Main Hall of Fame Page

 
June 24, 2008
 
To insure that those who have played a vital role in the long and rich history of wrestling in Western New York are recognized and not forgotten as time passes, the Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association established a Hall Of Fame in 2004 to include Coaches, Wrestlers, and Contributors.  The eternal plaque recognizing these individuals is housed in the foyer of Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant,  3785 South Park Avenue, Blasdell, New York.
 

Coaches

  • 2004 – Norm Foster (Iroquois): Long-time Iroquois coach (1955-1965) who still holds the longest winning streak in Western New York wrestling – 150 matches between 1957 and 1967.  He also coached at Amherst from 1966-1981.  Norm Foster has also been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for Lifetime Service to wrestling. 

  • 2004 – Dick Post (Pioneer): Long-time Pioneer coach (1970-1982; 1987-1995(?)) who coached State and NCAA Champion Keith Stearns and State Champion Kyle Grunwald.  Dick Post has also been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for Lifetime Service to wrestling. 

  • 2005 – Clarence “Flash” Olson (Southwestern): Founder of wrestling in the Southern Tier.  Southwestern’s first Head Coach 1954-1976.  He was several times President of the Southern Tier Wrestling Coaches’ Association and Chairman of Section VI wrestling after Matty Szydlowski retired.

  • 2005 – Armand “Ace” Cacciatore (Niagara-Wheatfield): Legendary Niagara-Wheatfield Wrestling Coach and Section VI “winningest coach” with 333 wins.  Ace coached wrestling and football for 40 years, 38 of them at Niagara-Wheatfield.  He coached Section VI’s and Niagara-Wheatfield’s first State Champion, Frank Patterson and also coached Bobby Sloan and Paul Cianchetti in their early years.   ( His career coaching win-loss record for Section VI was broken by Dennis Beck (Lancaster 1976-2007) in 2007 and the new Section VI Coaching career win-loss record was set at 340-95-3.) 

  • 2005 – Joe Shifflet (Sweet Home): Long-time Sweet Home Coach (1969-1990) and Athletic Director and Section VI Wrestling Chairman (1991-1994).  Joe coached at Sweet Home from 1969 to 1990 earning a record of 232-54-3, won 12 division titles and coached 14 sectional champions, 9 New York State place winners, and 1 state champion, his son, Tom (132#) in 1990.

  • 2006 – Mike Foster (Olean): Head Wrestling Coach at Olean High School 1969-1978 with 50+ straight dual meet victories and 5 consecutive Section VI Team Titles.  Mike coached two New York State champions: Chris Leichtweis (155#-1978) and Clar Anderson (112#-1979 and 126#-1980) plus numerous sectional place finishers.

  • 2007 – Fred Marcheson (Iroquois): Coached at Iroquois in 4 decades;  the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s  (1979-2002). Fred was a 1968 graduate of Iroquois High School and was a member of the teams that set the national wrestling winning streak record of 150 dual meet wins in a row (1957-1967) which still stood as of March 15th, 2006 when it was published in WRESTLING U.S.A. Fred was a long-time Divisional Chairman and member of the Section VI Committee.  He was Assistant Coach from 1974-79 and Head Coach at Iroquois High School from 1979-2002 compiling a career coaching win-loss record of 225-20-1 with undefeated teams in 1981, 1995, and 1998.  In that time as Head Coach he produced 43 individual class champions and 11 Section VI champions, won 10 divisional titles, 5 consecutive Section VI AAA Class Team Titles (1998-2002) and was voted Divisional Coach of the Year 6 times.  Under Fred’s tutelage, all of his teams achieved Scholar/Athlete distinction and were two-time New York State Scholar/Athlete State Champions for the highest academic average in the state.  Fred retired in 2006 after 30 years of teaching, counseling, and coaching at Iroquois High School.

  • 2008 – James Endres (Williamsville): Coach James Endres was the founder of the Williamsville Wrestling Program where he was the Head Coach at Williamsville South from 1952-1963.  During that time he accrued a coaching career dual meet win-loss record of 117-28,  won 7 ECIC League Championships, 5 section VI titles and produced 23 individual Section VI champions and many runners-up.  He coached many successful brother combinations including Wayne and Gary Butt (Gary inducted into WNYWCA Hall of Fame 2005), Bob and Ron Wilcox, Dick, Bob and John McKeever, Carl and Bert Ernst (Bert inducted into WNYWCA Hall of Fame 2008 also), and Bob and John Ensminger.

