Category Archives: How Wrestling Wins

#4 Can’t Be Saved by The Bell

Next up, the rules committee should immediately embrace is a rule that states a wrestler cannot be saved by the bell (buzzer) if he’s on his back. The name of the game is pinning, it’s what everyone wants to see. The take’m down and cut’m loose style of wrestling is okay for a while but… Read More »

#5 Dual Meet Centric

So how do we get to sustainability? One of the first things wrestling should consider is returning to being a Dual Meet Centric sport. The why is simple; spectators and audiences only engage in activities that, on average, requires 2 hours to complete. So why does wrestling believe so religiously that Tri’s, Quad’s and Tournaments are the… Read More »

#6 Redefine The Wrestling Season

That needs to be accomplished two ways. The first, we need to move our season from being a Winter sport, to becoming a Winter-Spring hybrid . . . where we start training in December, begin competing in January and space our national events out so they occur before and after the men’s and women’s NCAA… Read More »

The History of Wrestling, Part I

Over the years there has been plenty of arguments regarding which martial art is the oldest, and the father of all the others? With a little research, I believe you’ll find the answers here. Three to four million years ago Homo sapiens appeared on earth . . . naked, hungry and in constant danger. Survival… Read More »

Lifetime of Achievement Award

Lifetime of Achievement Award Amateur wrestling has its share of national awards, but when we compare our numbers to other organizations and sports, we need to do better. Especially at the elementary and middle school levels where we have so many outstanding coaches, mentors, and administrators who play pivotal roles in our children’s development. At… Read More »

Tokyo Olympics

Nothing I’ve read in the past two weeks has mentioned Rich Bender’s name and his contributions to our successes in Tokyo. There’s no question our athletes did an amazing job. Greco, not so much, but that pretty much follows a trend. More on that later. As for Rich, he’s America’s CEO when we talk about… Read More »

Solving the Problem of Forfeits

For this edition of How Wrestling Wins, I will attempt to put an end to the pandemic of forfeits, and then offer a suggestion regarding how we can improve wrestling’s pinning percentages. I hope you’re sitting down . . . To begin, I believe everyone would agree that we can’t allow forfeits to continue, they… Read More »

Doubling Up and Jumbling Weight Classes

I would like to begin this blog by expressing my extreme gratitude to all of you who have been so supportive of my musings. The last five years have been more than enjoyable, while being equally as frustrating. I have tried to make a difference, and maybe I have, but it seems little has changed.… Read More »

A Point Earned, is a Point Scored

Over the years, individual collegiate sports have been classified as either revenue or non-revenue; with wrestling being the latter. It’s been that way for over 100 years, and we still can’t figure out how to make a profit. What an embarrassment. And, if I were to guess, I’d say that at least 80% of all… Read More »

Change, It Isn’t Easy

Friends, I’m struggling. I know what we need to do as a sport, but to say what needs saying only upsets many of those that I consider friends. But I love wrestling for all the same reasons as you do, or you wouldn’t be reading these words. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that the… Read More »

Attendance is Survival

After you read the following, if you agree with me, or have found what I wrote was interesting, may I ask you to share it with others? InterMat this past two weeks, did 21 stories on dual meets and triangulars, and listed the results on their home page. But only two of the articles mentioned… Read More »

The Juggernauts

I think it’s time for a list; they’re always popular. This one isn’t that long, but for those I mention here are the most iconic wrestlers in the history of the sport. This group of greats, are yes, at the very least, legends of the sport. But more than that, they were the most exciting,… Read More »

Another Opportunity Blown

Wrestling, and those who are in charge have, once again, stepped in it. I could be wrong, but either I’m operating on 70 years of experience, or, I’ve severely overestimated what I learned during those 70 years? Recently, both the leadership of the EIWA and the NWCA have come out with statements relative to coronavirus… Read More »

