Distinguished Members selected for the Class of 2014 include Eric Guerrero, Dean Lahr, Mickey Martin, and Kerry McCoy. Congressman Jim Jordan and Rear Admiral Colin Kilrain will be inducted into the Hall of Outstanding Americans. Receiving the Hall of Fame's other national awards are: Tim Johnson, Order of Merit; Tom Norris, Medal of Courage; and Jerry Kunz, Lifetime Achievement for an Official.
"The Class of 2014 is an exceptional group of individuals whose extraordinary legacies span the entire spectrum of wrestling achievement from youth, to collegiate to the Olympic levels of this great sport," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. "We are excited to enshrine such outstanding representatives of our sport who are sure to inspire generations to come to excel on the mat and in life."
A Distinguished Member can be a wrestler who has achieved extraordinary success in national and/or international competition, a coach who has demonstrated great leadership in the profession and has compiled an outstanding record, a contributor whose long-term activities have substantially enhanced the development and advancement of the sport, or a combination of the above qualifications.
Guerrero wrestled for Coach John Smith at Oklahoma State University and amassed a career record of 117-13, winning three NCAA titles from 1997-99, and earning All-America honors four times. An accomplished freestyle wrestler, Guerrero was also a four-time U.S. Open Champion and competed on five World teams and at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Lahr was a three-time All-American and three-time NCAA finalist for the University of Colorado. He was runner-up at the 1962 NCAA before finishing first in 1963 and capping his career with a second NCAA title and Outstanding Wrestler in 1964. His collegiate record was 58-4. Lahr won two National AAU Freestyle Championships in 1962 and 1966. He placed fourth in 1963 and 5th in 1966 at the World Freestyle Championships.
Martin competed for the University of Oklahoma where he won two NCAA wrestling titles in 1962-63. He was voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA tournament in 1963, joining his father Wayne (also a Distinguished Member of the NWHOF) as the only father and son to both become NCAA champs and OW honorees. Martin was a three-time All-American for the Sooners with a career record of 42-6.
McCoy won two NCAA heavyweight titles for Penn State University in 1994 and 1997. A three-time All-American, he finished his collegiate career with a record of 150-18. He won five straight U.S. Open Freestyle Championships from 2000 to 2004, earning a silver medal in the 2003 World Championships, and twice representing the U.S. in the Olympic Games finishing fifth in 2000 and seventh in 2004.
The Hall of Outstanding Americans recognizes those who have used the disciplines of the sport to launch notable careers in other walks of life, such as science and technology, business and industry, government and the military, and the arts and humanities.
Jordan has represented Ohio's 4th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since January 3, 2007. Jordan, who was raised in Champaign County, Ohio, graduated in 1982 from Graham High School where he was a four-time state wrestling champion with a career record of 150-1. He was a three-time All-American (1984 -'86) and two-time NCAA Champion for the University of Wisconsin in 1985 and '86.
Kilrain is currently serving as the assistant commanding officer at the Joint Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, NC. He is a career Naval Special Warfare SEAL officer with multiple Joint Special Operation duty assignments during his military career. He was a three-time All-American (1980-82) and four-time EIWA champion with a career record of 87-8 for Lehigh University.
The Order of Merit is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of wrestling, other than success as an athlete or coach.
For the past 29 years, Johnson has been the "voice" of College Wrestling, broadcasting over 300 college wrestling meets for Iowa Public Television, ESPN, Big Ten Network and the last 10 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Johnson previously served the sport as Assistant Executive Director for USA Wrestling (1981-'84), and as Director of Wrestling for the1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, CA.
The Medal of Courage is presented annually to a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges, which may be physical, mental or other disabilities that make their achievements all the more uplifting.
Norris earned two Atlantic Coast Conference wrestling titles for the University of Maryland in 1965 and 1966 at 118 pounds. After graduating from Maryland in 1967, he enlisted in the Navy, hoping to become a pilot, but instead became a Navy SEAL. A daring 1972 rescue mission of two pilots shot down behind enemy lines in North Vietnam earned him the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor. Six months later, while protecting forces to his rear, Norris was shot in the face and left for dead. His rescue, by fellow SEAL Michael E. Thornton, marked the first time in 100 years that one recipient of the Medal of Honor would save the life of another. In spite of a long recovery and numerous surgeries, in 1979 Norris achieved his lifelong dream of becoming an FBI agent and served for 20 years.
The Lifetime Achievement for Officials award recognizes outstanding service as a wrestling or pairing official, judge or referee.
Kuntz has served the sport as an official since 1991, working championships in the Olympic styles at literally every level of competition, Kids, Cadets, Juniors and Open. He served as Head Official of the USA Wrestling Junior Duals eight times and as a Clinician for the USAW Cadet and Junior National Championships six times. His international officiating career includes USA World Team Trials, Commonwealth Games, World Military Championships, and Junior World Championships. He has officiated the Oklahoma High School State Championships 15 times.
More information on Honors Weekend and the Hall of Fame inductions is available by telephoning 405-377-5243 or visiting the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.