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Legends: National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Jason Bryant, Mat Talk Podcast Network

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Legends: National Wrestling Hall of Fame
Legends: National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Legends: National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Jason Bryant, Mat Talk Podcast Network

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About Us

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Mat Talk Podcast Network presented Legends, a series dedicated to telling the stories of wrestling's greats. Featuring Outstanding Americans, Distinguished Members, Order of Merit and Medal of Courage winners, Legends will chronicle the stories from the most legendary figures in Olympic, college and high school wrestling.

Latest Episodes

1979 Distinguished Member Charles "Doc" Speidel

He devoted a lifetime to the sport of wrestling. But in more than 60 years as an athlete, coach and teacher, Charlie Speidel contributed far more to the lives of others than ever can be recorded in the statistics of achievement. He was a pioneer for wrestling and helped it gain stature as a major sport in the high schools and colleges of Pennsylvania and across the eastern states. He traveled extensively, often with arch rival Billy Sheridan, to present clinics and introduce the sport. The record shows that "Doc" Speidel coached 38 years at Penn State University. His teams won 191 dual meets and lost only 53. Seven of them were undefeated. They won eight Eastern Intercollegiate team championships and 56 individual titles. Six of his wrestlers were National Collegiate champions. And in 1953, his Nittany Lions became the only eastern squad ever to win the NCAA team championship. He was an author of wrestling books and articles for such publications as the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Duri...

10 MIN2018 DEC 21
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Charles "Doc" Speidel

1979 Distinguished Member Dr. Albert deFerrari

His interest in wrestling surfaced in 1922 from deep in the waters of San Francisco Bay. After more than half a century of service to the sport, Dr. Albert deFerrari's impact on wrestling had spanned the globe. His first exposure to the sport followed a shipwreck near the Golden Gate. The ship's cargo of cotton was declared free to any takers. Already a champion swimmer and diver, deFerrari retrieved a truckload. The mothers of his neighborhood then remade the wrestling mats of the area, stuffing in the free cotton and sewing the canvas covers with heavy thread. Such interest attracted the attention of the young San Francisco dentist. Soon he would become involved in promoting wrestling in the storied Olympic Club, and would nurture the sport until the club became of national renown on the mats. Dr. Al never lost his innovative approach. While serving more than two decades on the U. S. Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation, he brought about this country's firs...

10 MIN2018 DEC 14
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Dr. Albert deFerrari

1979 Distinguished Member Keith Young, three-time NCAA champion

He packed more wrestling success into five years than most athletes manage in a lifetime of competition. Keith Young spent the next three decades returning those rewards to the sport with full interest. His Algona High School team didn't offer wrestling until his senior year, and when he joined the University of Northern Iowa you'd hardly expect a youngster of such limited experience to fill the shoes of one of wrestling's all-time greats, Bill Koll. But fill them he did, winning six national championships in three seasons. Undefeated in collegiate competition, he was NCAA champion at 145 pounds in 1949, '50 and '51, leading the Panthers of coach Dave McCuskey to the team title during his junior year. Young's three collegiate crowns matched Koll's total as Northern Iowa reigned supreme in the welterweight division six years in a row. The same three years, Young was National AAU champ -outstanding wrestler in '50 -and each year the Panthers captured the AAU team trophy. Rather than p...

14 MIN2018 DEC 7
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Keith Young, three-time NCAA champion

1979 Distinguished Member Frank Lewis, Olympic Champion

As a tall, skinny college freshman, Frank Lewis was "a little tired" after six years of wrestling and planned to give full attention to his studies at Oklahoma State University. But he needed a physical education credit and a wrestling class would provide an easy grade. Members of the class were required to compete in the all-college intramurals and when he failed to win the championship his pride was stung. He decided to concentrate on wrestling again. Frank Lewis concentrated so well that he became a national champion and the gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games at Berlin. A state high school champ and four-time medalist from 100 to 155 pounds, he possessed the raw talent from which coach Edward C. Gallagher could mold a winner. But because of his rapid growth, the youngster didn't have the stamina to wrestle the longer college matches. And because of a minor heart condition, his coach had to devise a special training routine to build stamina without putting a strain on his hea...

