
"USA Wrestling is equally excited to join the Hall of Fame in providing a world class program at the Olympic Training Center for the student-athletes chosen to participate in this camp," said Rich Bender, USAW Executive Director. "The camp agenda will include instructional sessions with our freestyle and Greco Roman national coaches and wrestlers, and will also feature presentations on sport psychology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, leadership development and public speaking, all presented by experts in the field."

Part of the foundation's funding criteria requires that, prior to the camp, the award winners speak to youth groups in their communities on the benefits of participating in extra curricular activities like athletics.

Smith said the leadership and public speaking sessions will help student-athletes become more effective in sharing their personal success stories with young people.

"These student-wrestlers are role models in their communities and have an opportunity to influence young people in a very meaningful way. Statistics show that both male and female students are more likely to stay in school, graduate, and become more productive citizens when they are involved in extra curricular activities and after school programs like sports, theater, debate and music."

The five regional winners are:
Northeast Region - Alexander Ekstrom compiled a record of 226-19 in winning four New York State AA high school championships for Palmyra Macedon High School in Palmyra, N.Y. As a senior, he was honored with the "Most Outstanding Wrestler" award while competing in the 135 pound weight class. He is also a freestyle state champion and was a national folkstyle champion in 2008. In addition, he won the Sportsmanship Award for Section V in 2007 and 2008. He serves as a Pee Wee Wrestling Volunteer Coach and Officiates Pee Wee Tournaments. He also received an Internship with the Middle School Physical Education program, where he serves as a motivational speaker to students. Ekstrom also participates in the Palmyra Rotary Club and serves as a mentor for youth in the area. He carries a 3.38 G.P.A. and will be attending the University of Oklahoma next fall as a student-wrestler.

Midwest Region - David Taylor is from Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio. and has a career record of 180-2. He is a four-time state high school champion and in each of the last two years was named Ohio Wrestler of the Year. Taylor was the Outstanding Wrestler of the 2009 state tournament. He is a Cadet and Junior National Freestyle and Greco-Roman Champion and FILA Junior World Team member. He was also named to the 2008 Asics All-America First Team. He has won championships at the Beast of the East and Ironman tournaments. His community service activities include being a member and officer of the 4-H Club, where he has won numerous awards including an Ohio State Championship in barrel racing. In addition, he enjoys spending his off-time to "roll around" with youth wrestlers. Taylor is ranked in the top 10 of his graduating class and carries a 4.0 G.P.A. He will be attending Iowa State University next fall.

Central Region - Dallas Bailey is from Catoosa High School in Catoosa, Okla. With a career record of 132-5, he won four Oklahoma 4A wrestling championships. He was selected to compete in both the Dapper Dan Classic and Dream Team Dual Meets in 2009. In addition, he earned 2008 All-America honors at the USA Wrestling Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D., and was Outstanding Wrestler at the Beat of the East Tournament. As a FILA Cadet, he was a national runner up. He donates his time with the wrestling program at Versus Athletic Training Facility in Tulsa and serves as a mentor for the Boys and Girls Club of Tulsa. In addition, he volunteers to clean up the high school campus, and participates in various church activities. Aside from being a National Honor Society member and Valedictorian of his class, Bailey is president of the Student Council at his school. He carries a 4.18 weighted G.P.A. and will attend Oklahoma State University next fall.

West Region - RJ Pena is from Sprague High School in Salem, Ore. His career record of 160-3 includes 138 pins and three undefeated seasons. Pena is also a four-time state champion, four-time district champion and a two-time Reno Tournament of Champions winner. He was chosen for the U.S. Dream Team in 2009. In 2008, he won USA Wrestling's Junior Freestyle National Championship at 145 lbs. He has also been awarded the Reser's (Tournament of Champion) Student/Athlete award from Sprague High School which deems him "tough and smart." He also competed in high school cross country and placed in the Oregon state meet. He is involved with Athletes in Action, where he participates in Bible studies. He carries a 3.6 G.P.A. and will be attending Oregon State University next fall.

South Region - Eric Grajales compiled an undefeated career record of 217-0 and is a four time district, regional and state winner from Brandon High School in Brandon, Fla. In 2006 and 2008, he won USA Wrestling National Junior Greco-Roman titles and finished third in freestyle in 2008. He also competed on the 2006 and 2007 FILA Junior Greco-Roman World Teams. As a junior, he was selected to the 2008 Asics All-America First Team. As a senior, he competed in the 2009 Dapper Dan Classic and was honored by the St. Petersburg Times as "Wrestler of the Year." The Tampa Bay Sports Commission gave him its "President's Award." He also serves as a counselor for the volunteer youth wrestling program in Brandon. He ranks in the top 10 percent of his class and carries a 4.884 weighted G.P.A. and will be attending the University of Michigan next fall.

