STILLWATER, Okla. -- The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum on Monday announced that the Class of 2016 inductees are Carlton Haselrig, Brandon Slay, William (Bill) Harlow, John Richard (Dick) Wilson, Randy Bortles, Joseph Galli Jr., Marcia Haise, and Ron Good.
The NWHOF Board of Governors approved the selections at its meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 24. The induction ceremony will be held at the 40th Anniversary Honors Weekend on June 3-4, 2016 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information on Honors Weekend, please telephone (405) 377-5243.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma, is currently closed while undergoing a $3.5 million renovation, scheduled to be completed in time to celebrate Honors Weekend.
"This group of extraordinary individuals have made a significant impact on the sport of wrestling," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum. "It is our privilege to honor them, but, more importantly, we appreciate the opportunity each year when we get to let people know what each of these remarkable individuals has done."
Haselrig and Slay were chosen as Distinguished Members for the Modern Era while Harlow and Wilson were selected as Distinguished Members by the Veterans Committee. Bortles is the Medal of Courage honoree, and Galli is the Outstanding American. Haise is being honored for Lifetime Service for Officials, and Good has been selected as the Order of Merit recipient.
America's shrine to the sport of wrestling, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum has the largest collection of wrestling artifacts and memorabilia in the world. The renovation will allow visitors to experience interactive exhibits while continuing to see the greatest names of the sport enshrined in the Hall of Honors.
Distinguished Members 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 who has compiled an outstanding record; or a contributor whose long-term activities have substantially enhanced the development and advancement of the sport.
William (Bill) Harlow was a three-time NCAA Tournament finalist for Oklahoma State University, finishing second at 177 pounds in 1964 and 1965 before moving up to 191 pounds where he won the NCAA Championship in 1966. He was a Big 8 champion in 1965 and 1966, and had a career collegiate record of 54-5-2, including 21-0-1 during his national title season. Harlow was a three-time national freestyle champion, earning Outstanding Wrestler honors in 1974, and he won a silver medal at the 1970 World Freestyle Championships. He is considered to be the best wrestler to come out of the state of Tennessee. He competed for St. Andrews High School in Sewanee, Tennessee, winning the state championship and Outstanding Wrestler honors in 1962. He coached for almost 50 years beginning in Illinois at Carmel High School and Prospect High School before returning to Oklahoma where he taught and coached wrestling for 10 years at Broken Arrow High School. He then became an administrator at Broken Arrow for six years, but continued to coach wrestling. He was principal at Kellyville High School for three years, continuing to coach wrestling, before spending eight years in Alaska where he was an administrator and helped coach wrestling. He again returned to Oklahoma where he taught and helped coach wrestling at Sapulpa High School until his retirement in 2013. He received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005.
Carlton Haselrig wrestled as a heavyweight for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and holds the distinction of being the only wrestler to win six NCAA Championships, three in Division I and three in Division II. He never lost a match at the NCAA Tournament (15-0), and he never lost or tied a match in Division II. He finished with a career record of 143-2-1, including an NCAA record of 122 consecutive matches without a loss. He was named to the NCAA 75th Anniversary Wrestling Team in 2005. While in high school, he competed in freestyle wrestling competitions during the summer because his high school did not have a wrestling program. Before his senior year, the Greater Johnstown School Board gave him permission to represent Johnstown High School as an independent one-man team. He went 10-0 and won the state championship. Despite not playing football in college, Haselrig was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 12th round of the 1989 National Football League Draft. He played four seasons for the Steelers, being selected to the Pro Bowl in 1992, and one season with the New York Jets. He trained mixed martial arts fighters and wrestlers at Cold Steel MMA & Wrestling in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, before becoming a varsity assistant coach for football and wrestling at The Greater Johnstown High School.
