The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that its Board of Governors unanimously approved Douglas G. Benschoter (Waverly, Iowa), Nate Carr (Ames, Iowa), Wayne Renneisen (Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania and Naples, Florida) and Nancy Schultz Vitangeli (Gresham, Oregon) joining the Board of Governors, beginning in 2019. Renneisen and Schultz-Vitangeli are both returning to the Board.
“We are pleased to add Nancy, Doug, Nate and Wayne to our Board,” said Tom Slowey, Chairman of the Board of Governors. “Each shares a great passion for our sport and a willingness to commit their time and resources to serve on behalf of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, its mission and values. The Hall of Fame will benefit greatly from their guidance and service.”
Benschoter was an Iowa high school state wrestling champion in 1975, after finishing second to fellow Board member John Bowlsby in 1974, and was also All-State in football and placed in both the discus and shot put. When Bowlsby was injured in 1976, Benschoter stepped into the wrestling lineup at the University of Iowa and finished fifth at the NCAA Championships while helping the Hawkeyes win the team championship. He was also a four-year starter for Iowa in football, playing defensive tackle, defensive end and offensive guard. Benschoter received his bachelor’s degree in general science from Iowa, a bachelor’s degree in civil/structural engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from DePaul University. He designed nuclear power plants worldwide and worked for a commercial real estate developer in Chicago and then did business development for nationally-recognized engineering design firms in Madison, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before retiring in 2011.
Carr, a Distinguished Member inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003, is currently an associate director at the Cyclone Regional Training Center in Ames, Iowa. He was a Pennsylvania state champion, a three-time NCAA champion and a two-time Big 8 champion for Iowa State University. Carr won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics and represented the United States in two World Championships. He was an assistant coach at West Virginia University and was named National Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 1991. He was a pastor in Georgia, building a thriving ministry while also coaching at Jones County High School. Carr coached at Perry High School in Massillon, Ohio, from 2015 to 2018, where his son, David, was a four-time state champion and the national winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award.
Renneisen first joined the Board in 1996 and became a Governor’s Associate in 2002. He returned to the Board from 2005 to 2013 and has served as a Governor’s Associate since. He served as Governance Chair and drafted the Hall of Fame’s current By Laws while also serving as the Chair of Annual Gifts from 2011 to 2013. Renneisen was on the committee that negotiated and completed the purchase of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute, which was renamed the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. He wrote “Penn Wrestling – A Collegiate Season,” which chronicled the 2005-06 season and the long history of Penn wrestling. Renneisen and his wife, Kay, have sponsored the Virginia Duals, the Penn Regional Training Center and the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club. He received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After three years in the U.S. Army JAG Corps, he joined a Philadelphia litigation law firm. Renneisen was the managing owner of the law firm of Harvey, Pennington, Griffith and Renneisen in Philadelphia and specialized in civil litigation. In 2004, he was selected to the inaugural group of Pennsylvania “Super” Lawyers. He retired in 2007. His wife, Kay, has also served as a Governor’s Associate since 2001, and the couple has missed only two Honors Weekends since 1991. He also serves on the board of The Wetlands Institute, which is involved in the education, research and conservation pertaining to tidal wetlands in southern New Jersey.
Schultz Vitangeli, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an Order of Merit recipient in 2018 and who received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the California Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013, first joined the Board in 1998 and became a Governor’s Associate in 2006. The widow of Dave Schultz, a Distinguished Member inducted in 1997, she helped create the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award in 1996, an award that is presented annually by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame to top high school wrestlers based on wrestling, scholastic achievement and citizenship. Schultz Vitangeli is a partner at RUDIS, a sports apparel company dedicated to the sport of wrestling and a preferred apparel provider for the Hall of Fame, while also serving as an honorary board member for USA Wrestling. She served as executive producer for “Team Foxcatcher,” an Emmy Award nominated documentary that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and became one of Netflix’s most popular selections, and was a consultant on the Oscar-nominated major motion picture “Foxcatcher” starring Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum and Steve Carrell. Schultz Vitangeli was named Woman of the Year by USA Wrestling in 1998 and was co-chair of USA Wrestling’s Foundation Gala in 2016.
The Board of Governors is responsible for preserving the history and tradition of the sport of wrestling in America by operation of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. The Board is also responsible for the annual election of Distinguished Members, Outstanding American, Medal of Courage, Order of Merit, and Meritorious Official.
The Board is comprised of no less than 10, and not more than 30 members, who shall serve a maximum of six consecutive years in as many as three consecutive two-year terms. Three members of the Board shall represent United World Wrestling, USA Wrestling, and the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Those individuals are nominated by their organizations, and must be approved by the Board.