2009 Winners by State, Name and School

Alabama / Hayden Countryman/ Prattville High School
Alaska / Nolan McBryde / Chugiak High School
Arizona / Luke Macchiaroli / Corona Del Sol High School
Arkansas / Kyle Coatney/ Bentonville High School
California / David Klingsheim / Liberty Union High School
Colorado / Stryker Lane / Norwood High School
Connecticut / Tim Vallaro / Somers High School
Delaware / Alex Thomas / Sussex Technical High School
Florida / Eric Grajales / Brandon High School
Georgia / Taylor Knapp / Collins Hill High School
Hawaii / Reid Oshiro / Punahou School
Idaho / Kyle Johnshoy / Melba High School
Illinois / Tony Ramos / Glenbard North High School
Indiana / Camden Eppert / Anderson Highland High School
Iowa / Bart Reiter / Don Bosco High School
Kansas / Tyler Caldwell / Goddard High School
Kentucky / Harrison Courtney / Woodford County High School
Louisiana / Johnny Calcote / Archbishop Rummel High School
Maine / Joey Eon / Massabesic High School
Maryland / Andrew Banister / Bishop McNamara High School
Massachusetts / Miguel Guzman / Greater Lawrence High School
Michigan / Brandon Zeerip / Hesperia High School
Minnesota / Kevin Steinhaus / Kerkhoven Murdock Sunburg High School
Missouri / Ryan Mango / Whitfield High School
Montana / Toby Erickson / Helena High School
Nebraska / Michael Klingensmith / Kearney Catholic High School
Nevada / Britain Longmire / Cimarron Memorial High School
New Hampshire / Cody Byrd / Londonderry High School
New Jersey / Ed Ruth / Blair Academy
New Mexico / Max Ortega / Rio Rancho High School
New York / Alexander Ekstrom / Palmyra Macedon High School
North Carolina / Cory Mock / Chapel Hill Senior High School
North Dakota / Evan Gross / Napoleon High School
Ohio / David Taylor / Graham High School
Oklahoma / Dallas Bailey / Catoosa High School
Oregon / RJ Pena / Sprague High School
Pennsylvania / Shane Young / Penn Tafford High School
Rhode Island / Shawn Giblin / Cranston High School West
South Carolina / Eddie Coles / Eastside High School
South Dakota / Tom Davies/ Canton High School
Tennessee / David Graham/ Bradley Central High School
Texas / Erik Spjut / Woodlands High School
Utah / Ethen Lofthouse / Mountain Crest High School
Vermont / Jordan Grey / Essex High School
Virginia / Andrew Clement / Grassfield High School
Washington / Jake Swartz / Auburn High School
West Virginia / Cameron Gallaher / Grafton High School
Wisconsin / Nick Hager / Tomahawk High School
Wyoming / Tyler Cox / Campbell County High School
National Wrestling Hall of Fame Black History Month

STILLWATER, Okla. -- In 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Harold Henson became the first African American athlete to compete in the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Six years earlier, however, he proved his toughness in the military, joining the U.S. Army.
In commemoration of Black History Month and it's new exhibit "Glory Beyond the Sport: Wrestling and the Military," the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum is spotlighting Harold Henson in recognition of his achievements both in wrestling and in service to our country.

Henson, who learned to wrestle at San Diego High School in California, entered the Army in March of 1943, at the height of World War II, and was sent to Germany. There he met and married his wife of 62 years, Illse. At the time, military regulations required that Army personnel who married Germans leave the country.
He left the Army in 1947 and returned to his native state to attend San Diego State University where he earned a spot on the wrestling team and an education degree. His ground-breaking participation in the NCAA Championships was at Ft. Collins, Colorado in 1949. He graduated from San Diego State in 1950.
"There were only two times I experienced racism directly connected to my wrestling career at San Diego," Henson recalled to RevWrestling's Mark Palmer in a 2008 interview. "Two restaurants refused to serve me and my brother. When this happened, our coach immediately took the team out of the restaurant.
"I never ran into any bigotry in all my wrestling experience. I don't recall any opponent forfeiting a match because of my skin color."

After graduation, Henson went back into the Army to serve in the Korean War and earn a Bronze Star for "doing his job.".

He retired as a colonel in 1970 after 26 years of service with the Army Corps of Engineers, earning the Legion of Merit medal.