Brandon Slay won the Gold Medal at 167.5 pounds at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, upsetting defending Olympic and World champion Bouvaisa Satiev on his way to the finals. Satiev finished his career with nine career gold medals, including two more Olympic Gold Medals and six World Championships. Slay is currently the National Development Coach for USA Wrestling, and has coached the cadets and juniors to 19 world medals and seven World Championships the last two years. He also serves as the Assistant National Coach and National Freestyle Resident Coach at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. In 2000, the Amarillo, Texas native became the first Texan to win the US Open, earning Outstanding Wrestler honors, and was one of the first Texans to win the US Olympic Trials. He is a two-time University National champion, a two-time Espoir National Freestyle champion, a four-time Junior National All-America, and a two-time Cadet World Medalist in Greco-Roman. In senior international competition, he won the Dan Kolov, the Five Continents Cup, the Macedonia Pearl, and the inaugural Dave Schultz Memorial International Tournament. Slay wrestled for the University of Pennsylvania and was a two-time NCAA Division I runner-up and All-American at 167 pounds, the first All-American at Penn in 33 years. He helped lead the Quakers to their first Ivy team title, and was All-Ivy League four times, winning the conference title as a junior and senior after finishing second as a sophomore and third as a freshman. He was the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Wrestler of the Year in 1997 after winning a record 33 matches. Slay was inducted into the EIWA Hall of Fame in 2009. He was a three-time Texas state wrestling champion for Tascosa High School in Amarillo, and as a senior was voted the top defensive football player in the Texas Panhandle.
John Richard (Dick) Wilson, who passed away in 2009 at 75 years old, was a three-time NCAA Championship runner-up and a three-time All-American for the University of Toledo from 1959-61. He also won the Mid-American Conference Championships three straight years, and did not lose a dual match during his career. He was the National AAU champion in freestyle and Greco Roman in 1959 and 1961. He competed in Greco-Roman wrestling in the Olympics in 1956 and returned as team captain in 1960 and 1964 when he finished fourth. He won the Gold Medal in Greco Roman at the Pan American Games in 1959. He competed in Greco Roman in the World Cup, captaining the United States World Cup team in 1961 when he finished fifth, and returned to compete in 1962. He returned to the University of Toledo as head wrestling coach in 1967, and coached the Rockets from 1967-1974. His 1969 team won the MAC championship; three other teams were runners-up, and another finished third. He earned his bachelor's degree, master's degree, and education specialist degree from the University of Toledo where he was a member of the Campus Blue Key Honor Society. Before coaching at his alma mater, he taught and coached at Rogers High School and after leaving UT became a public school administrator until his retirement in 1993. He wrestled at Washington High School in Washington, Pennsylvania, and is a member of the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Varsity T Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Outstanding American award recognizes individuals who have used the disciplines of the sport to launch notable careers after concluding their wrestling career. Past recipients have included individuals who have excelled in science, technology, business, industry, government, military, and arts and humanities.
Joseph Galli Jr. credits wrestling for preparing him for the rigors of an intense business career, and teaching him three key lessons that were highly valuable in his business career: hard work, managing pressure, and learning from and bouncing back from setbacks. He wrestled for the University of North Carolina from 1976-80. He was team captain as a senior, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title at 142 pounds while helping the Tar Heels capture the team title. Galli joined Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. in 2006 as the Chief Executive Officer of Techtronic Appliances and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of TTI effective February 1, 2008. He is responsible for integrating acquisitions in North America and Europe, and enhancing the global sales potential of the Group's strong brand portfolio. He is also responsible for leading the management team in the Group's daily operation. He began his career in 1980 at Black & Decker where he worked for over 19 years and held various high level management positions, rising to the position of President of Worldwide Power Tools and Accessories. During his tenure at Black & Decker, he was responsible for the highly successful launch of the "DeWalt®" Brand heavy duty power tools in 1992. After leaving Black & Decker, Galli joined Amazon.com where he was President and Chief Operating Officer from 1999 to 2000. From 2001 to 2005, he was a Director and Chief Executive Officer of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Galli graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1987, he obtained an MBA from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. He grew up in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Valley High School in 1976
The Medal of Courage recipient is a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges, providing inspiration to others.
