Honors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Distinguished Member A Distinguished Member is a wrestler who has achieved extraordinary success in national and/or international competition, a coach who has demonstrated great leadership in the profession and has compiled an outstanding record, a contributorwhose long-term activities have substantially enhanced the development and advancement of the sport, or any combination of the above qualifications. 

Medal of Courage The Medal of Courage is presented annually to a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges, which may be physical, mental or other disabilities that make their achievements all the more uplifting.

Order of Merit The Order of Merit is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of wrestling, other than success as an athlete or coach. The winner is selected by a vote of the Distinguished Members of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Outstanding American The Hall of Outstanding Americans demonstrates wrestling's pride in those who have used the disciplines of the sport to launch notable careers in other walks of life, such as science and technology, business and industry, government and the military, and the arts and humanities. New classes are inducted annually.

Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award The Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award, presented annually to a high school senior, is based equally on outstanding wrestling success, scholastic achievement and citizenship or community service. Winners are chosen at the state and regional levels with the national winner being named at the Wrestling Hall of Fame's Honors Weekend each summer.

Lifetime Achievement for Officials This award is to recognize outstanding service as a wrestling or pairing official or judge. Inductees are honored in the recently completed Vince Zuaro Officials' Room.

State Chapter Awards The Lifetime Service to Wrestling is given in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in young people through the sport of wrestling.



The George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted its charter members in 1977, however, the development program began in 1975 and was sponsored by the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association. Heading the development program was Jim Stephenson who at the time was an Area Representative for the Coach Assocation and head wrestling coach at Waunakee. After a year and a half of research, Stephenson presented his ideas to the Executive Committee of the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association and the wheels were put into motion.

Jim Stephenson was appointed Chairman of the Hall of Fame ... the first official order of business was to name the organization. A unanimous choice was made to name the Hall of Fame after George Martin. Members of the first Nominating Committee were Paul Brandl, Plymouth; Stan Yazawa, Denmark; Ron Wojchik, Mauston; and Don Hartman, Osceola. It was the responsibility of this group to screen the nominations and to pass on the qualifiers to the Selection Committee for final approval. The first Selection Committee was made up of Bob Spicuzza, Milwaukee; Al Bauman, Mineral Point, Bob Downing, Sun Prairie; and Larry Marchionda, Fond du Lac.

Eighteen Charter Members were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977. Joining George Martin as Charter Members were Frank Chalupa, Jim Douglas, George Gregor, Russ Hellickson, Barney Karpfinger, Larry Lederman, Joe Nowak, Larry O'Neil, Ben Peterson, John Peterson, John Powers, John Roberts, Ken Shermacher, Ed Stech, Ray Stone, Kirby Symes and Guy Weaver.

In 1977 Jim Stephenson left Wisconsin and the Chairman of the Hall of Fame was taken on by Don Hartman of Osceola and Joe Kind of Pulaski. Also in 1978, the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association had the "George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame" display case permanently placed in the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse.

In 1981 a second display case was added to the display area in the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse. The display was removed from the UW Fieldhouse during renovation. In December 2014, a new display for both the George Martin HOF and the National Wrestling HOF-Wisconsin Chapter was installed in the Woodside Sports Complex at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

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        Medal of Courage-Wisconsin’s Randy Meyer

               2006 Randy Meyer2.jpgThe Medal of Courage is presented annually to a wrestler or former wrestler who has overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges, which may be physical, mental or other handicaps that make his or her achievements all the more uplifting.Meyer, who was blinded at the age of two by retinal cancer, has achieved remarkable success during his life in many endeavors. He is currently the mayor of SheboyganFalls, having won an election for the position in 2004 after serving as an Alderman on the City Council for five years. His community service includes work with the Jaycees, the Kiwanis and Chamber/Main Street.In 2005, the U.S. Junior Chamber (known as Jaycees) named him one of the year’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans. Nominees for the award were judged on several qualities such as personal improvement or accomplishment, financial success or economic innovation In addition to his public service, Meyer owns RM Financial Resources, a successful financial planning business in SheboyganFalls. He started his business career with Woodmen Financial Resources prior to his successes as an adult, Meyer overcame great challenges in his academic development. Because of his blindness, he had to attend an elementary school for the blind in Green Bay, Wis., an hour from his home. He lived with a host family during those years, only staying with his family on weekends, vacations and summer breaks. With a goal of being able to live at home and attend school in his hometown, Meyer attended the WisconsinSchool for the Visually Handicapped in Janesville, Wis. There he mastered mobility skills with a white cane and was able to realize a dream of attending SheboyganFallsHigh School, where he could be with his family. He was able to graduate on the honor roll from high school. Meyer competed in wrestling at SheboyganFallsHigh School, where he qualified for the state championships three times, placing fifth in the state during his senior year. He set a school pin record his final season with 23 pins, finishing with a 31-2 record as a senior Meyer also wrestled at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where his success on the mat continued. He was a Div. III All-American, placing eighth at the national tournament. Meyer also earned academic All-American honors at UW-Whitewater and graduated in 1991.Meyer believes in maintaining a positive attitude, focusing on solutions not problems. He views his blindness as a minor challenge rather than as a handicap. His slogan during the campaign for mayor of SheboyganFalls was “It doesn’t take sight to run a community, it takes vision.”

 (With permission of the National Hall of Fame) Randy Meyer of Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Randy’s story is just one of many of Wisconsin wrestlers who have beaten the odds and attribute wrestling to be their inspiration to.succeed.