  • 2008 – Kerwin “Skip” Pine (Kenmore East): Skip started his coaching career as Assistant Coach at Kenmore East from 1961-1964 and then became the Head Coach from 1964-1994.  During this time Skip also served as the Section VI Wrestling Chairman from 1978 to 1990.  While coaching at Kenmore East, Skip won an NFL League Championship, coached 52 sectional place finishers, 15 sectional champions, 8 state place finishers, and 2 state champions, Bob Rust at 168# in 1966 and Chris Lawson at 167# in 1975.  In his coaching career, Skip accrued a dual meet career coaching  record of  259-138.

Wrestler/Coach

  • 2007 – Glenn Bateman (Maryvale/Tonawanda & Maryvale): Glenn was a 1967 New York State Wrestling Champion for Maryvale wrestling at 167# with an undefeated 23-0 season record.  He earned a 4-year scholarship to Syracuse University where he was captain of the team for 2 years, finished 3rd in the “Easterns” tournament, and earned All-American status. Glenn was varsity wrestling coach at Tonawanda High School from 1975-1995 and retired with a coaching career win-loss record of 243-28-3.  In 1996 Glenn returned to coaching at Maryvale High School to resurrect their wrestling program and coached there until 1999 before leaving there with a 35-41-4 coaching win-loss record.  This made his total career coaching win-loss record 278-41-4.   During his coaching career, his teams won 9 NFL Championships and he coached numerous league champions, sectional place finishers, and state representatives. Glenn was twice selected Tonawanda’s “Coach of the Year,” “Coach of the Year” by Niagara Frontier Wrestling Officials, 1990 Channel 7’s “Coach of the Year” for the entire winter sport season and was inducted into the Tonawanda’s “Wall of Fame” in 1996 and Maryvale’s “Wall of Fame” in 1997. In 1991, along with Williamsville South’s Coach Jim Lamb, Glenn was an organizer of the Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association and the first awards banquet held at Ilio DiPaolo’s on March 14, 1992.

Wrestlers

  • 2004 – Lou Rosselli (Roy-Hart): 156-8 record; 4-time Section VI Champion – 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988. Two-time State Champion – 1986 (98#), 1988 (112#). Olympian (1996). Edinboro University Athletic Hall of Fame 2004. Lou competed at 91# as a freshman where he took 3rd.  His sophomore year he placed 1st, junior year took 2nd , and in 1988 his senior year placed 1st at the New York State Championships helping Roy-Hart achieve the #1 ranking in Western New York. Lou went on to compete at Edinboro University and placed 3rd at the Division I Nationals at 118# as a senior in 1993 after a 4th place finish as a junior.  Lou was selected Outstanding Wrestler at both the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Tournament and the Eastern Wrestling League Championships in 1993 after winning titles at both events.  He  won three PSAC championships and his record of 136 victories still ranks 3rd on Edinboro’s all-time wins list.  In 1993 he was recognized as the top Senior Male Athlete at Edinboro.  While at Edinboro, Lou was also an Academic All-American. Lou’s international freestyle wrestling career included United States Open Championships in 1995, 1996, and 1999.  In 1994 he became the University National Champion, two-time Sunkist Open Champion, Silver Medalist at the Pan-American Games, as well as the World Cup Champion.  We best remember his heroic competition in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and although he did not place, was undefeated.  In his second match, clinging to a 4-2 advantage over the Romanian wrestler with 52 seconds left in the match, Lou suffered a broken arm, but hung on to secure the victory.  However, he was forced to medically default from future matches at the Olympics. Lou also has an illustrious coaching career both collegiately at Edinboro and Ohio State and internationally.

  • 2005 – Gary Butt (Williamsville): 4-time Sectional Champion – 1955 (106#), 1956 (130#), 1957 (148#), 1958 (157#) – career record 67-0-1 with 50 pins.

  • 2005 – Jeff Prescott (Olean): 4-time Sectional Champion 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987.   Section VI MVP 1986 & 1987 – New York State MVP 1986.  Three-time State Champion - State Place Finishes: 1984 – 3rd at 91#; 1985 – 1st at 105#; 1986 – 1st at 105#; and 1987 – 1st at 112#.  (Jeff was not able to attend in 2005 and was inducted and honored at the 2006 Luncheon of Champions)

  • 2006 – Paul Pickhardt (West Seneca): Undefeated wrestler. Three-time Sectional Champion – 1955 (98#), 1957 (106#), 1958 (112#).

  • 2006 – Clar Anderson (Olean): 4-time Sectional Champion – 1977, 1978 – Section VI MVP, 1979, and 1980.  Two-time State Champion – State Place finishes 1977 – 3rd at 91#; 1979 – 1st at 112#; 1980 – 1st at 126#.

