George Graff

George Graff has given much back to the sport of wrestling. This Grand Rapids, Minnesota native has successfully served as a coach, official, region coaches representative, chair of the Minnesota Coaches Association scholarship committee, and section coordinator. Graff got his start in wrestling at Grand Rapids High School under the direction of Hall of Fame coaches, Glen Swenson and Jack Wilhite. He was a two time Region 7 runner-up and a member of the l961 Grand Rapids team that finished second in State. Following high school George attended Bemidji State University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Upon graduation George started his coaching career as a junior high school coach for three years before moving to the assistant coaching position at Morris High School (l972 to l982) under Hall of Fame coach Al Hendrickson. When Allen retired in l982, Graff became head coach at Morris. During his eleven years at the helm (l982-l993) his teams established a record of ll7-84. Graff also had success coaching in other sports too. In Girls softball, as an assistant, at Morris High School from l983 to 2001, his JV Squads accumulated a record of 234-54. During those years the varsity team qualified for the State tournament seven times. George was also an assistant cross country coach at Morris from l998 to 2000. Both the boys and girls varsity teams competed in the State meet during that time period. Beyond all his work with young people, molding lives as a teacher and coach, Graff's most far reaching contributions may well be his work for the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association and Hall of Fame committees. In l5 years as a Section Rep, his section was always near the top in "pin" sales. Pin sales are the main fundraiser for the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association. He has also set up rotation sites and the format for various Section tournaments. He hired officials and organized seeding meetings. However, Graff's greatest contribution though has been his work as MWCA Chair of the Scholarship committee. Over the years George and the scholarship committee have been able to identify numerous deserving young men and presented them needed money to help further their education. George also kept urging the leadership of the MWCA to increase the number of scholarships. Because of his urging the MWCA now offers four scholarships of $1000 each. With all his work and contribution to the benefit of youth it's not a surprise that Graff was recognized for his expertise as well. He was named Morris area "Teacher of the Year" in l983. He also helped youth in the summer as coordinator of the summer recreation program for Community Education for three years, from l998 to 2000. Retired from teaching in 2000, Graff now loves camping and canoeing. George and his wife Ruby, have furnished their home with antiques they have collected over 40 years of marriage. Additionally, he is an accomplished stone mason and his work can be seen at his own home. The Graffs have two children, daughter, Geri, and son, Tom. They also have six grandchildren. Minnesota high school wrestling is highly respected throughout the country and some of the unsung heroes for making this possible are people like George Graff. He continues to make young peoples dreams come true with his volunteer efforts still today.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

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