National Wrestling Hall of Fame – PA Chapter to honor eight Inductees in 26th Anniversary Celebration in 2019.
The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is proud to announce the 26th Class for induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for spring of 2019. The date of the banquet is April 28, 2019, the site is the Hershey Lodge. Details for the banquet (cost of tickets, etc.) will be posted in the very near future on the PA Chapter website: https://nwhof.org/pennsylvania/ and also the PA Wrestling website: http://www.pawrsl.com/pa/tebullnew.htm.
Ann Peery Ritter (Board President) stated that the board is particularly proud of this year’s class. The PA Board feels that again this is again a very special class for the 26th anniversary of the PA Chapter, the oldest and first State Chapter established by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Each year we are amazed at the caliber of the nominees. Each year the selection process is difficult, since only a few people can be honored each year, while so many have dedicated a lifetime to service our great sport. This just shows the depth of quality of amateur wrestling in the state of Pennsylvania and the dedication of those who compete, coach, officiate or report. Congratulations to the following members of the Class of 2018:
Lifetime Service to Wrestling Awards:
Donald Burris – Was an assistant coach for 22 years under Hall of Famer, Dick Rhoades at the storied Bald Eagle Area program in Centre County. Don was responsible for team conditioning, and being a dedicated runner, including appearances in the Boston Marathon added to his abilities to train wrestlers on conditioning. Don also was responsible for oversight of the team records, publications, logistics etc. His skills as a business teacher aided him well in organizing that portion of his job. He was a great conditioning coach and his interaction with the team members and other coaches aided greatly in BEA’s reputation as being in top notch condition and dominating the third period. In the decade of 80’s and 90’s, BEA won 290 meets, and suffered only 29 losses. BEA was ranked #1 in the state at least 4 years during that time and finished the #1 ranked team in the nation in 1999. Much of that attributes to the efforts of Don Burris. Don also served as the secretary of the District 6 Coaches association for 23 years. Don continues to support our sport as the Treasurer for the Penn State Wrestling Club – the largest fan-based wrestling club in the US – for nearly 10 years. Don contributed to overhauling the institutional control efforts of the PSWC and formalized many of the practices and procedures to better manage the funding to the nation’s largest wrestling support club. He is currently serving as the Secretary for the Centre County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Chuck Grassano – Graduated from Ridley high School in 1964. He never wrestled for the varsity squad because he broke his leg wrestling in a PE class, requiring surgery and the installation of two pins, and a protracted hospital stay. But the positive take away is that he met his wife Mary Ann there, as she was volunteering as a Candy Striper! Chuck graduated from the Pennsylvania Military College, now known as Widener University in 1968. After college he taught at Delaware County Community College and began coaching. Chuck started the wrestling program at Northley Middle School in 1969, then move to Sun Valley High School as the Head Coach, remaining there from 1972 – 2001. And as many coaches who were never wrestlers, Chuck called upon his other innate skills to lead his teams to lots of success. He worked just as hard teaching his athletes the traits to become successful men as he did teaching them to become successful wrestlers. His career record as Head Coach is 321-121-6, and he coached undefeated teams in 1975 and 1985. He founded the Delaware Valley Coaches Association in 1981, began the Vanguard Invitational Tournament, in 1982, and has been a member of the District 1 Steering Committee from 1988-2005. After retiring as Head Coach, he stayed at Sun Valley as an assistant for 2 more seasons. Chuck is a member of four Halls of Fame: the SE PA Wrestling, the PA Wrestling Coaches Association, theDelaware County and Aston Halls of Fame. The NWHOF will be his fifth Hall of Fame.
