The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced on Monday that the Class of 2019 inductees are Distinguished Members Carl Adams, Rich Lorenzo, Brandon Paulson and Townsend Saunders, Meritorious Official David Errett, Order of Merit recipient Dr. David Curby and Medal of Courage recipient James McCloughan.
The Hall of Fame will announce its Outstanding American honoree at a later date.
“The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is proud to honor these individuals in our Class of 2019,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “These individuals were selected because of their extraordinary accomplishments in the sport of wrestling, and their induction into the Hall of Fame will serve as a perpetual reminder of their dedication and contributions to the sport.”
The Hall of Fame Board of Governors approved the selections at its meeting in Kansas City on Oct. 24. The induction ceremony will be held at the 43rd Annual Honors Weekend on May 31-June 1, 2019 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information on Honors Weekend, please telephone (405) 377-5243.
Paulson and Saunders were chosen as Distinguished Members for the Modern Era while Adams and Lorenzo were selected by the Veterans Committee. The Hall of Fame has inducted 192 Distinguished Members since it began in 1976.
Saunders is married to Tricia Saunders, who was the first woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 2006, making them the first husband and wife to be Distinguished Members. Other husbands and wives recognized at the national level by the Hall of Fame are Dave Schultz, a Distinguished Member inducted in 1997, and Nancy Schultz Vitangeli, an Order of Merit recipient in 2018; Sheila Wager and Jerry Wager, who were inducted as Meritorious Officials in 1995 and 2008; and Sue Siar and Bob Siar, who were inducted as Meritorious Officials in 1998 and 2000, respectively.
Distinguished Members can be a wrestler who has achieved extraordinary success in national and/or international competition; a coach who has demonstrated great leadership in the profession and who has compiled an outstanding record; or a contributor whose long-term activities have substantially enhanced the development and advancement of the sport.
Carl Adams was a two-time NCAA Division I national champion and a three-time All-American for Iowa State University. He became the first freshman to earn All-America honors in 1969, which was the first year that the NCAA allowed true freshmen to compete in the NCAA Championships, and was the only freshman that placed, finishing fifth. He helped the Cyclones win the NCAA team title in 1969, 1970 and 1972 while finishing second in 1971. Adams was team co-captain in 1971 and 1972 and was voted Cyclones’ Most Valuable Wrestler of the 1972 NCAA Championship team. Adams was a three-time undefeated Midlands Champion, winning titles in 1971, 1972 and 1974, and was a national freestyle champion in 1973 and 1975. He won a silver medal at the Pan American Championships in 1975 and finished fifth at the World Championships in 1975. National Mat News named him “Middleweight of the Decade,” and during his post college freestyle career he had a perfect 5-0 record against Wade Schalles, a Distinguished Member inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1991. Adams won a New York state high school championship in 1968, the first for Brentwood High School. He was also a three-time Section 11 champion and twice was named the Section 11 Most Valuable Wrestler. In addition, he finished his high school career without ever losing a dual meet and was a member of the 1967 Junior Olympic team. He was an assistant coach at Iowa State from 1973-78, beginning his career as a 22-year-old, and helped 40 Cyclones earn All-America honors, including six national champions. Iowa State won NCAA team titles in 1973 and 1977 and had Top Four finishes in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1978. At age 27 he became head coach at the University of Rhode Island and was named Rookie College Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News after leading Rhode Island to the New England Wrestling Conference title in 1979. He coached Rhode Island’s second All-American, Lee Spiegel, and was named NEWC Coach of the Year in 1980 after winning a second NEWC championship. He became head coach at Boston University in 1980 and led the Terriers to 10 NEWC team titles, including five in a row from 1981-85 and 1988-92, while his wrestlers won individual conference titles 87 times. Adams coached four All-Americans and his wrestlers qualified for the NCAA tournament 99 times. While coaching at Rhode Island and Boston University, his teams did not lose a conference dual meet from 1979-86 and Adams was named NEWC Coach of the Year five times and Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Coach of the Year in 2014, Boston University’s first year in the 18-team conference. He served on the NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee from 2006-09 and also served two terms on the Executive Committee of the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Five of his former wrestlers became college head coaches: Todd Giles at Army, Joey Rivera at East Stroudsburg, Jason Holder at Springfield, Earl Walker at Delaware State and Jason York at Bridgewater State. Adams is a noted inventor of wrestling training aids, including the ADAM Takedown Machine, Snap and Shoot Plus, Super Snap and Shoot, Takedown Defender, Iowa Snapper, JOBO Legs Takedown System and MMA Drill Master. His unique equipment can be found in wrestling rooms all over the world. He is the author of Controlling the Center of Gravity, Takedowns, Counters and Freestyle Wrestling, World Class Wrestling Manual and Think it. Believe it. Do it., which was published in 2014. His set of nine instructional wrestling videos are some of the most popular ever with over 100,000 copies sold in 25 years and more than 600,000 views of excerpts on YouTube. He developed a system of wrestling camps that ran for 34 consecutive years and had many unique features, including S.A.T. Prep classes. More than 20,000 wrestlers from across the country attended camps in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio. Adams received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002 and was inducted into the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa in 2005. He was inducted in the Charter Class of the Midlands Hall of Fame in 1992 and is also a member of the Iowa State University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Brentwood (New York) High School Hall of Fame.
