Episode 2 of Seven, Gray Simons Etched In Stone Podcast, Now Available
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and USA Wrestling are excited to announce that Episode 2 of Seven, their Etched In Stone - Stories of Wrestling Legends podcast featuring seven-time national champion Gray Simons is now available at etchedinstonepodcast.com.
Seven is the story of one of America’s great wrestling minds - a stellar athlete with two Olympic appearances - and a dynamic technical mind - delivering next-level techniques learned at Granby and tweaked for the college wrestling world.
From 1961-1964, Simons was one of the best wrestlers in the world. Heading into his junior season at Lock Haven University, Simons had already won two NAIA national championships and an NCAA championship, beating Olympian Dick Wilson in the finals as a sophomore.
After his trip to Rome saw him come away from the 1960 Olympics without a medal, Simons continued his tear through college wrestling. Would injuries or wrestlers from more dominant programs stop him from his place in wrestling history? Would old friends and teammates be the ones who would knock Simons from his path?
Find out in the second installment of Seven.
Episode 2: Masterful Mite looks at Simons' run into the record books, becoming the first collegiate wrestler to win four national college championships and the 20th to win three NCAA titles. The journey also runs through his second Olympic appearance.
During his four years of collegiate competition at Lock Haven University, Simons entered seven national tournaments. He won all seven, and six times was voted outstanding wrestler of the event. Simons was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 1978.
The four-episode series is narrated and produced by Hall of Fame wrestling writer, broadcaster and announcer Jason Bryant, who conducted extensive interviews with Simons and others who have been a part of his journey. Bryant previously hosted and produced the EIS podcasts featuring Distinguished Members Mark Churella and Lloyd Keaser.
In addition to Churella, Keaser and Simons, podcasts featuring Distinguished Members Lee Kemp, John Smith and Pat Smith are also available. The Hall of Fame and USA Wrestling will continue to develop future EIS podcasts on Distinguished Members.
The EIS series provides wrestling fans an opportunity to hear legendary wrestlers sharing the trials and tribulations they encountered on the way to becoming one of wrestling’s best. Podcasts also include interviews with coaches, competitors, teammates and others who were part of the journey, giving additional insight on the legend. EIS podcasts are produced by former wrestlers and wrestling insiders, utilizing their knowledge and unique perspective to extract the stories that fans want to hear.
Simons reigned supreme at 115 pounds in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and all four years was chosen the NAIA's finest, an unparalleled achievement. Three times he won the University Division title in the NCAA and as a junior and senior was voted the outstanding competitor.
In the two years after his graduation, while stationed at the U.S. Military Academy, he continued to annex national championships in military, YMCA and AAU competition. He won the gold medal in the 1963 World Military Games.
Simons twice represented his country in the Olympic Games, in 1960 and 1964.
On the mat, he was known as a superb technician, with quickness, skill and perfect execution of an infinite variety of moves. His abilities helped spread nationwide the "Granby Series" of moves developed by his Hall of Fame high school coach in Norfolk, Virginia, Billy Martin.
After the close of his competitive career, he served with distinction as a collegiate coach at Lock Haven, Indiana State, Tennessee and Old Dominion University, and never has suffered a losing season. Among his protégés were two NCAA champions and several All-Americans.
The EIS series was created by 1976 NCAA wrestling champion Pat Christenson, who was honored as an Outstanding American by the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007.