Shelby Wilson

July 14, 1937 - Present

To become a champion, an athlete must set a goal. Shelby Wilson not only set a goal, but he pursued it through disappointments and distractions until he scaled the ultimate championship heights.

As a high school wrestler in Ponca City, Oklahoma, he won three conference championships and suffered only three defeats -all in the state meet, two of them in the finals. At Oklahoma State, after an injury cut short one season, he captured two Big Eight titles and twice charged to the national finals-only to suffer disheartening defeats both times.

Even his journey to the 1960 Olympics was difficult. After an upset loss in the trials, he started the final challenge in the middle of the freestyle ladder. First, he threw the Greco-Roman champion to assure a trip to Rome. He then captured the Freestyle ticket by fighting off the challengers below him, and turning the tables on the top-ranked wrestler.

And in the shadowed ruins of Rome's ancient Basilica, Shelby Wilson earned the Olympic gold medal. The road was long, with many detours, but he had attained his goal.

"Without a goal, an athlete isn't really going to struggle to achieve," he said. "Whether or not he wins a victory, the struggle, the discipline, the battle with adversity give him the championship qualities he needs for success in life."

Shelby Wilson had a hobby of "repairing anything that's broken." Growing up on a farm, he learned the value of keeping the land and the equipment in condition. During 13 years of high school and college coaching, and then as the founder and director of the Stronghold Youth Foundation, he transferred those values to human needs. An ordained minister with a love of people, he worked on their behalf with the same dedication that he once devoted to pursuit of a wrestling goal.

As an athlete of ultimate achievement and as a humanitarian of exceptional stature, Shelby Autrie Wilson is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Awards:

Year
1982
Award
Distinguished Members
Chapter/Region
National

All American Awards:

Season
1959
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
137
Place
2
Season
1958
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
137
Place
2

All Coaching Dual Records:

Season
1974
School
Colorado
Division
Division I
Duals
14
Wins
2
Losses
12
Ties
0
Win PCT.
14.29
Season
1973
School
Colorado
Division
Division I
Duals
12
Wins
6
Losses
5
Ties
1
Win PCT.
50
Season
1972
School
Colorado
Division
Division I
Duals
12
Wins
6
Losses
6
Ties
0
Win PCT.
50
Season
1971
School
Colorado
Division
Division I
Duals
13
Wins
7
Losses
5
Ties
1
Win PCT.
53.85
Season
1970
School
Colorado
Division
Division I
Duals
13
Wins
2
Losses
10
Ties
1
Win PCT.
15.38
Season
1969
School
Colorado
Division
Division I
Duals
13
Wins
6
Losses
6
Ties
1
Win PCT.
46.15
Season
Career
Duals
77
Wins
29
Losses
44
Ties
4
Win PCT.
37.66

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