Joan Fulp

A tireless advocate for women's wrestling throughout her career, Joan Fulp became the first woman to be elected to USA Wrestling’s Executive Board as second vice-president in 2020.

A member of the wrestling community for years, she is co-chair of USA Wrestling’s Girls High School Development Committee.

She continues to work with grassroots committees, state wrestling associations and interscholastic offices to support and develop the growth of girls wrestling at the high school level across the nation.

Joan taught and coached women’s gymnastics at Central Michigan University for three years and then spent 24 years as an elementary and adapted physical education teacher in Half Moon Bay, California.

Her late husband, Lee Allen, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 2018. Lee was a two-time Olympian (1956 and 1960) and Greco-Roman coach on the 1980 U.S. Olympic wrestling team.

Joan worked alongside her husband running tournaments, raising funds for athletes, and organizing travel to competitions for both Skyline College and the San Francisco Peninsula Grapplers Club teams.

Her two daughters, Sara (Fulp-Allen) Bahoura and Katherine (Fulp-Allen) Shai, spent a combined 13 years as members of USA Wrestling’s senior national team. The duo combined to win five collegiate national titles.

“Why should a sport that develops focus, determination, self-reliance, mental toughness and self-confidence only be available to half the population?” Fulp told the Half Moon Bay Review in California in 2017 when asked why advancing women’s wrestling was important.

In 2020, Fulp and Andrea Yamamoto were named USA Wrestling’s Women of the Year, in recognition of their work to help promote the growth of girls wrestling across the country.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

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