On February 11, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its new book and exhibit Glory Beyond the Sport: Wrestling and the Military.

"Harold Henson's story is just one of many among those who have distinguished themselves in service to our country and on the wrestling mat," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum. "This man is a hero. He was a trailblazer that broke down color barriers and took advantage of the opportunities provided him in sport and the military to get an education and become a leader."
Glory Beyond the Sport will be on display throughout the spring at the Hall of Fame. A traveling version of the exhibit will appear at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships and at the 2009 National Open Wrestling Championships. Those interested in more information about the book should telephone the Hall of Fame at (405) 377-5243 or visit the web site at www.wrestlinghalloffame.org.
Astonishing Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2009 is Announced

STILLWATER, Okla. – The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum has announced its Class of 2009 inductees in the categories of Distinguished Member, Outstanding American, Order of Merit, Medal of Courage and Lifetime Achievement for Officials.

The Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors approved the selections at its semi-annual meeting held in Las Vegas the first week of December.

“I want to thank our Board of Governors and the various screening and selection committees involved in the six-month process that determines our honorees for induction,” said Jim Keen Sr., Chairman of the Board of Governors.

Distinguished Members – Pete Blair, Ed Eichelberger, Les Gutches and Dennis Koslowski; Outstanding American – Steve Silver; Order of Merit – Arno Niemand; Medal of Courage – Larry Gibson; and Lifetime Achievement for Officials – Chuck Yagla will be inducted during Honors Weekend in Stillwater, June 5-6, 2009. These eight honorees will mark the 33rd class since the Hall of Fame began operations in 1976.

The Class of 2009’s Distinguished Members includes a World champion in freestyle, one of just two NCAA champions for the Naval Academy, one of the United States’ first Greco-Roman stars and one of Lehigh’s all-time greats.

 

Distinguished Member - Ed Eichelberger

When signing an autograph, Edward Baxter Eichelberger always adds “Galatians 6:14” after his signature.

It reads: But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

He was coached by a legend in high school – Billy Martin at Granby High School in Norfolk, Va. – and by another legend in college – Gerald Leeman at Lehigh.

Eichelberger was undefeated his final three years of high school, winning three state titles in Virginia. His career at Lehigh included two NCAA championships and a 55-3-1 record with 37 pins. One of his losses came in the 1954 NCAA finals to Myron Roderick of Oklahoma A&M.

He was named the EIWA Tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler in 1955 and 1956 and the NCAA Tournament’s OW in 1955.

Employed by IBM since 1956, Eichelberger earned his Masters and Ph.D. from Princeton.

 

Distinguished Member - Peter Blair

As a senior at Granby High School in Norfolk, Va., Blair stood just 5-foot-6 and did no t wrestle on the varsity. He enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 16, and during his recruit training grew an amazing 6 inches. By the time his two years at Bainbridge Prep Academy were done that total was 7.5 inches.

Blair competed at 177 pounds as a freshman and sophomore at the United States Naval Academy and moved up to 191 pounds his final two collegiate seasons where he would win back-to-back NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. His career record was 57-5 with no losses over his final two seasons for legendary head coach Ray Swartz.

Soon after beating Kenneth Leuer in the 1956 NCAA finals, Blair pinned five opponents in winning a National AAU title. Two weeks later he was the Olympic Trials champion at 192 pounds and would be elected team captain by his freestyle teammates.

In Melbourne, Australia, at the 1956 Olympics, Blair would earn a bronze medal.

An officer in the Navy from 1955 until his retirement in 1974, Blair served on ships and submarines and taught at the Academy.

Blair died on June 29, 1994, after a brief but concentrated bout with cancer.

 

Distinguished Member - Dennis Koslowski

A two-time Division III national champion at Minnesota-Morris, Koslowski began the transition to Greco-Roman soon after graduating in 1982. One year later, in 1983, Koslowski would win the first of his 7 USAW Greco-Roman titles.

In 1987 at the World Championships in France, Koslowski earned a silver medal at 220 pounds. At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the Minneapolis resident would bring home a bronze medal, and four years later at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, the 220-pounder would earn a silver medal. He was the first to win two Greco-Roman Olympic medals for the USA,  an achievement only matched by Rulon Gardner.

While at Minnesota-Morris, he was also a three-time All-Conference guard on the football team and is currently the owner of Koslowski Chiropractic, Inc., in the Minneapolis area.

 

Distinguished Member - Les Gutches

Gutches was the first athlete to win USA Wrestling national titles in all five age group levels – Cadet, Junior, Espoir, University and Senior.