Sad Predictions

For this year’s wrestling season, it’s sad to say, Iowa isn’t going to win a dual meet and Clarion is going to go undefeated. No, that’s not a Golden Eagle fan wishing for the best. It’s just that there isn’t going to be a wrestling season so both of my predictions are correct. And, by… Read More »

Passing Up Opportunities

Given the state that wrestling is in with coronavirus, and our leadership being all too happy with status quo remaining quo; plus, athletic administrators who regard non-revenue sports as, well, philanthropic endeavors; to say we need help would be understating the issue. Somehow, you, me, we, need to find ways to energize the sports leadership… Read More »

The Danger of Coronavirus

I’m afraid, the orbit of non-revenue sports around the financial sun, and quite possibly, the nation’s athletic departments, is about to go sub-zero. But, certainly, the beginning of an ice age for non-revenue sports, especially wrestling, is here, and it’s called COVID-19. Financially, colleges and universities are in deep trouble. Too many incoming freshmen and… Read More »

The Lost NCAA Tournament

I’m not sure I agree with most of the posts on Facebook that would like to see an extra year of wrestling given to those who were denied the final weekend of the season. I certainly understand everyone’s frustration, but this isn’t the first-time something like this has happened. There were no championships in 1943,… Read More »

Pat Smith, One of the Greatest

Was Pat Smith the first 4-time NCAA Champion; absolutely! What he accomplished was certainly akin to what Roger Banister did in 1954, shattering the track and field myth that said, a sub four-minute mile was impossible. Pat wasn’t the first wrestler to ever set 4 titles as a goal, but he was the first one… Read More »

Wrestling Beware

It appears there’s a strong possibility that collegiate athletics are about to see some major changes. The California State Assembly voted 73-0 in favor of State Bill 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, which is a proposed law that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness,… Read More »

Final X Matches

Dake v. Deiringer For those who attended the Final X competition between Kyle Dake and Alex Deiringer, the entry fee of $10.00 was $9.50 more than it should have been. To be clear, what I’m about to write, has nothing to do with the quality, skill, intelligence or level of sportsmanship regarding either of these… Read More »

Jim Phillips; and Weight Classes  

Jim Phillips Rest in Peace my dear friend; was not only what my heart said when I heard of Jim’s passing, but also the opinion of everyone who knew Coach Phillips. The mark of greatness, for any human being, is his or her ability to make others smile, and feel fortunate for having known the… Read More »

The NCAA Championships

The city of Pittsburgh did a wonderful job hosting the event. From friendly, helpful airport greeters to welcome banners hanging on seemingly every lamp post in the city. Everything Pittsburgh did said, “welcome, and thank you for visiting,” and the Steel City did us right. The arena where we wrestled and the Penguins play, was… Read More »

Where We Fail, Part II

Before I cover the next two “must do’s” in order to make the sport fun to watch, by those who don’t attend, here’s another item that chafes my posterior. How can we grow and become mainstream, without being smart enough to see that which is poisoning our water? Instead of writing a feel-good blog about… Read More »

Where We Fail

I believe most of you are becoming more and more aware of how precarious the sport of wrestling is, relative to becoming main stream. It’s not that we’re not one of the most dynamic sports on the planet or that we somehow fail at building character, discipline and exceptional young men. Those pluses are a… Read More »

Keep Your Fork

My mother shared this story with me as she was in failing health. Now as I’m closing in on my golden years, her words have become even more meaningful, and her message more poignant. I thought you might like it, and I hope I can do it justice. There was once a young woman who… Read More »

To hair, or not to hair, that is the question.

The national media has been reporting extensively on the Buena High School wrestler who was required to cut his hair or forfeit the match. Whether the incident reveals racial bias, that might be a stretch. But it is where the country is right now. To begin, rules are rules, if you don’t like them, change… Read More »

World Freestyle Championships

It was a wonderful showing for the Red, White and Blue. Besides the level of class that each of our athletes demonstrated off the mat, 7 of the 10 came home with medals. Not too shabby, but the best year we ever had was in 1987 with 8 medalists. That was when Barry Davis won… Read More »