Hall of Fame’s Honors Class of 2019 arrives in Stillwater for induction; check out bios of the inductees

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | May 31, 2019, 2:12 p.m. (ET)
STILLWATER, Okla. - The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is inducting the Class of 2019 at its 42nd Annual Honors Weekend on May 31 – June 1 in Stillwater, Okla. It is an impressive group of wrestling heroes, leaders and talent, a truly diverse group that has made a huge impact on the sport and life.

"The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is proud to honor these individuals in our Class of 2019,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “These individuals were selected because of their extraordinary accomplishments in the sport of wrestling, and their induction into the Hall of Fame will serve as a perpetual reminder of their dedication and contributions to the sport."

The Class of 2019 inductees are Distinguished Members Carl Adams, Rich Lorenzo, Brandon Paulson and Townsend Saunders. This group includes two Olympic medalists, a World silver medalist, three World Team members, a two-time NCAA champion and three other NCAA All-Americans and two respected long-time NCAA Div. I wrestling coaches.

Carl Adams
was a two-time NCAA Division I national champion and a three-time All-American for Iowa State University. Adams was a three-time undefeated Midlands Champion and was a national freestyle champion in 1973 and 1975. He won a silver medal at the Pan American Championships in 1975 and finished fifth at the World Championships in 1975. He was an assistant coach at Iowa State from 1973-78, beginning his coachin career as a 22-year-old. At age 27 he became head coach at the University of Rhode Island and was named Rookie College Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News. He became head coach at Boston University in 1980 and led the Terriers to 10 NEWC team titles, coaching four All-Americans and 99 NCAA qualifiers. Adams is a noted inventor of wrestling training aids, and his instructional wrestling videos are some of the most popular ever. He developed a system of wrestling camps that ran for 34 consecutive years.

Distinguished Member Carl Adams complete biography

Rich Lorenzo was head coach of the Penn State wrestling team from 1978-92 and helped 53 Penn State wrestlers earn All-America honors, including two-time NCAA champion Jeff Prescott and national champions Carl DeStefanis, Scott Lynch and Jim Martin. He led the Nittany Lions to 11 Top 10 finishes at the NCAA tournament. Penn State won 11 consecutive Eastern Wrestling League team titles and two National Dual Meet championships. Lorenzo was National Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1992. He was co-executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association from 1993-95. Lorenzo served as executive director and treasurer for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. Lorenzo was a two-time district champion and a state runner-up for Newton (NJ) High School. He was an NCAA All-American for Penn State, finishing fourth at the NCAA Championships, in 1968.

Distinguished Member Rich Lorenzo complete biography

Brandon Paulson won a silver medal in Greco-Roman at the Olympics in 1996 and competed three times in Greco-Roman at the World Championships, winning a silver medal in 2001 and finishing eighth in 2002. A four-time U.S. Nationals champion, he made history in 1991-92 when he became the first high school wrestler to qualify for the United States Senior Greco-Roman Team. Paulson won national titles at the Cadet, Junior, Espoir and University levels and a silver medal at the 1993 Espoir World Championships. He was an All-American at the University of Minnesota and was a three-time Minnesota high school state champion for Anoka High School. He was named Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling in 2008 and 2016. Paulson was a member of the U.S. Olympic coaching staff at the 2008 Olympics and a club coach with the Minnesota Storm. He has partnered with NCAA champion Jared Lawrence at the PINnacle Wrestling School, where they coach youth, high school and international wrestlers.

Distinguished Member Brandon Paulson complete biography

Townsend Saunders won a silver medal at 149.5 pounds at the Olympics in 1996 after finishing seventh at 149.5 pounds in 1992. He competed in six World Championships from 1991-95 and was a gold medalist at the Pan American Games in 1991 and 1995. Saunders won a gold medal at the Goodwill Games in 1995. He was an NCAA Division II national champion at 142 pounds for Cal State Bakersfield in 1987 and had a runner-up finish in the California state championships while competing for Torrance High School. He was a two-time Pac-10 champion and a two-time NCAA Division I All-American for Arizona State, finishing second at 142 pounds in 1989 and third at 150 pounds in 1990. Saunders was named USA Wrestling’s Coach of the Year in 2004 after being coach of the United States women’s wrestling team the first time that women’s wrestling competed in the Olympics in 2004. After stepping off the mat, he was an assistant coach at Arizona State from 2001-03 while also serving as executive director and coach for the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club.

Distinguished Member Townsend Saunders complete biography

Outstanding American Steve Cannon was captain of both the football and wrestling teams at Ramapo High School. He lettered two years in wrestling at the United States Military Academy and scored a perfect score on every Army Physical Fitness Test for four years. assed U.S. Army Ranger School and officer training before being assigned to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment along the West German-Czech border. He was on the border when the Cold War ended in 1989. After completing military service, he became the assistant to the President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz North America. He moved to Germany and the first Mercedes-Benz series to be manufactured in the United States. After working in marketing and advertising, he returned to Mercedes-Benz USA in 2007 as chief marketing officer. In 2011, Cannon was named CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, becoming only the second American to lead the company. He was named CEO of AMB Group, LLC, the parent company of Arthur M. Blank’s for-profit businesses. Cannon oversees all business operations of the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons; Atlanta United of Major League Soccer; Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and retailer PGA TOUR Superstore.