Rich Lorenzo was head coach of the Penn State wrestling team from 1978-92 and helped 53 Penn State wrestlers earn All-America honors, including two-time NCAA champion Jeff Prescott and national champions Carl DeStefanis, Scott Lynch and Jim Martin. He led the Nittany Lions to 11 Top 10 finishes at the NCAA tournament, including six Top Five finishes, and Penn State won 11 consecutive Eastern Wrestling League team titles and two National Dual Meet championships. Lorenzo was named EWL Coach of the Year six times and was named National Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1992. Prior to becoming head coach, he was an assistant coach for Penn State from 1968-74 and helped the Nittany Lions finish in the Top 10 at the NCAA tournament four times while winning two EIWA team titles and finishing second three times. He was co-executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association from 1993-95, raising one half of the NWCA coaches’ $1 million capital campaign challenge, and served as membership chair and treasurer for the NWCA from 1993-99. Lorenzo served as executive director and treasurer for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, serving as the major fundraiser to fully endow the wrestling program. He was the chief fundraiser for a $4 million wrestling complex, which was named the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex. On the mat, Lorenzo was a two-time district champion and a state runner-up for Newton (New Jersey) High School. He was an NCAA All-American for Penn State, finishing fourth at the NCAA Championships, in 1968 after winning an EIWA championship and being named Outstanding Wrestler and winner of the trophy for Most Falls. Lorenzo was an East-West dual meet winner in 1968 and a three-time EIWA place winner while going undefeated in dual meets as a junior and senior for the Nittany Lions. Lorenzo was also a four-time Future Farmers of America state public speaking champion and was named the New Jersey Future Farmers of America Star State Farmer in 1964. He received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1995, and was inducted into both the EWL Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1996.
Brandon Paulson won a silver medal in Greco-Roman at the Olympics in 1996 and competed three times in Greco-Roman at the World Championships, winning a silver medal in 2001 and finishing eighth in 2002. A four-time U.S. Nationals champion, he made history in 1991-92 when he became the first high school wrestler to qualify for the United States Senior Greco-Roman Team. Paulson was a star on USA Wrestling’s age-group levels, winning national titles at the Cadet, Junior, Espoir and University levels and a silver medal at the Espoir World Championships in 1993. He was an All-American at the University of Minnesota and was a three-time Minnesota high school state champion for Anoka High School. He had a career high school record of 155-12-1 and was named Mr. Minnesota Wrestling in 1992. He was named Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling in 2008 and received the honor again in 2016. Paulson was a member of the U.S. Olympic coaching staff at the Olympics in 2008 while also helping coach the U.S. Junior World Greco-Roman Team in 2007 and 2008. He is a club coach with the Minnesota Storm, working with senior-level and age-group athletes at the U.S. Nationals and World Team Trials. Andy Bisek of the Storm competed in Greco-Roman for Team USA at the Olympics in 2016 while four other members of the Storm qualified for the 2016-17 Greco-Roman National Team. Paulson has also been a member of the Minnesota/USA Wrestling coaching staff for the Junior and Cadet Nationals, helping produce numerous national champions and All-Americans for one of the strongest Greco-Roman programs in the nation. He worked as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater from 2005 to 2008, helping produce seven individual state champions. He has partnered with NCAA champion and U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up Jared Lawrence at the PINnacle Wrestling School, where they coach youth, high school and international wrestlers. PINnacle Wrestling has produced nine age-group world medalists, including three world champions. Paulson was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum’s Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions in 2013 and was a member of the Charter Class of the Anoka (Minnesota) High School Hall of Fame in 2011.
Townsend Saunders was an NCAA Division II national champion at 142 pounds for Cal State Bakersfield in 1987 and had a runner-up finish in the California state championships while competing for Torrance High School. He was a two-time Pac-10 champion and a two-time NCAA Division I All-American for Arizona State University, finishing second at 142 pounds in 1989 and third at 150 pounds in 1990. Saunders had a career record of 77-9 for the Sun Devils, which ties him for fourth place with a .895 winning percentage. He is also tied for fourth in dual victories in a season with 20 wins in 1989-90 and is tied for seventh on ASU’s single-season overall victories list with 40 wins in 1988-89. Saunders won a silver medal at 149.5 pounds at the Olympics in 1996 after finishing seventh at 149.5 pounds in 1992. He competed in six World Championships from 1991-95 and was a gold medalist at the Pan American Games in 1991 and 1995. Saunders won a gold medal at the Goodwill Games in 1995 and was the U.S. Open national freestyle champion in 1991 and 1996. After stepping off the mat, he was an assistant coach at Arizona State from 2001-03 while also serving as executive director and coach for the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club. He coached the United States women’s team to seven medals in seven weights, winning a gold medal, four silver medals and two bronze medals, at the World Championships in 2003. Saunders was named USA Wrestling’s Coach of the Year in 2004 after being coach of the United States women’s wrestling team the first time that women’s wrestling competed in the Olympics in 2004. He was inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 2011 and the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.