Richard Horst – Attended Reading High School, where he participated in both Football and Wrestling, graduating in 1962. He then attended Albright College compiling a 32-14 career record and winning a Middle Atlantic Conference title in his junior year. He graduated in1966. Dick began his coaching career as an assistant in North Hunterdon NJ. After a year there, he moved back to Reading and started the wrestling program at Wyomissing High School, coaching there till 1980. He then was the coach at his alma mater, Albright for one season before moving to Governor Mifflin High School for two seasons. Dick then took a hiatus in coaching to focus on his two sons’ wresting careers. His son Peter was a state Runner-up in 1986 and won a state championship in 1987, and Matt was also a 2X Medalist, both for Schuylkill Valley. Dick returned as the Head Coach at Wyomissing for 2 seasons then stepped down to become an assistant coach. Dick finished his Head Coaching career with 81 wins at Wyomissing and Gov. Mifflin. But he continued as an assistant coach at Schuylkill Valley, where he still coaches today – that is a total of 36 years in the wrestling room! Coach Dale Maurer’s squads at Schuylkill Valley in Dick’s years as an assistant have garnered well over 300 wins. Dick is a member of the District 3 Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the Albright College Hall of Fame.
Jeff Madden – Attended Methacton High School, graduating in 1974 as a Regional medalist. Jeff graduated from Boston University in 1978 with a career record of 64-18. Jeff was a team captain at BU, as he won a Yankee League crown and led his team to the League title. Right after college, Jeff got his start in coaching, as an assistant at Wissahickon High school for 4 years. In 1983, He became the Head Coach there and led the Trojans to 257 dual meet wins over the next 23 years. Jeff then moved on to Perkiomen Valley as an assistant coach for 3 seasons before becoming the head coach at Pottsgrove High School in 2008. Jeff is still the Head Coach at Pottsgrove. Entering the 2018-19 season, Jeff has a career record of 320-239. Jeff won 12 League Titles at Wissahickon, including 7 straight from 1988-1994. His Trojans won 2 Sectional Titles and won both the Dual and Team District 1 Titles in 1994. He was selected as Coach of the Year 13 times. His Pottsgrove Falcons won the League Title in 2018. Jeff is a member of the District 1 Wrestling Steering Committee since 1982, and has served as Chairman, Voting Representative, and currently the Assistant Chair. Since 1993 Jeff has been the Chairman of the District 1 Dual Meet Championships and served in 2 stints as President of the District 1 Coaches Association:1986-1998 and 2005-present. He is in his 42nd year of coaching wrestling.
Wayne Packer – Got his start wrestling in the elementary program at Bald Eagle Area, started by Hall of Fame Coach, Joe Humphreys. Joe coached Wayne on year at the Varsity level before another Hall of Famer became his coach. Dick Rhoades coached Wayne in his last two seasons at BEA. Wayne had a phenomenal career, boasting a 56-6 record, with only 2 Dual Meet losses. He was the team captain 2 years, a 2X District Champ, one year the OW; 2x Regional Champ and a 2X PIAA semi-finalist. Wayne then attended Penn State on a full scholarship and was a 3-year starter at 118 lbs. He has a career record of 40-8-2 and was the first ever EWL Champion in League History. After college, Wayne began coaching at West Hazleton High School. He started a Jr Hi program and was its first coach for 2 seasons before becoming the Varsity Head Coach for the next 7 years. He coached the school’s 1st D-11 Champ and its first PIAA place winner and finalist. In 1989 he moved to Lampeter-Strasburg as the Head Coach. In 9 seasons Wayne coached over 100 win for the Pioneers, was 3X named the Coach of the Year for the Lancaster-Lebanon Wrestling League Section, and in 1992 was the District 3 Coach of the year. After a total of 20 years of coaching, after the 1998 season Wayne retired from Coaching and became the Athletic Director at Lampeter-Strasburg. In 2008 he retired from that position. Wayne is a member of the Bald Eagle Area Wrestling Hall of Fame and was selected First Team on BEA’s All-50 Year team in 2006.
Outstanding American Awards
Troy Clair – Wrestled at Warwick High School, as well as Colorado State University, graduating in 1982. Troy began work in the family company on a full-time basis right out of college, working virtually every position in the company. He became the General Manager in 1995 and assumed his current position of 100% ownership in 2007. Through calculated risks and plain old hard work, Troy has grown Clair Global into largest sound system company in the world, with over 1000 employees and over $100M in annual sales. Clair Global is a star in its own right in the extraordinarily competitive international entertainment business, featuring fully owned divisions in Nashville, New York City and Los Angeles, with affiliates in the UK, Switzerland, Argentina, Japan and Australia. Troy has been a strong supporter of F&M Wrestling for over 50 years, and Troy and his company have a long history of hiring wrestlers, as far back as 1976, some of which still work at Clair Global today. He actively supports the Wrestlers In Business Lancaster Network, and he serves his community in four board positions: The Municipal Water & Sewer Authority of Lititz, the Lititz Recreation Center, Lancaster EDC and Discover Lancaster.
