Bethlehem, PA – The Hall of Fame Committee of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA), college wrestling’s oldest conference, is proud to announce that four new members have been elected for membership into the EIWA Hall of Fame.
Members of the Class of 2018 include Matt Feast of the University of Pennsylvania, John Harmon of Lehigh University, Joe Peritore of Lehigh University and Cam Simaz of Cornell University. The induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, immediately preceding the finals of the annual EIWA championships.
EIWA Executive Director Greg Strobel comments on the new inductees: “The EIWA Hall of Fame Committee has selected four outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2018 EIWA Hall of Fame. Each of these inductees have had a tremendous impact on the EIWA. Matt Feast and Cam Simaz were outstanding wrestlers in recent years, winning seven individual conference titles between the two of them. In the mid-1960s, Joe Peritore was one of the “Terrific Trio” that included Hall of Fame members Billy Stuart and Mike Caruso. John Harman distinguished himself as major benefactor, published the EIWA Newsletter and served as the EIWA Sports Information Director for decades.”
Matt Feast, Penn, Class of 2005
Matt Feast, the University of Pennsylvania’s first three-time wrestling All-American, won the Pennsylvania state high school tournament at heavyweight for Blue Mountain High in Cressona, PA in 2001. Other major high school tournaments that Feast won included the Beast of the East as a high school junior, and the Junior Nationals at Fargo as a senior in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle.
Feast enrolled at Penn’s Wharton School of Business and immediately became a starter at heavyweight for the Quakers. He qualified for the 2002 Nationals by finishing fourth at the EIWA tournament. Feast won the EIWA heavyweight championship title the following three years.
At the NCAAs, Feast reached the podium three times. As a sophomore, Feast won four bouts in the tournament and placed seventh. In the 2004 NCAA tournament in St. Louis, he decisioned his first three opponents and made the semi-finals; he ended up fifth. In his senior season, Feast won four NCAA tournament bouts while earning his third All-American honors by finishing sixth.
Under the tutelage of EIWA Hall of Fame coach Roger Reina, Feast recorded 118 career victories, which at the time was second in the Penn record books. He captained the team during his junior and senior seasons.
In the classroom, Feast was named to the national All-Academic team three times by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, as well as Academic All-Ivy accolades three times. As a senior he received the University’s Class of 1915 award which is given annually to the male senior who most closely approaches the ideal Penn student-athlete and who has shown outstanding athletic, academic and leadership qualities.
Since receiving his degree from Penn, Feast has worked in commercial real estate finance. From 2007-2011 he worked at Shinsei Bank in Tokyo, where he met his wife. He currently is in New York working for Natixis which is part of the 2nd largest banking system in France. Feast resides in Great Neck, NY with his wife Mei Mei and their two children, Holly and Max.
John Harmon, Lehigh, Class of 1959
For many East Coast college wrestling followers over the last 25-plus years, John J. Harmon was recognized as ‘Mr. EIWA Wrestling’.
While Harmon never stepped on the mat as a wrestler, he became an avid fan while attending Lehigh University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1959. He became actively involved in wrestling upon his retirement from a career as a commercial programmer and systems analyst.
Harmon’s entry into the reporting of wrestling included a stint as a play-by-play wrestling announcer for a Bethlehem radio station in the 1970s. He was named editor of the National Mat News in 1983 which he ran for seven years. In 1990 Harmon founded the EIWA Newsletter, which was recognized as the Wrestling Publication of the Year in 2001. He published the newsletter regularly for the next 25 years as a detailed source of information for fans regarding all EIWA schools. He was also the de facto EIWA Sports Information Director from 1990-2015.
In 1996 Harmon and Jay Hammond collaborated to publish the second edition of the History of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association. They repeated this with an updated third edition in 2004.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, OK named Harmon to their Board of Governors in 1996. He served on their Board for 17 years and was one of the original major contributors to an endowment fund created by the Hall of Fame in 2007. Harmon was an inductee and recipient of the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, New Jersey chapter, of which he was co-founder and treasurer.
Harmon received the 2012 Bob Dellinger Wrestling Writer of the Year award, presented annually by the Amateur Wrestling News to the country’s top wrestling journalist.