The Meritorious Official award recognizes outstanding service as a referee, judge, or pairing official.
David Errett has been a licensed official for folkstyle wrestling in Indiana for 20 years. He obtained his national license from the USA Wrestling Officials Association in 1988 and received his international license from FILA now United World Wrestling in 1990. Errett officiated 25 World Championships and 18 World Team Trials. He has officiated 6 Olympic Team Trials and 13 Armed Forces Championships. Errett was named USA Outstanding Official for the Junior Nationals in 1991 and was the USA Wrestling Official of the Year in 1996. USA Wrestling Officials Association presented him with the Mort Geller award, which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding officiating skills on the International level and who is recognized as an outstanding clinician on the national level, in 1997, and with the Phil Portuese award, which is presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond the normal to teach to the art of officiating, in 2013. FILA/UWW awarded him with their Golden Whistle award in 2003 at the Greco World Championships in Paris, France. Errett taught business at Martinsville (Indiana) High School for 40 years. Errett was an assistant football coach for 14 years, an assistant wrestling coach for 11 years and the head wrestling coach for 20 years. He led his teams to third-place finishes in the state tournament in 1989 and 1991 and coached three individual state champions and four state runner-up finishers. His son, Zach, officiated at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Errett was inducted into the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003 and his family was inducted into the IHSWCA in 2012.
The Medal of Courage recipient is a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges, providing inspiration to others.
In 1969 at the battle of Nui Yon Hill in Vietnam, combat medic and former wrestler James McCloughan risked his life repeatedly to save 10 fellow American soldiers. On July 31, 2017, McCloughan was awarded the Medal of Honor, the most prestigious personal military decoration, for his acts of bravery and valor on the battlefield while serving in the U.S. Army. With his company engaged in a battle, McCloughan ran 100 meters through an open field to rescue an injured soldier, carrying him back to the company and saving him from being captured or killed. McCloughan saw two more soldiers and ran to their aid. While checking them for wounds, a rocket-propelled grenade exploded and peppered him with shrapnel. Bleeding extensively, he returned to the kill zone four more times to find more wounded soldiers. The next day, another platoon was ambushed and their medic was killed, leaving McCloughan as the only medic in the company. McCloughan was wounded a second time by small arms fire and shrapnel while providing aid to two soldiers in an open rice paddy. He then volunteered to hold a blinking light in an open area as a marker for a nighttime supply drop, holding his prone position as bullets and RPGs flew over and around him. The next morning, he destroyed the RPG position with a grenade, while continuing to fight and care for wounded Americans. He finally collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration. McCloughan was a four-sport athlete at Bangor High School in Bangor, Michigan, and he wrestled and played football and baseball at Olivet College. He taught sociology and psychology at South Haven High School for 40 years, and also coached wrestling, football and baseball. He was also a wrestling official for the Michigan High School Athletic Association for 25 years and worked 18 state championships. McCloughan is a member of the Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The Order of Merit is presented to an individual that has made a significant contribution to the sport of wrestling, but who is not an athlete or a coach.
Dr. David Curby helped found and serves as the director of the International Network of Wrestling Researchers, which has more than 500 members in 75 countries, and also serves as the editor of the International Journal of Wrestling Science, the organization’s official publication. His website, INWR-Wrestling.com, is the world’s foremost website on the scientific aspects of wrestling. The INWR has organized and conducted scientific symposiums at the World Championships since 2010. Curby, who has compiled a library of more than 2,800 published scientific articles on wrestling, helped found and serves as secretary for United World Wrestling’s Scientific Commission. He served as executive director of Beat the Streets Chicago and also coaches a youth wrestling club at St. Sabina Parish in Chicago. On the mat, Curby was a Junior National Champion and a Junior World team member. He was a four-year starter, team captain and a Big Ten champion at the University of Michigan. A Fulbright Scholar, Curby received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Michigan and his master’s degree and doctorate from Northern Illinois in physical education and educational psychology. He was athletic director and administrator of physical welfare at Niles North School in Skokie, Illinois, from 1994-2008, after working as a teacher and department chair of physical education and health at Lyons Township High School. Curby was named “Physical Educator of the Year” in 1984 by the Illinois State Board of Education. Curby received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Illinois Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015 and received the Alan Rice Leadership Award from the Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions in 2014. He received the United States Olympic Committee’s “Doc” Councilman Award for scientific contributions to coaching in 2011 and is also a member of the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Hall of Fame. Following the death of his son, Jacob, in 2010, Curby and his family founded the Jacob Curby Foundation, in memory of their son who was a member of the United States National Greco-Roman team, and conducted the Jacob Curby Cup, which was one of America’s premier Greco-Roman competitions.