Outstanding American Steve Cannon complete biography

Order of Merit winner David Curby has been a championship-caliber competitor, teacher, coach, administrator, writer and sports scientist. Curby helped found and serves as the director of the International Network of Wrestling Researchers, which has more than 500 members in 75 countries, and also serves as the editor of the International Journal of Wrestling Science, the organization's official publication. His website, INWR-Wrestling.com, is the world's foremost website on the scientific aspects of wrestling. Curby was a Junior National Champion and a Junior World team member. He was a four-year starter and team captain at the University of Michigan. In 1974, he captured the Big 10 title at 190 pounds. He was athletic director and administrator of physical welfare at Niles North School in Skokie, Illinois, from 1994-2008, after working as a teacher and department chair of physical education and health at Lyons Township High School. Following the death of his son, Jacob, in 2010, Curby and his family founded the Jacob Curby Foundation, in memory of their son who was a member of the United States National Greco-Roman team, and conducted the Jacob Curby Cup, a premier Greco-Roman competition.

Order of Merit winner David Curby complete biography

Former wrestler, coach and official Jim “Doc” McCloughan is recognized with the 2019 Medal of Courage. On July 31, 2017, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration for his acts of bravery and valor on the battlefield while serving in the U.S. Army. In 1969 at the battle of Nui Yon Hill in Vietnam, combat medic McCloughan risked his life repeatedly to save 10 fellow American soldiers. While checking them for wounds, he was peppered with shrapnel from an exploding rocket-propelled grenade. The next day, another platoon was ambushed and its medic killed, leaving McCloughan as the only medic in the company. He was wounded by small arms fire and shrapnel while providing aid to two soldiers. He volunteered to hold a blinking light in an open area as a marker for a nighttime supply drop. The next morning, he destroyed the RPG position with a grenade, while continuing to fight and care for wounded Americans. McCloughan was a four-sport athlete at Bangor High School in Bangor, Michigan, and he wrestled and played football and baseball at Olivet College. He coached high school wrestling, football and baseball and was also a wrestling official for 25 years.

Medal of Courage winner Jim “Doc” McCloughan complete biography

An outstanding official in freestyle, folkstyle and Greco-Roman, David Errett is this year's Meritorious Official. A licensed official for folkstyle wrestling in Indiana for 20 years, he obtained his national license from the USA Wrestling Officials Association in 1988 and received his international license from United World Wrestling, in 1990. Errett officiated 25 World Championships, 18 World Team Trials, six Olympic Team Trials and 13 Armed Forces Championships. He was named USA Outstanding Official for the Junior Nationals in 1991 and was the USA Wrestling Official of the Year in 1996. UWW awarded him its Golden Whistle Award in 2003 at the Greco-Roman World Championships in Paris, France. At Martinsville (Indiana) High School for 40 years, he was an assistant football coach for 14 years, an assistant wrestling coach for 11 years and the head wrestling coach for 20 years. His son, Zach, officiated at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016.

Meritorious Official Dave Errett complete biography

Cohlton Schultz of Parker, Colorado, is the 2019 national winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. Schultz is a four-time Colorado High School state champion for Ponderosa High School, finishing with a high school record of 188-2 with 152 pins. Schultz has been a U.S. age-grou- World team member six times and will compete in the Greco-Roman World Junior Championships in August. He won the Greco-Roman Cadet World Championship in 2017 and was a bronze medalist at the Greco-Roman Junior World Championships in 2018. Schultz was also on the U23 World Team in 2018, the Cadet World Team in 2016 and the Junior Worlds in 2017. After beating Olympian Robby Smith at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, he will compete in Final X: Lincoln for a shot at the Senior World Team against Adam Coon. Schultz has a GPA of 3.25 and will wrestle for Arizona State University.

Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winner Cohlton Schultz complete biography

Emily Shilson of North Oaks, Minnesota, is the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award winner for 2019. Shilson is the top-ranked wrestler at 106 pounds in the National Girls High School Rankings. She was a six-time Minnesota Girls High School state champion and qualified for the Minnesota AAA boys state championship three times. She had a career record of 139-64 with 62 pins against boys, wrestling for Centennial High School and Mounds View High School. Shilson made history in 2018 as the first U.S. wrestler to win a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games and won the Cadet World Championship in 2018 after capturing a silver medal in 2017. She is a three-time Junior National champion in both folkstyle and freestyle, a two-time Cadet Freestyle national champion and a Cadet Folkstyle national champion. She has a 3.97 GPA and is planning to enroll and wrestle at Augsburg University.

Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award winner Emily Shilson complete biography

Honors weekend began Thursday, May 30, with the State Chapter Conference. Moderated by State Chapter Director Krista Graff, the event allows State Chapter representatives to discuss best practices.

The Presentation of Plaques Ceremony for the Class of 2019 will be at the Hall of Fame & Museum on Friday, May 31, at 6 p.m. There is no charge for the plaque presentations.

On Saturday, June 1, there will be an Honoree Tribute Brunch for honorees in the morning and the 42nd Annual Honors Banquet in the evening at 7 p.m. at the OSU Student Union. Both events require reservations.