At South Medford High School in Oregon, Gutches won three state titles. He was also a district champion in the 400 meters for the track team.

He was a two-time NCAA champion while at Oregon State, compiling a 134-10 career record. He earned the Outstanding Wrestler award at the 1996 NCAA Championships and the Dan Hodge Trophy that same season. Over his final two collegiate seasons he allowed opponents just one takedown.

Gutches quickly made his mark in freestyle, winning the first of his 5 U.S. Nationals titles in 1996 and also the Olympic Trials title at 180.5 pounds.

In Atlanta, he would finish seventh. However, a year later at the 1997 World Championships in Russia, Gutches would earn a gold medal at 187.25 pounds. He would also earn a bronze medal at the 1999 World Championships.

 

Medal of Courage - Larry Gibson

The 2009 Medal of Courage honoree, Gibson has battled adversity since the age of 12 when he was hit by a drunk driver. After almost two years in the hospital and 13 surgeries his leg was amputated seven inches below the knee.

He participated in both football and wrestling in high school and college, earning four letters and serving as team captain for two years at George Fox College in Oregon.

A life-changing plane crash sent Gibson back to school where he received his teaching degree. He taught history and served as wrestling coach at Omak High School for 16 years.

A club coach since 1972, Gibson was voted Washington’s Coach of the Year in 1991. He was inducted into the Washington State Chapter of the NWHOF in 1995 and received his USA Wrestling Gold Level Coaches Certificate in 1997.

Gibson has been a nationally-known motivational speaker since 1988.

 

Order of Merit - Arno Niemand

Niemand, the Order of Merit honoree, received the FILA Gold Star in 2008 and has provided leadership gifts for new training facilities at his high school and collegiate alma maters. He has contributed major resources to several elite national and local youth clubs around the country.

He was the pioneer sponsor of USA Wrestling’s Women s National freestyle team through his company, Body Bar Systems. Niemand has also support the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s educational program Building Leaders for Life and the College Sports Council’s advocacy against the consequences of Title IX interpretations on the sport of wrestling.

He is currently writing and publishing the book Miracle on the Mat detailing Cornell College’s road to the 1947 NCAA championship.

Niemand is a graduate of the University of Cornell (Ithaca, N.Y.) and has been a CEO, President and Chairman of Niemand Industries and Body Bar Systems since the 1960s.

 

Outstanding American - Steve Silver

The founder and owner of the Steve Silver Company, an import furniture business in Dallas which employs 500 worldwide in five nations, the 2009 Outstanding American honoree has been involved in wrestling throughout his life.

Silver wrestled for Spencerport High School in New York and at the University of Alabama for three years under coach Pat Milkovich. Six of Silver’s seven children, including two daughters, have participated in wrestling.

He founded and coached a youth wrestling club in Forney, Texas, hiring 1988 Olympic gold medalist Kenny Monday to coach the club, now known as Team Monday. Silver is also a big supporter of Bishop Lynch High, a nationally-known program.

Silver has served as Team Leader for the last four U.S. Freestyle Teams including the 2008 Olympics in China where he’s done business for a number of years.

He was named USA Wrestling’s Man of the Year in 2006 for his contributions to the sport.

 

Lifetime Achievement for Officials - Chuck Yagla

A two-time NCAA champion for the University of Iowa, Yagla has been an official for 24 years. Also a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, Yagla will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement for Officials.

From 1996-07, Yagla worked the NCAA Tournament and was selected as a championship finals official five times. He’s also officiated six NCAA Division II Championships along with Big Ten (1995-07) and Pac-10 (1997-07) tournaments.

Yagla has worked 12 National Dual Championships and has been officiating college matches and tournaments since 1983. He was appointed Coordinator of Wrestling Officials for the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences in July of 2008.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is featuring an exhibit on the 2008 Beijing Olympics from September 3 to October 31, 2008.

STILLWATER, OK - The cover of the USA Wrestling Media Guide for 2007-08 calls Henry Cejudo a "U.S. Freestyle Phenom."

Many have called him the future of American freestyle wrestling.

On August 8 of 2008 the 121-pounder proved a lot of people right.

The 21-year old who now calls Colorado Springs, Colo., home highlights the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's new display looking back at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

A handful of wrestlers and a few members of the American contingent in Beijing have provided the NWHOF with a number of items, including photographs, uniforms, and memorabilia documenting the Olympic experience.

Cejudo, a gold medalist in freestyle at 121 pounds in just his second World-level tournament is the youngest American to win gold. His finals victory against Japan's Tomihiro Matsunaga is well-documented in the display.

