Florida Chapter

Official State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

The Florida chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame was founded in 2000. We have over 139 inductees representing the state from Pensacola to Key West. A traveling wrestling museum is the center piece of our Honors weekend, the FHSAA finals, and our 2 off season tournaments. We award one boys' and girls' Next Level Scholarship, annually, in the amount of $1000. Florida has hosted a Coach Ashley Sword (Life University) clinic and guest speakers Coach Tom Ryan (Ohio State) and Coach John Smith (Oklahoma State). Our information and message can be found here and on our Facebook page. https://nwhof.org/state-chapters/florida. Enjoy this video produced by National. It says it all right here.


Class 2023 nominations are accepted until August 30, 2022. Please email Bob Burns for further instructions.

Donations to the Florida Chapter may be made by visiting:fl-nwhof.ticketleap.com (Note: A convenience fee is charged by ticketleap)

Questions? Contact:
Jane Townsend 561.876.5830 or Don Smith 561-629-2399 nwhof.fl@att.net

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Nomination Categories

Lifetime Service To Wrestling

Given in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in the youth through the sport of wrestling.

Outstanding American

Given to former wrestlers who are highly successful and use the disciplines learned in wrestling in their profession.

Medal of Courage

Is presented to a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges.

John Vaughan Award

This prestigious chapter award was created to acknowledge those deserving individuals who otherwise may not receive recognition for their profound contribution to the sport of amateur wrestling in the state.

Florida Chapter Board

The Florida Chapter for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame was established in 2000.

National Wrestling Hall of Fame - Florida Chapter
1505 Crowberry Ln Sebastian, Fl 32598


Gary Townsend – Executive Director
Don Smith – Vice President
Jane Townsend – Secretary
Emily Drews – Treasurer
Sam Agresti - Security
Bill Combs - Operations
Robert Matyskiel - Sergeant at Arms
Robert Burns – Nominations
Pete Collins – Museum Curator
Robert Thomas – Media Services
Jeff Malavsky – Development
Jim Smoot - Officials Director Cecelia Solomon – Administrative Assistant

1 Year BOARD
FAWA – open

FHSAA – Corey Sobers
Boys Director – Sal Basile
Girls Director – Kirwyn Adderley

The HOF Board is growing our traveling museum of Florida Wrestling. We are looking for state championship programs for all years and all divisions. If your have one(s) to donate please contact Museum Curator Pete Collins.

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Florida Chapter Inductions

The Class of 2022 inductees has been voted on by the members and the results are in. Congratulations to nominees and future inductees.

Please let us introduce you to the Class of 2022.

Congratulations to Kevin Pederson, recipient of the Florida Chapter’s Outstanding American award. Kevin is a 1976 FHSAA state champion and West Point graduate and later featured in the ESPN’s documentary “Pin Kings” and the Chuck Malkus novel, “Full Circle”.

Coach Bryan Wilkes began as an accomplished Florida high school wrestler, was a member of the All Marine Team, 14 year assistant high school coach and 15 years head coach for the Palmetto Tigers, a program he started in 2005. John Lawton is a New Jersey native that has been officiating Florida wrestling at all levels for over 40 years. Humberto Reyna has assisted Homestead South Dade hall of famer Victor Balmaceda in 10 FHSAA state championships and 4 dual meet state championships. Dave Phillips has coached at Cape Coral Mariner for 26 years earning a team FHSAA state championship in 2007. Coach Mark Prince has been active in Pinellas County wrestling for 30 years and is currently coaching Clearwater Countryside. Jeff Levitetz has decades of service to USA Wrestling as a team leader and has elevated American wrestling on the national and world stages. The class of 2022 will be introduced March 5 at the FHSAA State Championships hosted at the Silver Spurs Arena. Honor's Weekend will take place August 26 - 27.

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