  • 2007 - Jack Valentic (Maryvale): 3-time Sectional Champion – 1957 (157#), 1958 (168#), 1959 (167#) compiling a high school career win-loss record of 76-4.  Jack  was also an outstanding football player for Maryvale and received an athletic scholarship to the University at Buffalo in both wrestling and football, wrestling from 1960-1963.  He was captain of the wrestling team in 1962 and 1963 and won the Outstanding Wrestler Award in 1961, 1962, and 1963.  In 1963 Jack won the prestigious 4-I’s Tournament and was awarded the Dom Grossi Award as the Most Outstanding Athlete at UB.  During his years at UB, he compiled a career win-loss record of 54-1. Jack was inducted in the University at Buffalo’s Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Maryvale Hall of Fame in 1997.

  • 2007 – Ethan Bosch (Iroquois) – 122-20 – Two-time Sectional Champion – 1987, 1988 New York State Champion at 167# in 1988 (season record 39-1) – Outstanding Wrestler in Section VI and New York State 1988.  Ethan went on to wrestle at Syracuse University and was an NCAA Division I qualifier in 1992 and posted a 26-11 overall record as a senior in 1993. Ethan spent 12 years (1993-2005) wrestling for the United States in the Greco-Roman style.  He was 10-time place winner at the U.S. Open Nationals and was a member of the Greco-Roman U.S. National Team from 2000-2004.  He was the 2002 U.S. Open National Champion at 84 kg and also took a Bronze Medal at the World Cup in 2001 and 2002.  In 2000, Ethan was 2nd in Greco at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 85 kg and was an Olympic alternate.  Overall, Ethan won 26 medals in international tournaments between 1996 and 2005.  He is currently coaching at Clarion University. 

  • 2008 – Franklin “Big Man” Patterson Jr. (Niagara-Wheatfield) – Two-Time Section VI Champion 1963 and 1964.  Section VI’s first New York State Champion – 1964.  Frank was also a star football player at Niagara-Wheatfield and was unbeaten as an amateur boxer, winning the Golden Gloves title twice, and was an active contributor and participant in tribal activities and cultural preservation on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation. (Inducted posthumously as Frank passed away April 7, 2005).

  • 2008 – Albert “Bert” Ernst (Williamsville) – 78-3 at Williamsville Central.   Bert was 16-2 as a Freshman at 154# and 17-1 as a Sophomore with a second place finish in Section VI at 154#.   As a Junior, Bert was Section VI champion at 177# with a record of 18-0 with only 2 points scored against him throughout the entire season.  As a Senior, Bert became a two-time Section VI champion at 181# with an undefeated record of 19-0 including 18 pins and a 6-0 decision.   In his Senior year he also was the New York State YMCA Champion at 190#, the Tyrone Pennsylvania, and the Gettysburg Pennsylvania Invitational Tournaments Champion. Bert went on to wrestle for the University at Buffalo where he accrued a collegiate record of 44-4 going undefeated 15-0 as a senior at UB and was the prestigious 4-I (Intercollegiate Interstate Individual Invitational) Champion at 191#.  A year previously, Bert had finished 4th in the 4-I tournament at heavyweight. Following college, Bert remained active on the wrestling mat with a 1974 Niagara District AAU championship at 198# and also the 1974 Greater Buffalo Jewish Center Championship. Bert has remained deeply involved in area wrestling coaching at Buffalo State, University at Buffalo (volunteer), Williamsville North, Cheektowaga Central, Kenmore East, and Williamsville East.

  • 2008 – Keith Stearns (Pioneer) - New York State Champion 1975 (155#) and Outstanding Wrestler in both Section VI and New York State.  Keith’s 1975 record was 37-0 with 36 pins (a record for pins in a season which stood for 32 years when Fredonia’s Kenny Betts notched 39 pins in a 48-6 season in 2007).   Keith’s final career win-loss record at Pioneer was 108-11 with 85 pins. After graduation, Keith went on to compete at Oklahoma University.  In his freshman year he finished 3rd in the Big 8 at 167#, 1st in the Big 8 at 158# and 5th in the NCAA as a sophomore and in his junior year, 2nd in the Big 8 and became the NCAA Champion at 167#. Keith was Assistant Coach at Francis Howell Central for 5 years in Missouri and since returning to Western New York is currently Assistant Coach at his alma mater Pioneer.
Contributors
  • 2004 – Dennis and Michael DiPaolo: Dennis and Michael have given their support to wrestling through the foundation of the Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Awards, providing the Outstanding Wrestler Trophy for the annual NCCC-NFWOA Wrestling Tournament, and support of New York Super Six Wrestling and Section VI wrestling through monetary and equipment donations.  Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant will provide the home for the Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association Hall Of Fame plaque.