"I'm no longer the future, I'm the present," said Cejudo after his gold-medal bout. "This yellow medal hanging around my neck is proof of that. "

After finishing second at the 2006 World Team Trials, the Arizona native won the Trials title in 2007 and won a Pan American Championship gold medal. He beat 2004 Olympic silver medalist Stephan Abas for the 2008 World Team Trials championship.

"I was born and raised in the U.S. and I don't forget that," Cejudo said. "As much as I love my Mexican heritage, I'm American first and foremost. The U.S. is a land of opportunity and you choose your own path."

Two other Americans took a different path to Beijing and returned with bronze medals.
Adam Wheeler, a 27-year old from Lancaster, Calif., was second at the 2005 and 2007 U.S. Team Trials in Greco-Roman. However, he edge d Justin Ruiz, a 2006 World bronze medalist, in Las Vegas to earn his trip to the Olympics at 211.5-pounds.

Wheeler took advantage, bringing home a bronze medal.

"I am very happy for Adam," said Steve Fraser, the U.S. Greco coach. "He has worked hard for many years, especially the last few months. He has a great attitude. He is a wonderful, coachable kid."
The third American to medal was Randi Miller, a 138.75-pounder who earned bronze in women's freestyle.
Miller, from Arlington, Texas, knocked off 2004 Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann at the U.S. Trials. She was not among the top three in 2007.

"This is my first Olympic medal and it may be my last, who knows?" admitted Miller. "Every athlete who comes here is very tough."

Three Americans proved to be tough enough to reach the medal stand at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Those journeys can now be relived inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
 National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum Honors Weekend

STILLWATER, Okla. – Wrestling dignitaries from across the country will begin arriving in Stillwater throughout this week for the 32nd annual Honors Weekend and Induction Ceremony of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum scheduled for May 30-31, 2008.

“With this event, wrestling gathers to pay tribute to the best and the brightest that this sport has to offer,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the Hall. “We are thrilled to include with our distinguished class of 2008 award winners, the Penn  State University wrestling program which celebrates its 100th anniversary of collegiate competition. The 1953 Nittany Lions, the first east coast team to win an NCAA Division I title, will also be recognized, continuing our commitment to honor not just outstanding individual efforts but also extraordinary teams.”

Four new Distinguished Members and one Outstanding American will be inducted. The class of new Distinguished Americans includes wrestlers: Ricky Bonomo, Mike Houck, Wayne Martin, and Bobby Weaver. Chick fil A executive Dan T. Cathy will be honored as the Outstanding American.

Rounding out the list of awards to be presented, the winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award is Utah’s Justin Chamberlain. Winner of the Order of Merit is Tulsan Richard Small; Blind wrestler Dr. James V. Mastro will receive the Medal of Courage, and the winner of the Lifetime Achievement for Officials is Jerry Wager.

“Unfortunately, Bobby Weaver is ill and will be unable to attend,” Smith said. “We are very disappointed that he won’t be able to join us as we express our admiration for what he has given to our sport, but we send our best wishes to him for a speedy and complete recovery.”

A State Chapter Presidents Conference is scheduled prior to Honors Weekend on Thursday and Friday morning.

“We always get a good number of inductees, board members, and wrestling dignitaries attending each year’s ceremonies,” Smith said. “By including our state chapter presidents, we are rewarding our grass root volunteers for the great job of extending our mission on a state-by-state level.”

Smith said he is expecting visitors from 43 states to come to Stillwater over Honors Weekend, indicative of the Hall’s national appeal.

Honors Weekend officially kicks off Friday evening with a public reception and presentation of plaques at the Hall of Fame and Museum. After the new plaques are revealed, guests will join Penn State wrestlers in a ceremony honoring their program’s rich history.

            Saturday morning features an 18-hole golf tournament. Non-golfers can enjoy guest speakers, a fashion show, poker tournament, and club activities like tennis and swimming. Everyone comes together for lunch before an afternoon break.

The evening festivities begin with a pre-banquet reception followed by the black-tie dinner and induction.

On Sunday morning, the weekend may be over for honorees, but for the Board of Governors, the work is just beginning. The board holds one of two annual meetings that morning at the Hampton Inn.

“This is an occasion that makes everyone feel good about the sport and stimulates a camaraderie that inspires people to want to do what they can to help this sport grow,” Smith concludes.

For more information on Honors Weekend contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum at 405-377-5243 or visit our website at www.wrestlinghalloffame.org.