Joe Bastardi – wrestled at mainland Regional High School in XX, New Jersey then attended Penn State majoring in meteorology and as a letter winner of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Team and Hall of Fame Coach, Bill Koll. Graduating on a talent laden team in 1978, Joe was well respected and well liked by his teammates and acquired the nickname of “The Rasslin’ Weatherman.” After college Joe became a staff meteorologist at AccuWeather in State College and remained there for 32 years, rising to become the Chief Long Range Forecaster before leaving to join WeatherBell as the Chief Meteorologist in 2011. Joe has developed a national reputation for using his personal skills and experience in conjunction with science ad computer modeling to formulate his forecasts. He has been tapped as a guest speaker at numerous national and international conferences and has incredibly made over 1000 media appearances on national TV, including Fox News Live, ABC World News, The O’Reilly Factor, The Colbert Report, CBS’ The Early Show, Imus in the Morning, and several others. Since 1987 Joe has been a volunteer strength and nutrition coach for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. He was Kerry McCoy’s personal strength coach when he trained for his two Olympic campaigns. Additionally, Joe is a National Masters Class bodybuilder, winning 5 national and 2 North
American titles, and currently training for the Over-60 Nationals!
Medal of Courage Award
Clyde Cressler – Wrestled at Newport High school for legendary Hall of Fame Coach, Bob Craig. Clyde had a career record of 60-10 and was a 2X District 3 Champ. In his senior year of 1961, he was the SE Regional champion at 112 lbs. and the school’s first qualifier to States. Clyde attended Shippensburg State College earning a BS in Elementary Ed. He had a record of 24-4-1 in 3 seasons. In 1962 he won the very tough Pennsylvania State College Conference (PSAC) title at 115 lbs. He briefly taught sixth grade in the Cumberland Valley School District, then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, graduating in 1969. Clyde then opened his first pharmacy. Clyde was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1998, but that did not slow down his drive and love of people and wrestling. The discipline of wrestling enabled Clyde to handle the challenges of Parkinson’s and still maintain an extremely busy professional lifestyle and a love for his sport. Today he owns Care Capital Management, which owns and operates 18 Medicine Shoppe Pharmacies in PA & NY. Clyde has been a longstanding, staunch supporter of the sport. He has sponsored international wrestlers, including Sean O’Day and Olympic medalist Bruce Baumgartner. He has provided apparel for the Newport Wrestling Team for their Holiday Tournament and to Team Diesel Wrestling which sends wrestlers to the Disney Duals. He also financially assisted Newport High School in securing a scoreboard and new wrestling room in 2008. He started a Clyde L. Cressler Family Wrestling Scholarship at both Edinboro and Shippensburg Universities. He was inducted into the District III Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002 and was the recipient of the Bob Craig Youth Services Award in 2012.
2018 Clay Shoot
The 2018 Clay Shoot was held on Saturday September 22 and we had great day with 20 shooters and some really good food. We would again like to THANK all our sponsors for there support you always help us make this a success.
This years winners of the shoot are shown below with John C. Thomas (Board Member):
National Wrestling Hall of Fame
PA Chapter banquet a huge success
On Sunday April 29 at the Hershey Lodge the PA Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame celebrated its 25th Anniversary and inducted the class of 2018. The day was a huge success with 583 people in attendance to recognize our inductees. The chapter had a lot of special guest such as Bob Bubb, Carlton Haselrig, Wade Schalles, Gray Simon, John Reese as well as Leroy Smith and Kristi Graff from the National Hall of Fame. The Chapter also recognized 3 PA State Champions Joe Klock, Josh Stillings and Anthony Walters And the one of the highlights of the day was a special presentation to Stan Zeamer.
The Class of 2018