National Wrestling Hall of Fame - Pennsylvania Chapter  - Class of 2012


Lifetime Service to Wrestling Awards


Frank Bissell - Frank distinguished himself as a wrestler and a coach. He was highly successful at The Hills School in Pottstown from 1947-1073, amassing an excellent 214-62-4 record, including 17 National Prep Team Titles in that span. Those teams produced 44 individual champions and had two future NCAA Champions and two NCAA runners-up. AS a wrestler, Frank captained the 1937 Michigan team., winning the Big ten title that year at #155. In 1940, he was second at the Olympic Trials.

Ron Bracken - Ron is a retired award-winning sportswriter for the Centre Daily Times. His specialty and love was covering wrestling (high school and college), which he did magnificently over a 41-year period. He is a member of several Halls-of-Fame and has received George Henslip Media Award for Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference coverage;  Won 11 Keystone Press Awards; - Won TWO Pennsylvania Managing Editor Awards; - Won TWO Associated Press (AP) Sports Editor Awards. (This is a National Award and is considered the most prestigious award in sports journalism.

David Caslow - Dave has spent his lifetime involved in wrestling. He competed for Clarion State College and was their first ever NAIA placer (4th @ 123 in 1963). Dave coached at Tyrone, Warrior Run, Philipsburg-Osceola, and West Branch, spanning 1966-1984. He was the 10th coach in Pennsylvania to achieve  400 wins. He has been involved with PA Junior Wrestling serving as the Area II Co-Chairman (1971-present). Dave is a member of the PWCA Hall of Fame 1997 and the Clarion Sports Hall of Fame 2001.


John Fritz -  John has been involved with wrestling in Pennsylvania since his high school days at Bethlehem Liberty. He wrestling for Penn State. In six seasons, Coach Fritz posted five top five NCAA finishes including a second in 1993, Penn State's highest finish in 39 years.

He guided four national champions, nine NCAA finalists, 21 All-Americans and 12 Big Ten champions, and was named the 1993 NWCA National Coach of the Year, after leading Penn State to a school record 22-0-1 dual meet record, a No.1 national ranking and a national dual team title.

He also earned 1998 Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.


Bob Hower - Bob has been involved in wrestling for 50 years, and is affectionately known as "Mister Wrestling" by his many friends. Bob compiled the ‘Statistical History of PIAA State Tournaments' which was the first publication of its kind.


It was based upon year-by-year results of all rounds of the PIAA State Tournament and included most photos of the champions. Published in 1973 and was updated yearly until he sold the rights. This book won first place in the Amateur Wrestling News' national publication contest in 1974. Became the District 6 Wrestling Historian in 1976-77 season and held that position until the 1994-95 season. Compiled many individual stats, records, and team histories. Kept EVERY individual's W-L record who competed in the District 6 Tournament. Was named District 6's Wrestling Man of the Year for 1978. Hower has been broadcasting high school wrestling during the 1973-74 season and continues to do so. As of 2011, served as a broadcaster for 38 years. Have done more than 260 dual meets and countless District, Regional and State Tournaments over the radio. Wrote a wrestling column for the Lewistown Sentinel 1983-1995.


Lloyd Rhoades, Jr. -  Started coaching in 10th grade at BEA Elementary Intramural program. 1978- organized the Bald Eagle Elementary Wrestling Club and remained as head coach until 2001. PIAA Official from 1973-1981. Officiated District 6 Championships twice. Became Chief Financial Officer of PA Junior Wrestling in 1994 (remain in that capacity to-date). Member of Bald Eagle Area Hall of Fame and has been named the District 6 Man-of-the-Year;  Prime driver for the PJW's move to the eastern half of the state, growing the organization to a fully statewide organization, expanding from three age divisions in 8 areas to five age divisions in 11 Areas. There were 6727 wrestlers who competed in this event in 2011-12. Initiated PA participation in NUWAY (National United Wrestling Association for Youth). Helped expand the national coverage of this association and provided administrative structure for this organization.


Wayne Smythe - Wayne was a 1971 NAIA Champion at 142 -pounds for Bloomsburg State College. His coaching career started at Radnor High School - head coach (1971-72), and he continues as head coach at Warrior Run High School - (1972-present).

PIAA Registered Official (1972-1982); Treasurer of the PWCA (1977-1979). Wayne has a career coaching record of over 440 wins. He has also coached 8 PIAA Champions; 9 PIAA Runners-up. He coached current Central Mountain coach Doug Buckwalter at Warrior Run. Coach Smythe is one of the most liked and well-respected coaches in the state.







Outstanding American Award


Joseph Humphreys - Joe has coached in High School (Kittanning, Penns Valley, and Bald Eagle Area) during his long career. He Coached Penns Valley to first varsity win in 1957. He coached Bald Eagle Area's first ever PIAA Champion Lew Craig. He went on to his alma mater Penn State to assist the legendary Bill Koll. Joe has also done extensive radio and television work with wrestling. He helped put Centre County on the national fly-fishing map with his national prowess. Joe has been a fishing instructor to many including former president Jimmy Carter, former V-

P Dick Cheney, basketball coaching legend Bobby Knight, actor Liam Neeson. Joe has authored several books and articles on Fly Fishing.  In addition, Joe hosted the first national fly fishing series on US television “Fly Fishing Journal” which was cablecast on ESPN. Humphreys has been given the Thompson Award for Saving Spring Creek 1980; the George Harvey International Fly-Tying Symposium Award 1999; the Charles R Fox Rising Trout Award 2002 and the Telly Award for Best Video - “The Night Game” Distance Learning Network 2003.