LEXINGTON, Va. – The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has announced that it will be inducting Washington and Lee Head Coach Gary Franke into its Virginia Chapter for lifetime service to the sport.
The Lifetime Service Hall of Fame is in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in the youth through the sport of wrestling. Franke is one of six individuals that will receive the honor at a dinner held at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel in Glen Allen, Va., on Saturday. He joins Michael Ingrao, Jackie Kennedy, Charles Ostlund, Nancy Perry and Isaac Sherlock in the 2011 class.
“It is always an honor to be selected by your peers and it is a truly humbling experience for me,” said Franke. “There are so many people to thank, including those who hired me at W&L and the young men who have wrestled for me over the years.”
The 2010-11 season was the conclusion of a 38-year career as the Generals’ head wrestling coach for Franke. Since 1973, he led W&L to nearly 200 wins and three conference titles, while being named the conference coach of the year three times. He coached 24 Academic All-Americans and one NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner.
Active in the wrestling community, Franke served on the National Wrestling Coaches Association Executive Committee from 1977-80 and he was a Virginia High School League (1973-97) and an NCAA wrestling official (1973-93). Franke was also a volunteer assistant for the 1976 Olympic Wrestling Team in Montreal. He began a four-year term on the NCAA Division III Wrestling Committee in 2009.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is located in Stillwater, Okla., on the campus of Oklahoma State University. It was officially dedicated in 1976 as a permanent home for the culture and memorabilia for the oldest sport in the world.
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