Two Olympians – Eric Guerrero and Kerry McCoy – and two wrestlers who earned NCAA Outstanding Wrestler honors – Dean Lahr and Mickey Martin – were welcomed as Distinguished Members of the Class of 2014 into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. Friday night.
Also inducted into the amateur wrestling hall were Outstanding Americans Jim Jordan and Colin Kilrain, Medal of Courage winner Tom Norris, Order of Merit honoree Tim Johnson, Lifetime Achievement for Officials honoree Jerry Kuntz, Dave Schultz High School Excellence award-winner Chance Marsteller, and Tricia Saunders High School Excellence recipient Marina Doi.
For Guerrero, it was a homecoming of sorts, as a three-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American for Stillwater-based Oklahoma State who went to wrestle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. McCoy, a two-time NCAA heavyweight champ for Penn State who represented the U.S. at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, is now head coach at the University of Maryland.
Martin and Lahr were both college mat stars of the 1960s. Martin won back-to-back NCAA titles for the University of Oklahoma in 1962 and 1963, being named Outstanding Wrestler of the 1963 NCAAs. Lahr was a two-time NCAA champ for the University of Colorado in 1963 and 1964, earning Outstanding Wrestler honors at the 1964 NCAAs, the only Buffalo wrestler to receive that honor.
Other Class of 2014 honorees also have collegiate connections to the sport. Jordan was a two-time NCAA champ for the University of Wisconsin who is now a U.S. Congressman representing western Ohio, while Kilrain, a three-time All-American at Lehigh, served as a Navy SEAL and is currently a Rear Admiral for the Navy. Norris, twice an ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) champion for the University of Maryland in 1965 and 1966, is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Marsteller, an undefeated four-time Pennsylvania high school state champ, has signed with Oklahoma State, while Doi, a two-time California Interscholastic Federation state champion, will attend King University in the fall.
Friday evening’s presentation of plaques, the first event of the two-day Honors Weekend held each year at the Stillwater Hall since 1976, lacked the drama of last year’s ceremony, which was interrupted by a tornado warning that forced participants to take shelter in the basement of a nearby Oklahoma State dormitory. Saturday’s activities will conclude with a formal induction ceremony at the Oklahoma State University Student Union.