  • 2006 – Bill Hein: Bill was the founder of the Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association, the Section VI Ranking Committee, Wrestling Review Of Western New York, the Wrestling Review Of Western New York Library, Video and Philatelic Collection donated to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma and University at Buffalo; author of numerous wrestling publications including the Section VI and Western New York Wrestling Compilation that the “History” Section of this web site is based.  It is impossible to enumerate and recognize all of Bill’s contributions and continued support of Section VI and Western New York wrestling.

  • 2007 – Linda Knuutila: Linda has been called the “First Lady of Wrestling” in western New York working to support and promote wrestling and wrestlers in Western New York on all levels, Section VI Kids’, Section VI High School, and collegiate, Niagara County Community College, and Open, Empire State Games.  Linda has worked to preserve the Section VI Wrestling History with contributor Bill Hein since 1990 with her work with Wrestling Review Of Western New York, the Section VI Ranking Committee, and Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association.  She is also recognized in the New York State Collegiate Wrestling Hall of Fame as a contributor. 

  • 2008 – Paul Conklin: Paul was Head Coach at Springville High School from 1985-2000.  During that time, Paul organized and hosted many Senior All-Star Meets at Springville.  In 2000 Paul’s career path changed when he retired from teaching and coaching to work with New York State United Teachers.  He knew that he would miss the coaching and wanted to stay involved with the wrestling community.   Since that time he remained dedicated to the work of the Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association and has continued to serve as Treasurer of the organization.

  • 2008 – John Diblasi: John was an Assistant Coach at Springville for many years and has always been very involved in wrestling in Western New York.  John worked with Paul many years at Springville and also helped organize and host many Senior All-Star Meets.  John is very involved with Western New York wrestling community serving as Secretary of Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association, Secretary of the Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Committee, and also the Wrestling Review Of Western New York Ranking Committee.

Media Award
 
The Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association also annually recognizes a member of the media, through our Media Award, that has done an  outstanding job in promoting the sport of wrestling and our athletes throughout the season.
  • 1998 – Mary Jo Monnin (Buffalo News)
  • 1999 – Jim Riggs (Jamestown POST-JOURNAL)
  • 2000 – Tom Roof (Olean Times Herald)
  • 2001 – Pat Murray (Tonawanda News)
  • 2002 – Keith McShea (Buffalo News)
  • 2003 – Bill Wolcott (Niagara Gazette)
  • 2004 – Mike Wertman (Medina Journal-Register)
  • 2005 – Pat Nagy (Amherst Bee)
  • 2006 – Cindy Szczesny (Section VI Office and Web Site)
  • 2007 – Dave Ibach (Dunkirk Observer)
  • 2008 – Phil Yoder (Internet representative – taking us to a “new level” of media)

Special Service Award

The Special Service Award established in 2008 will be a yearly award presented to an individual or individuals who have been active in support of the wrestling community on a regular basis for many years.  

“In deepest appreciation of your many years of continuous dedication and support of Section 6 wrestling.”
2008 – Bob And Edie Dando
 

John Vesper Memorial Coaches Award

In 2008 the Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association established the annual Jon Vesper Memorial Award which goes to a coach or former coach who has demonstrated the passion and reverence for the sport of wrestling that  Jon did in his lifetime.  Jon was the beloved, inspirational, and respected wrestling coach at Clarence High School who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 40 in 2007.  He lived and breathed wrestling.  His passion and enthusiasm for the sport was contagious and positively influenced many.  With the help and support of his family, he enthusiastically and unselfishly dedicated himself to improving the quality of Section VI wrestling on all levels in many ways and worked tirelessly to promote the sport and wrestlers in Western New York. 

“In recognition of your passion for the sport of wrestling and your tireless and unselfish efforts to support and promote wrestling and wrestlers in Western New York.” 2008 – Brian Swatland  (Williamsville North)
 
Western New York Wrestling Coaches’ Association Special Awards
 
Special Media Award
 
2005 – Bob Koshinski (Empire Sports Network – Empire disbanded March 2005): Bob deserves special recognition for all of his years and work in promoting and showcasing our athletes and sport through Empire Sports Network.

WNYWCA “Profiles In Courage” Awards

2006 – Dave Margeson (Allegany-Limestone): “Always the gentleman, always the sportsman, always putting the welfare of your team and others ahead of your own.  Your courage, strength, and determination in the face of adversity and illness are an inspiration to all of us.”

Special Recognition Award

2007 – Dick Lang (Newfane): “In deepest appreciation of your decades of dedication and support of Section VI wrestling.  Your tireless efforts have earned you the utmost respect and admiration of everyone involved in the sport that you care so deeply for, and we all thank you.