7 MIN2018 NOV 30
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Frank Lewis, Olympic Champion

1979 Distinguished Member Doug Blubaugh, Olympic Champion

In the shadowed ruins of Rome's ancient Basilica, Doug Blubaugh battled the world champion from Iran for the Olympic gold medal. Emamali Habibi had never known defeat. Three times the Persian attacked, each time throwing the young American into danger. Then a swift counterattack from Blubaugh hurled his opponent to his back ... suddenly the struggle was ended. Thus did an Oklahoma farm boy reach the apex of a brilliant athletic career, earning the 1960 Olympic gold medal at 160.5 pounds, and with it recognition as the outstanding wrestler in the world. Doug Blubaugh was no stranger to the role of champion. He won NCAA honors for Oklahoma State in 1957 and National AAU Freestyle titles in 1957, when he was named outstanding wrestler, and 1959. A year before his Olympic conquest, he won a gold medal in the 1959 Pan American Games at Chicago, matching the 1955 achievement of his brother, Jack. They were the first brothers to capture Pan Am titles. Blubaugh is remembered, too, for his e...

14 MIN2018 NOV 16
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Doug Blubaugh, Olympic Champion

1978 Hall of Fame Distinguished Member Introductions

In another unearthed tape from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the introduction video for the Class of 1978 Distinguished Members has been released as a special episode of Hall of Fame Legends. This episode previews the inductions of the third induction class which featured true legends Glen Brand, Ross Flood, Stanley Henson, Harold Nichols, Robin Reed, Gray Simons and Bill Smith. SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spreaker | iHeartRadio | Spotify | Google Play Music | Android | RSS Contribute And if you're a fan of the extensive and broad-based reach of the shows on the Mat Talk Podcast Network, become a contributor today.. There are various levels of perks for the different levels of patronage. If you like wrestling content -- scratch that -- if you LOVE great wrestling content, consider becoming a contributor. How much you give is solely up to how much you believe it's worth to you.

17 MIN2018 NOV 9
Comments
1978 Hall of Fame Distinguished Member Introductions

2017 Medal of Courage recipient, Thomas Irving Green

A real-life profile of courage, Thomas Irving Green truly personifies the word. As the all-time wins leader at Weedsport High School in New York, Green wrestled collegiately at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York, and at SUNY Cortland. After college, he turned his attention to officiating and was moving up the ranks, including serving as an assistant mat official at the Division III NCAA Championships in 1996. Just a few weeks after the end of the 1997 wrestling season, his life changed forever. On May 15, 1997, a container filled with a caustic chemical burst and sprayed Green’s face. Blinded and his face badly burned, Green underwent a series of long surgeries. He needed a procedure to increase the size of his mouth, which had healed so small that even his thumb wouldn’t fit inside. He underwent a cornea transplant, as well as another surgery that used tissue donated from his brother, which helped him regain some of his sight. He has had stem cells put in his eyes, reco...

22 MIN2018 JUL 31
Comments
2017 Medal of Courage recipient, Thomas Irving Green

2017 Outstanding American, Dom Gorie

The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Outstanding American Dom Gorie. Beginning his wrestling career in junior high school, Dominic (Pudwill) Gorie always set his sights high. As a wrestler at Palmetto High School in Miami, he forged a standout career record of 41-9-1. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1975 and wrestled four years for legendary coach Ed Peery, who was inducted as Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980. Gorie received a Bachelor of Science degree in ocean engineering from the Naval Academy in 1979 and his master’s in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee in 1990. He was designated as a naval aviator and piloted fighter jets aboard the USS America, the USS Coral Sea and USS Roosevelt from 1981 to 1992, where he accumulated more than 600 carrier landings. Gorie also flew 38 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. Gorie was ordered to United State...

