Coach Mike Powell named to National Wrestling Hall of Fame

December 5, 2014

From the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum:

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum has selected its honorees to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on June 5-6, 2015, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Distinguished Members selected for the Class of 2015 include Frank Bettucci, Joe Gonzales, Sammie Henson, and Greg Johnson. The other recipients are Outstanding American Mike Golic, Order of Merit recipient Dr. David “Doc” Bennett, Medal of Courage recipient Mike Powell, and Lifetime Achievement for an Official Kenny Ritchie.

“This class of inductees for 2015 is an exceptional group of individuals who have left their mark on all levels of wrestling in this country,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “We are excited to honor them because of how they have enriched the sport of wrestling’s heritage and how their legacies will continue to awaken, nurture, and empower lives of excellence, service and leadership for generations to come.”

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.

Powell served as the head coach at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Illinois for a decade. During that time, he led the team to two dual team state championships, one dual team second place finish, a total of six appearances in the dual team state finals tournament, and top team scores at the individual state wrestling tournament four times. He coached 10 individual state champions and 31 all-state wrestlers. A 1994 Illinois state wrestling champion and All-American at Indiana University, Powell was diagnosed with polymyositis in 2009. This chronic inflammation of the muscles is a progressive autoimmune disease that has affected the physical aspects of his coaching duties. Although he has recently stepped down as the head coach in order to rest his body, he plans to remain involved as an assistant.

More information on Honors Weekend and the Hall of Fame inductions is by visiting the National Wrestling Hall of Fame website.