Seven individuals have been named to the Class of 2019 by the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.Rick Bollenbach was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at University of Central Oklahoma, winning the 142-pound NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) national championship in 1985. He started his coaching career the following year as head coach at Edmond North Junior High School… then, after six seasons, went to Edmond Memorial High School as an assistant before starting the program at Edmond North High School in 1993. Bollenbach was the Oklahoma Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the year in 2001-02. A number of his wrestlers earned NCAA All-American honors; two -- Teyon Ware and Kyle Evans -- won national titles.
Rick Bollenbach, Mitch Brown, Greg Evans, Todd Goolsby, Tony May and Malcolm Wade have been selected for their Lifetime Service to Wrestling, an award presented each year to coaches, officials and contributors who have given at least 20 years of service to wrestling. In addition, Nick Mauldin will receive the Medal of Courage, given to former wrestlers who have been highly successful and have used the disciplines learned in wrestling in their chosen profession.
Lifetime Service to Wrestling honorees for 2019:
Mitch Brown, an Oklahoma high school state champ in 1982, started his coaching career in 1988 as youth coach at Mustang, Okla., guiding his teams to four state titles and claiming 30 individual champions. He was also an assistant coach at Mustang and El Reno high schools, where he coached 10 team state champs and 53 individual champs. Brown earned Oklahoma Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year honors seven times and was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Assistant Coach of the Year in 1998. What's more, Brown also served as a high school and college official.
Greg Evans wrestled in high school and college in New Jersey, putting together a 102-12-1 career record at Upsala College and earning All-America honors in 1981. He came to Oklahoma in 1994 as assistant coach at Broken Arrow High School and played a key role in leading the Tigers to nine dual and state tournament titles during an 11-year tenure. Evans then went to Tulsa Union High School and helped the Redskins capture nine district titles and three state championships. He moved to his current role as assistant coach at Bixby High School in 2014. Evans has helped coach 35 individual state champions, including one four-time winner and seven three-time champs.
Todd Goolsby wrestled at Del City High School and graduated from Central Oklahoma in 1995 before beginning a 20-year coaching career as assistant coach at Jarman Middle School, then served as head coach at Del Crest Middle School for a decade. Goolsby also was an assistant coach at his high school alma mater 2005-11 then an assistant at Choctaw High School from 2011-15 before moving to the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association. He serves as assistant director of the OSSAA and is in charge of administering wrestling, volleyball and soccer. Goolsby is also on the education committee of the National Federation of State High School Coaches Association.
Tony May was a wrestler at Derby (Kan.) High School, then spent a year competing at Kansas State before the Wildcats eliminated wrestling in the early 1970s… forcing him to finish his mat career at University of Central Oklahoma. He returned to Derby to launch his wrestling coaching career as assistant coach in 1987… then, in 1990, took over as head wrestling and golf coach at Southeast High School in Wichita. May spent nine seasons there, earning Kansas Wrestling Coach of the Year honors in 1996, then returned to Derby as assistant coach for two more years before retiring from coaching. In addition, May served as a high school wrestling official in Oklahoma for 16 years before retiring in 2019.
Malcolm Wade graduated from University of Oklahoma in 1971 after competing for Midwest City High in the mid-1960s. He coached at Carl Albert High from 1980-98, guiding the Titans to six district championships, four regional titles and back-to-back state crowns in 1991 and '92, earning Class 4A Coach of the Year honors both seasons. Overall, Wade coached 11 state champions and eight All-Staters. Wade, who passed away in 2014, is now honored by having his name on the Carl Albert Malcolm Wade Tournament.
In addition, Nick Mauldin will be presented with the Medal of Courage. After winning an Oklahoma state title at Shawnee High in 1986, Mauldin continued his wrestling career at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was a two-time EIWA champion (automatically qualifying for the NCAA championships) and named Outstanding Wrestler at the 1990 EIWAs. He also compiled a 110-29-5 record for Army. Prior to retiring as an Army colonel in 2017, Mauldin had been presented with a number of honors, including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the National Defense Service medal, the Iraq Campaign medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service medal.
The seven new honorees will be inducted during a banquet set for Sunday, Oct. 13 at what was formerly the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame at 4040 North Lincoln in Oklahoma City. A reception begins at 3 p.m., with dinner at 4 p.m. and the induction ceremony at 5 p.m.
Reservations are $55 per person and can be purchased online at www.ok-nwhof.ticketleap.com or by contacting Howard Seay at firstname.lastname@example.org or (918) 639-8868.