Randy Bortles became a quadriplegic from a motorcycle accident in 2002. The accident could have taken Bortles away from wrestling, but he refused to let that happen and many believe that he has done more for the sport since the accident than he did before it. Following the accident, Bortles worked five years as an assistant coach at Mountain View High School before turning his focus to helping other areas of wrestling. He headed the coalition to bring college wrestling back to Georgia, and has led the implementation of programs at Shorter University (NCAA DII), Emmanuel College (NCAA DII), Brewton Parker (NAIA), Life University (NAIA), and Truett-McConnell College (NAIA). He has also worked with the Atlanta Takedown Association to host the Georgia Intercollegiate tournament. He is active on numerous boards of organizations that are focused on the success of wrestling, and has also been a co-tournament director for the Team Georgia USA Wrestling State Championships, held annually on 32 mats in the Georgia Dome. Bortles wrestled at Phoenix High School in Phoenix, New York which is currently coached by Gene Mills, who was inducted as a Distinguished Member in 2000. Bortles went on to wrestle at Auburn Community College in Central New York and Brockport State University. He began his coaching career at Baldwinsville High School in Baldwinsville, New York, under Leo Johnson, who was named the National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1980. Bortles moved to Georgia in 1981 and began coaching at Newnan High School in Newnan, Georgia. He then coached at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia, and Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia. Georgia USA Wrestling hosted a team from New Zealand in the mid 1980's, and Bortles was asked to go to New Zealand to coach their national teams. Following a year in New Zealand, Bortles returned to Georgia and was a co-founder of the Metro Atlanta Wrestling Officials in 1994. He officiated Georgia High School Association events and NCAA meets, and continues to mentor the Metro Atlanta Wrestling Officials' 112 members. The Georgia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame presented Bortles with its Medal of Courage award in 2005.
The Order of Merit is presented to an individual that has made a significant contribution to the sport of wrestling, but who is not an athlete or a coach.
Ron Good has served as co-editor and editor of Amateur Wrestling News for 38 years, joining the staff in 1977. He is highly respected for his wrestling coverage, feature stories, columns, and wrestling rankings, which have been a favorite in America's oldest national wrestling publication. He has become one of the nation's top experts on college wrestling. Good competed in wrestling for John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City and was a member of a state championship team under respected coach Virgil Milliron. Good attended the University of Central Oklahoma, where he studied music and participated in intramural wrestling. He attended his first NCAA Championships in 1977, working as a volunteer with AWN before being hired in August. He worked five years under the mentorship of AWN founder Jess Hoke, who was inducted into the NWHOF as a Distinguished Member in 1977. Good says he was impacted by Hoke's "contagious passion" for the sport. He received the Bob Dellinger Award as the Wrestling Writer of the Year in 1989, and was honored by the National Wrestling Media Association with its Print Journalist of the Year award in 2007. Amateur Wrestling News was selected as the NWMA Publication of the Year in 1992.
The Lifetime Achievement for Officials award recognizes outstanding service as a referee, judge, or pairing official.
Marcia Haise, a wrestling referee for the past 30 years, blazed a trail for women officials, demonstrating excellence in the most elite wrestling competitions in the world. Elevated to MI Exceptionalle in 1998, she became the third American woman, and fourth in the world, allowed to compete for an Olympic position. Representing the United States Wrestling Association, she officiated 16 World Championships; four Pan American Championships, being selected as Outstanding Official in 1993; and three World Cups. She was the first American to officiate the Asian Games (2002), and the Asian Championships (2003). Haise is the only woman official in New York to officiate the state high school championships, being selected for the honor three times. Serving New York USA Wrestling as the Chair of Referees for six years, while officiating Freestyle and Greco Roman as a head official and clinician for 20 years, she also served as treasurer for New York USA Wrestling for six years. Adept in folkstyle officiating, she spent six years as Secretary/Treasurer for the Long Island Wrestling Officials Association and three years as Secretary/Treasurer for the Suffolk Wrestling Officials Association. She currently is a member of USA Wrestling's Diversity Committee, and has previously served on its Finance Committee, Women's Committee, and Women's Coaches' Selection Committee. She received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Downstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014, and was recognized by New York USA Wrestling with their Lifetime Service Award and the US Wrestling Officials Association honored her with their Lifetime Achievement Award.