America’s Greatest Clinicians Ever

By | June 25, 2023

I’ve always wondered, who in the sport of amateur wrestling are, or were, the country’s most popular, and effective clinicians? To find out, I asked almost five thousand fans to weigh in on the subject.

To make it into the Top 20, these no-nonsense nurturers had to have scored superior marks in each of three categories:

  • Broad based technical knowledge of the sport.
  • The ability to break any skill into uncomplicated digestible segments.
  • The capacity to entertain. Who could make an hour-long session seem like 30 minutes.

For those who read these names, you’ll notice a glaring absence of clinicians prior to the 1960’s. That was because, for the most part, there weren’t clinics as we know them today back in those earlier years. Certainly great coaches teaching their athletes but not clinics and clinicians as we know them to be today.

Here are the findings.

The Top 10 names that kept appearing, in order, out of the more than 100 individuals being mentioned were: Wade Schalles; Gene Mills; Bobby Douglas; Cary Kolat; The Bonomo brothers, Rick and Rock; Bob Bubb; Mike Krause; Dale Bonsall; and Gray Simons.

Somehow, the term Honorable Mention doesn’t do the next group of walking, talking, entertaining Wikipedia’s justice. Especially when one considers the sport has had maybe close to a thousand clinicians throughout the years. Just the fact that they made the list means they are the best of the best.

In alphabetical order, given these individuals were so closely bunched in the voting it’s hard to determine who belonged where: Ben Askren; Sergei Beloglazov; Ken Chertow; Cliff Fretwell; Keith Lowrance; Fred Powell; Nick Purler; Dave Schultz; John Smith; and Jack Spates.

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