Robert Pearce

February 29, 1908 - March 15, 1996

He took up wrestling as a youngster to strengthen himself physically in a constant struggle with allergies. But despite his frail physique, Bobby Pearce won championships at all levels.

The coach at Cushing, Oklahoma, High School, Matt Berg, allowed him to join the squad despite some misgivings. Pearce rewarded him with three undefeated seasons and three state championships. As a high school senior, he reached the semifinals of the 1928 Olympic trials.

Then he joined the awesome array of talent at Oklahoma State, helping extend the winning streak of coach Edward C. Gallagher's Aggies to 70 consecutive matches. Over-all, during his collegiate days, he won 60 bouts, lost four and tied one.

A fast and aggressive wrestler, Pearce liked to go for the quick fall, and once flattened his opponent in just 11 seconds.

Pearce was National AAU champion in 1930 and '31, won the NCAA title in 1931 and was runner-up in 1932. Although he was upset in the collegiate finals as a senior, he responded with the ultimate triumph, winning the gold medal in the 1932 Olympic Games at Los Angeles, first ever for an Oklahoma wrestler.

Although only a 126-pounder, he competed professionally for five years and at the same time turned his hand to coaching. He guided Cushing to the state high school championship in 1933 and coached a YMCA team for two years before embarking on a professional career in refinery engineering.

He returned to coaching briefly 20 years later at Mesa College in Colorado, leading that team to two undefeated seasons and a conference championship.

As a champion of great achievement and success over physical difficulties, Robert Edward Pearce is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Awards:

Year
1981
Award
Distinguished Members
Chapter/Region
National

All American Awards:

Season
1932
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
123
Place
2
Season
1931
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
126
Place
1

College Season Records:

Season
1932
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Senior
Bouts
9
Wins
7
Losses
1
Ties
1
Falls
5
Win PCT.
77.78
Place
2nd
Season
1931
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Junior
Bouts
6
Wins
6
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
3
Win PCT.
100
Place
1st
Season
1930
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Sophomore
Bouts
7
Wins
5
Losses
2
Ties
0
Falls
2
Win PCT.
71.43
Place
DNP
Season
Career
Bouts
22
Wins
18
Losses
3
Ties
1
Falls
10
Win PCT.
81.82

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