56 MIN2018 JUL 25
Comments
2017 Outstanding American, Dom Gorie

2017 Distinguished Member Andre Metzger, Two-time NCAA Champion

The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Distinguished Member and two-time NCAA champion Andre Metzger. SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spreaker | iHeartRadio | Spotify | Google Play Music | Android | RSS For those historians who refer to the 1980s as the “Golden Age“ of American wrestling, Michigan native Andre Metzger shines bright as one of its stars. Starting with a 27-second win by fall in his first match in the ninth grade, Metzger wrestled an estimated 2,000 matches in freestyle, collegiate and Greco-Roman. His 1,870 victories equate to an amazing .935 winning percentage. Ending with comeback attempts to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and 2014 U.S. World team, his storied career spanned an incredible five decades. Following a stellar high school career that included a state championship, Metzger wrestled in the 1979 World Championships in San Diego. He won the bronze medal and became the youngest American to m...

33 MIN2018 MAY 15
Comments
2017 Distinguished Member Andre Metzger, Two-time NCAA Champion

2017 Distinguished Member Chuck Yagla, Two-time NCAA Champion

The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Distinguished Member and NCAA champion Chuck Yagla. Raised in the wrestling hotbed of Waterloo, Iowa, Chuck Yagla turned a talent for wrestling into a lifelong passion. He began his wrestling journey at Waterloo’s Columbus High School, where he served as a senior team captain and was runner-up in the 1972 Class 3A state tournament. At the University of Iowa, Yagla won an NCAA championship at 150 pounds in 1975 as a junior. His win came via a 4-4, 1-1 split referee’s decision over future three-time NCAA champion and World champion, Lee Kemp. He repeated the feat in 1976, when he was also named Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA tournament. Wrestling in international competition from 1972 to 1980, Yagla won freestyle events around the world. He was a United States Wrestling Federation Junior National Champion in 1972 and Grand Champion (Ring Series) in 1975. In addition, he won a USWF National Greco...

34 MIN2018 MAY 8
Comments
2017 Distinguished Member Chuck Yagla, Two-time NCAA Champion

Latest Episodes

1979 Distinguished Member Charles "Doc" Speidel

He devoted a lifetime to the sport of wrestling. But in more than 60 years as an athlete, coach and teacher, Charlie Speidel contributed far more to the lives of others than ever can be recorded in the statistics of achievement. He was a pioneer for wrestling and helped it gain stature as a major sport in the high schools and colleges of Pennsylvania and across the eastern states. He traveled extensively, often with arch rival Billy Sheridan, to present clinics and introduce the sport. The record shows that "Doc" Speidel coached 38 years at Penn State University. His teams won 191 dual meets and lost only 53. Seven of them were undefeated. They won eight Eastern Intercollegiate team championships and 56 individual titles. Six of his wrestlers were National Collegiate champions. And in 1953, his Nittany Lions became the only eastern squad ever to win the NCAA team championship. He was an author of wrestling books and articles for such publications as the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Duri...

10 MIN2018 DEC 21
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Charles "Doc" Speidel

1979 Distinguished Member Dr. Albert deFerrari

His interest in wrestling surfaced in 1922 from deep in the waters of San Francisco Bay. After more than half a century of service to the sport, Dr. Albert deFerrari's impact on wrestling had spanned the globe. His first exposure to the sport followed a shipwreck near the Golden Gate. The ship's cargo of cotton was declared free to any takers. Already a champion swimmer and diver, deFerrari retrieved a truckload. The mothers of his neighborhood then remade the wrestling mats of the area, stuffing in the free cotton and sewing the canvas covers with heavy thread. Such interest attracted the attention of the young San Francisco dentist. Soon he would become involved in promoting wrestling in the storied Olympic Club, and would nurture the sport until the club became of national renown on the mats. Dr. Al never lost his innovative approach. While serving more than two decades on the U. S. Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation, he brought about this country's firs...

