Jerry Wager

Although an outstanding competitor and coach in his own right, Jerry Wager has earned the highest accolades as an international wrestling official. Since 1962, he has been licensed by the sport’s international governing body, FILA, to referee in freestyle and Greco-Roman competition.

From 1962-1998, he officiated in more than 50 major international meets including the Pan American Championships, European Championships, Junior World and World freestyle and Greco-Roman Championships. He was selected to referee the 1980 Olympic Games, however, out of respect to U.S. athletes forced to boycott, he did not participate.

Three years later, he was the first American to be named a mat chairman for the Greco-Roman World Championships in Norway. He has been a FILA clinician in the United States, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Panama. For his achievements, FILA granted him a Lifetime Exceptionelle rating, the highest category granted to international officials, as well as two of its most prestigious awards, the bronze medal and the gold medal for his dedication and service to wrestling.

Wager also officiated on the collegiate level from 1960-63, working meets in the Big 10 and Mid-America conferences, and from 1963-66 at the prep level as head official for Southern Nevada High Schools.

A very successful youth coach, Wager served as head coach of seven consecutive U.S. teams that traveled to the World Championships in various age divisions. He coached his Las Vegas YMCA team in 26 national championships. Four of his wrestlers won World championships five times. He was honored as national “Coach of the Year” in 1978 and was one of USA Wrestling’s first two coaches to reach Gold certification.

A two-sport athlete at Toledo University, Wager won the Mid American Conference Championship in 1957 and finished second in 1958. He was an alternate to the 1956 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman team, and won the national Greco championship in 1958. He was inducted into the Toledo University Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.


Meritorious Official
Lifetime Service to Wrestling

Our Mission: To honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary individual achievements, and inspiring future generations