National Wrestling Hall of Fame

James Peckham Scholarship

In honor of Jim Peckham, a scholarship fund has been established to support Massachusetts high school wrestlers who plan to wrestle in college and who demonstrate excellence in wrestling, academics, and personal character. 

Jim Peckham was an important figure in Massachusetts wrestling and a fine person. It is fitting that a scholarship fund be initiated in Coach Peckham’s name to assist wrestlers achieve their goals in our great sport. Jim was an Olympian, a coach, a mentor, a friend, and a family man. 

Jim Peckham competed in the 1956 Olympics (Melbourne, Australia) in Greco-Roman Wrestling. This, despite the fact that he never wrestled in high school or college! Jim coached two US Olympic Wrestling teams, assisting Bill Farrell in 1972 (most medaled team in US Olympic history) and serving as head coach in 1976. In addition, “Coach” led the US Wrestling team during three world championships. Altogether, Jim Peckham was the US Wrestling head coach for 38 major international competitions.

Coach Peckham went on lead the wrestling programs at Emerson and Harvard for many years, where he guided numerous collegiate wrestlers to success. Jim headed up a well-known wrestling club at “the Boston Union” (the Young Men’s Christian Union). This club was a wrestling mecca, where high school, college, and elite wrestlers would gather to hone their skills. Coach also ran a wrestling camp out of his home (the kids lived there, too) in Weymouth, where many wrestling techniques and stories were generated.

In a nutshell, Jim Peckham was the nucleus of Massachusetts Wrestling for decades. If you cared about wrestling, you knew Jim Peckham and he knew you.

To learn more about Coach Peckham’s impact on the sport of wrestling please visit these links.

To nominate a wrestler for the James Peckham Scholarship, please print the application below and return completed applications to Matt Quimby by April 9th, 2017. You may also make a pledge (donate) to the Peckham Scholarship Fund. Any support is greatly appreciated!

James Peckham Scholarship Winners

  • 2012   Logan David – King Philip HS (Cornell University)
  • 2012   Mike Mui – Hingham HS (Merchant Marine Academy)
  • 2012   Ryan O’Boyle – Central Catholic HS (McDaniel College)
  • 2012   Jeff Ott – Belmont Hill School (Harvard University)
  • 2013   Aaron Conrad – Bridgewater-Raynham HS (Boston University)
  • 2013   Ryan Neals – North Andover HS (UMass-Amherst)
  • 2013   Jim Ryan – Dracut HS (Roger Williams College)
  • 2013   Mike Stewart – Dracut HS (Ellsworth College)
  • 2013   Geoff Verallis – Northfield Mount Hermon (Drexel University)
  • 2014   Chris Sullivan – Canton HS (Coast Guard Academy)
  • 2014   Christian Vallis – Phillips Andover Academy (Johns Hopkins University)
  • 2015   Brandon Casamassima – Worcester Academy (Gettysburg College)
  • 2015   Fritz Hoehn – North Andover HS (Edinboro University)
  • 2016   David Shlomo Ellis-Rech – Sharon HS (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
  • 2016   Peter Tedesco – Belmont Hill School (Maryland)
  • 2017   Brendan Kiernan – Wayland High School (Williams College)
  • 2017   Nick Konovalchick – Brooks School (Washington and Lee University)