10 MIN2018 DEC 14
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Dr. Albert deFerrari

1979 Distinguished Member Keith Young, three-time NCAA champion

He packed more wrestling success into five years than most athletes manage in a lifetime of competition. Keith Young spent the next three decades returning those rewards to the sport with full interest. His Algona High School team didn't offer wrestling until his senior year, and when he joined the University of Northern Iowa you'd hardly expect a youngster of such limited experience to fill the shoes of one of wrestling's all-time greats, Bill Koll. But fill them he did, winning six national championships in three seasons. Undefeated in collegiate competition, he was NCAA champion at 145 pounds in 1949, '50 and '51, leading the Panthers of coach Dave McCuskey to the team title during his junior year. Young's three collegiate crowns matched Koll's total as Northern Iowa reigned supreme in the welterweight division six years in a row. The same three years, Young was National AAU champ -outstanding wrestler in '50 -and each year the Panthers captured the AAU team trophy. Rather than p...

14 MIN2018 DEC 7
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Keith Young, three-time NCAA champion

1979 Distinguished Member Frank Lewis, Olympic Champion

As a tall, skinny college freshman, Frank Lewis was "a little tired" after six years of wrestling and planned to give full attention to his studies at Oklahoma State University. But he needed a physical education credit and a wrestling class would provide an easy grade. Members of the class were required to compete in the all-college intramurals and when he failed to win the championship his pride was stung. He decided to concentrate on wrestling again. Frank Lewis concentrated so well that he became a national champion and the gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games at Berlin. A state high school champ and four-time medalist from 100 to 155 pounds, he possessed the raw talent from which coach Edward C. Gallagher could mold a winner. But because of his rapid growth, the youngster didn't have the stamina to wrestle the longer college matches. And because of a minor heart condition, his coach had to devise a special training routine to build stamina without putting a strain on his hea...

7 MIN2018 NOV 30
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Frank Lewis, Olympic Champion

1979 Distinguished Member Doug Blubaugh, Olympic Champion

In the shadowed ruins of Rome's ancient Basilica, Doug Blubaugh battled the world champion from Iran for the Olympic gold medal. Emamali Habibi had never known defeat. Three times the Persian attacked, each time throwing the young American into danger. Then a swift counterattack from Blubaugh hurled his opponent to his back ... suddenly the struggle was ended. Thus did an Oklahoma farm boy reach the apex of a brilliant athletic career, earning the 1960 Olympic gold medal at 160.5 pounds, and with it recognition as the outstanding wrestler in the world. Doug Blubaugh was no stranger to the role of champion. He won NCAA honors for Oklahoma State in 1957 and National AAU Freestyle titles in 1957, when he was named outstanding wrestler, and 1959. A year before his Olympic conquest, he won a gold medal in the 1959 Pan American Games at Chicago, matching the 1955 achievement of his brother, Jack. They were the first brothers to capture Pan Am titles. Blubaugh is remembered, too, for his e...

14 MIN2018 NOV 16
Comments
1979 Distinguished Member Doug Blubaugh, Olympic Champion

1978 Hall of Fame Distinguished Member Introductions

In another unearthed tape from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the introduction video for the Class of 1978 Distinguished Members has been released as a special episode of Hall of Fame Legends. This episode previews the inductions of the third induction class which featured true legends Glen Brand, Ross Flood, Stanley Henson, Harold Nichols, Robin Reed, Gray Simons and Bill Smith. SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spreaker | iHeartRadio | Spotify | Google Play Music | Android | RSS Contribute And if you're a fan of the extensive and broad-based reach of the shows on the Mat Talk Podcast Network, become a contributor today.. There are various levels of perks for the different levels of patronage. If you like wrestling content -- scratch that -- if you LOVE great wrestling content, consider becoming a contributor. How much you give is solely up to how much you believe it's worth to you.