At Lehigh, Harmon and his wife Elaine funded the renovation of Grace Hall and were instrumental in helping to fund the Caruso Wrestling Complex. The Harmons also supported the head wrestling coach endowment and the John J. Harmon ’59 Wrestling Scholarship.
A lifelong resident of Lawrenceville, NJ, he was regarded as one of the world’s greatest railroad buffs.
John Harmon passed away in September 2017. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and four grandchildren.
Joe Peritore, Lehigh, Class of 1967
Joe Peritore was a standout high school wrestler for Hall of Fame coach Mike Milkovich at Maple Heights, Ohio, High School in the early 1960s. He was a three-time Greater Cleveland conference champion and twice won the Ohio high school regional and state championships.
Upon graduation from Maple Heights, Peritore entered the School of Engineering at Lehigh University in September of 1963. Limited by NCAA rules to just three years of varsity wrestling, Peritore was a key member of Coach Gerry Leeman’s ‘Terrific Trio’ of Mike Caruso, Peritore and Billy Stuart leading off the matches for the Engineers.
During his sophomore campaign, Peritore finished the dual meet season undefeated. He placed 3rd in the EIWA tournament, being upset by Army’s Bob Steenlage in overtime in the semi-finals. At the NCAA meet at Cornell, Peritore advanced to the 130-pound finals, only to lose to Japan’s Olympic champion from Oklahoma State, Yojiro Uetake.
In 1966, Peritore was again undefeated in duals and won his first EIWA tournament by defeating his nemesis Steenlage, 3-2 in the finals. He once again ran into OSU’s Uetake in the NCAA finals at 130 and settled for the runner-up trophy. As a senior, Peritore won the EIWA crown and finished 3rd in the NCAA championships.
The Engineers won the EIWA conference team championship his last two seasons. Peritore’s career record at Lehigh was 56-5-1.
Peritore received his B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh in June of 1967 and 1969, respectively. In 1980 he received a Masters degree in Management from M.I.T.
His work career centered around 29 years with the Boeing Company. Among Peritore’s responsibilities were V.P. of Human Resources and V.P. of Operations Technology. He currently has a V.P. position with a Seattle non-profit which provides education scholarships to impoverished students of Honduras.
A long-time resident of the Seattle area, Peritore and his wife of 46 years, Linda, have three adult children along with six grandchildren.
Cam Simaz, Cornell, Class of 2012
Cameron (Cam) Simaz is the first wrestler in the storied history of the EIWA to win four individual conference championships, an NCAA title, and compete as a member of four EIWA championship teams. He also earned All-American honors all four of his years at Cornell University.
Simaz arrived at Cornell as a highly regarded recruit out of Allegan, Michigan. He was a three-time Michigan state champion and a FILA cadet All-American with a career record of 237-6. He captained Allegan Senior High’s wrestling team his junior and senior year, leading them to a team championship in 2007. He was also a two-year starter in football and baseball, as well as a member of the National Honor Society.
While wrestling for Coach Rob Koll at Cornell, Simaz became one of the Big Red’s most accomplished wrestlers ever. As a freshman, he was named both Ivy League Rookie and EIWA Freshman of the Year while winning his first EIWA title at 197 pounds. He became a freshman All-American by finishing 8th at the NCAA tournament.
In the next three years, Simaz continued his success on the mat and in the classroom. He ran up a college career record of 145-21 with 47 falls. Besides three more EIWA crowns, he finished 3rd, 3rd and 1st in the NCAA tournament. Simaz led Cornell to first place in the EIWA team championships during each of his four years. He was named the EIWA Most Outstanding Wrestler as a senior as well as the recipient of the Fletcher Award. He graduated in June 2012 with a degree in Economics from the School of Arts and Sciences and was twice named to the NWCA All-Academic Team.
After graduation, Simaz helped coach at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club before moving to Chicago where he was a commodities trader while also coaching at the Wildcat Wrestling Club. Recently Simaz accepted the position of Coach and Director of the West Point Wrestling Club on the shores of the Hudson River.
Simaz is the son of Joe and Annette Simaz. He has three brothers, all collegiate wrestlers.