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Terry Shockley and Augustana Viking's Wrestling History: Wrestler for Life Story of the Week

By USA Wrestling/Wrestler for Life | Feb. 04, 2021, 10:08 a.m. (ET)

Photo of Terry Shockley courtesy of Augustana Athletics

USA Wrestling’s “Wrestler for Life” program is accepting submissions for “The Story of the Week”. It can be about anything wrestling related, whether it’s a particular wrestling match you’ll never forget, or a life lesson that the sport taught you. If your story is chosen, it will be featured on, and winners will receive a USA Wrestling t-shirt.

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This week's submission is by John Malvik.

Augustana College Men’s Wresting has a long and storied history. Prior to the 1950’s the NCAA sponsored the only National Championship in wrestling, beginning with the first national tournament in 1928. Except for the World War II years of 1943-45 the NCAA Championships in wrestling have been contested annually until the 2020 season, when the global pandemic interrupted the tournament again. In 1958, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) started its own national championship wrestling tournament series. This provided an alternative venue for those smaller private and state schools which could not successfully compete with the major universities. In 1963, the NCAA responded to the NAIA by splitting its members into the University Division and the College Division. The College Division included not only schools such as Augustana, but also larger state institutions such as the California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa state schools (e.g., Central, Northern and Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa). Typically, the major state universities, e.g., Big 10, Big 8 (now Big 12), etc. remained in the University Division after the creation of the College Division. In 1974 the NCAA went to three divisions by creating its current NCAA Division I, Division II and Division III structure.

Terry Shockley came to Augustana College in the fall of 1958. In four years of competition for the Vikings, he would cement his legacy as the first in a long line of great Augustana wrestlers. He was a trail blazer who would go on to become Augustana’s first wrestler to compete in a national wrestling tournament for the Vikings, the first to achieve AllAmerican status, and the first to qualify for, and compete in, the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Terry is the only Viking to qualify for an individual NCAA Championship series at the University (or Division I) level without first qualifying through placement in a lower NCAA Division level, i.e., College Division or Division III. Before Terry was done, he had changed how
the performance of future wrestlers in the Viking wrestling room would be measured and what the expectations were for those who followed him into the program. He was the first elite level wrestler at Augustana.

Terry’s journey as a college wrestler started in his freshman season. In the 1959 CCI (now CCIW) Conference Championships Terry placed second at 130 pounds, losing the final in overtime, a loss that kept him from becoming a four-time conference champion.

For the 1959-60 season, Terry again competed at the 130-pound weight class and was named a Co- Captain of the team as a sophomore. Terry won the Knox College Tournament and the first of his three consecutive CCI Conference Championships.

During his junior year (1960-61) he was the Viking team Captain and competed in the 130-pound weight division. He placed first in the Knox Tournament, Western Illinois Invitational, Wheaton Invitational and was named the Outstanding Wrestler in the CCI after winning his second CCI Conference Championship title. Terry then became the first ever Viking wrestler to compete in a National Championship Tournament. Terry was entered in the NAIA National Tournament at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado at 130lbs. Terry won preliminary, quarter-final, and semi-final victories to put himself into the National Championship match where he ultimately lost to Biff Walzer, of Lock Heaven. Terry became Augustana’s first wrestling All-American with his second-place finish at the NAIA National tournament.

In the 1961-62 season, Terry returned for his senior year, again being named team Captain, and moved up in weight to compete at 137 pounds. Terry’s senior season was one of the best years ever for a Viking wrestler. He won the Knox tournament and was named Outstanding Wrestler. He won the Wheaton Invitational and again was named Outstanding Wrestler. He then won his third CCI Conference Championship. In 1962, Terry could have again entered the NAIA National Championship Tournament, and if he had, would have been one of the favorites to win a title. Instead, Terry travelled to Indiana to enter the NCAA Mid-East Regional Championships (College & University Division level) trying to qualify for the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Oklahoma State University. Terry not only qualified for the University Level NCAA Championships; he won the Regional title and was named Outstanding Wrestler in the Regional. Terry competed in the NCAA Championships where he lost to Ron Finley of Oregon State.

Terry is rightfully proud that while at Augustana, he competed at the highest levels of the sport; with nearly half of his opponents being University Level wrestlers. While at Augustana Shockley had the opportunity to train with Terry McCann, a 1960 Olympic Champion who is one of the all-time greats in American wrestling history. Terry’s experiences at Augustana paved the way for a great wrestling tradition at Augie.

Wrestling remained a part of Terry’s life after his graduation from Augustana. In 1963 and 1964 he served as the Head Wrestling Coach at the University of Kansas, taking the team to the then Big Eight Championships while completing his Master’s Degree in Radio, TV & Film. While coaching and earning his Master’s Degree, he competed in many open wrestling tournaments.

In Madison, Wisconsin, Terry coached a YMCA Youth Team for 20 Years, was a cofounder of the University of Wisconsin Wrestling Booster Club and from 1970 - 2000 ( 30 years) was the PA Voice of Badger Wrestling. He was the announcer for two NCAA Division lll National Championships, four Big Ten Championships, and a USA/Russia dual meet.

Honors include induction into in the Augustana Athletic Hall of Fame (1982), George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame (1997), National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Life Time Service (2006), and NCAA Division lll National Coaches Hall of Fame (2011). Terry served as Chairman of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Board of Governors from 2014 – 2018.*

*Thanks to Terry Shockley for his input and contribution to this article.