17 MIN2018 NOV 9
Comments
1978 Hall of Fame Distinguished Member Introductions

2017 Medal of Courage recipient, Thomas Irving Green

A real-life profile of courage, Thomas Irving Green truly personifies the word. As the all-time wins leader at Weedsport High School in New York, Green wrestled collegiately at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York, and at SUNY Cortland. After college, he turned his attention to officiating and was moving up the ranks, including serving as an assistant mat official at the Division III NCAA Championships in 1996. Just a few weeks after the end of the 1997 wrestling season, his life changed forever. On May 15, 1997, a container filled with a caustic chemical burst and sprayed Green’s face. Blinded and his face badly burned, Green underwent a series of long surgeries. He needed a procedure to increase the size of his mouth, which had healed so small that even his thumb wouldn’t fit inside. He underwent a cornea transplant, as well as another surgery that used tissue donated from his brother, which helped him regain some of his sight. He has had stem cells put in his eyes, reco...

22 MIN2018 JUL 31
Comments
2017 Medal of Courage recipient, Thomas Irving Green

2017 Outstanding American, Dom Gorie

The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Outstanding American Dom Gorie. Beginning his wrestling career in junior high school, Dominic (Pudwill) Gorie always set his sights high. As a wrestler at Palmetto High School in Miami, he forged a standout career record of 41-9-1. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1975 and wrestled four years for legendary coach Ed Peery, who was inducted as Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980. Gorie received a Bachelor of Science degree in ocean engineering from the Naval Academy in 1979 and his master’s in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee in 1990. He was designated as a naval aviator and piloted fighter jets aboard the USS America, the USS Coral Sea and USS Roosevelt from 1981 to 1992, where he accumulated more than 600 carrier landings. Gorie also flew 38 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. Gorie was ordered to United State...

56 MIN2018 JUL 25
Comments
2017 Outstanding American, Dom Gorie

2017 Distinguished Member Andre Metzger, Two-time NCAA Champion

The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Distinguished Member and two-time NCAA champion Andre Metzger. SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spreaker | iHeartRadio | Spotify | Google Play Music | Android | RSS For those historians who refer to the 1980s as the “Golden Age“ of American wrestling, Michigan native Andre Metzger shines bright as one of its stars. Starting with a 27-second win by fall in his first match in the ninth grade, Metzger wrestled an estimated 2,000 matches in freestyle, collegiate and Greco-Roman. His 1,870 victories equate to an amazing .935 winning percentage. Ending with comeback attempts to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and 2014 U.S. World team, his storied career spanned an incredible five decades. Following a stellar high school career that included a state championship, Metzger wrestled in the 1979 World Championships in San Diego. He won the bronze medal and became the youngest American to m...

33 MIN2018 MAY 15
Comments
2017 Distinguished Member Andre Metzger, Two-time NCAA Champion

2017 Distinguished Member Chuck Yagla, Two-time NCAA Champion

The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Distinguished Member and NCAA champion Chuck Yagla. Raised in the wrestling hotbed of Waterloo, Iowa, Chuck Yagla turned a talent for wrestling into a lifelong passion. He began his wrestling journey at Waterloo’s Columbus High School, where he served as a senior team captain and was runner-up in the 1972 Class 3A state tournament. At the University of Iowa, Yagla won an NCAA championship at 150 pounds in 1975 as a junior. His win came via a 4-4, 1-1 split referee’s decision over future three-time NCAA champion and World champion, Lee Kemp. He repeated the feat in 1976, when he was also named Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA tournament. Wrestling in international competition from 1972 to 1980, Yagla won freestyle events around the world. He was a United States Wrestling Federation Junior National Champion in 1972 and Grand Champion (Ring Series) in 1975. In addition, he won a USWF National Greco...

34 MIN2018 MAY 8
Comments
2017 Distinguished Member Chuck Yagla, Two-time NCAA Champion