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HokieHWT

Worst Wrestler Turned Great College Coach

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i was going to look at burnette, but figured he had to be an olympian or some such...

dont assume.

 

mean spirited might be a stretch frank, maybe we should have said least high level accomplished.

 

i mean all of these guys were great wrestlers (except the ones who didn't actually wrestle)

placed in big meets like EIWA, IVY, BiG's

but weren't the blue chips like Cael or Gable or Smith...

Edited by GockeS

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i was going to look at burnette, but figured he had to be an olympian or some such...

dont assume.

 

mean spirited might be a stretch frank, maybe we should have said least high level accomplished.

 

i mean all of these guys were great wrestlers (except the ones who didn't actually wrestle)

placed in big meets like EIWA, IVY, BiG's

but weren't the blue chips like Cael or Gable or Smith...

Believe Burnett may have qualified for nationals while at Idaho or Idaho State but I may be mistaken.

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This is kind of a mean-spirited off-season thread.  Nevertheless, Roger Reina is an excellent head coach and phenomenal recruiter who did not advance past the first round of the EIWA tournament in three attempts in his wrestling career at Penn.     

 

There are countless rockheads who had successful wrestling careers but have proven that it takes more than just your own personal success on the mat to be successful as a head coach at the highest level. 

 

To be clear, no disrespect was intended. I just thought he did a very nice job at Penn without the individual accolades of many other head coaches.

 

Also I don't think Pat Popolizio was mentioned.  I think his best finish was R12.  I like what he's doing.

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You guys are talking about people that "never AAed" but later went to the olympics as worst wrestlers ever? From this thread, it looks like just about every successful college coach coach in modern history was at least a D1 national qualifier. That almost goes against the argument that you don't have to be a good wrestler to be a good coach

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Carl Poff has to be in this running. Per Bloomsburg's athletics: 

 

"Poff wrestled at Bloomsburg and was a two-time NCAA qualifier as a Husky. After graduating from Bloomsburg in 1979, Poff joined the staff as an assistant coach from 1982-1990, before taking the reigns at Lock Haven University as the head coach. In Poff's 12 seasons, he became the winningest coach in Bald Eagles history, totaling a record of 167-62-3 with a winning percentage of .720. Poff's squads brought home the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title four times and the only Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Championship in school history in 1997. Poff's 1997 team also finished fifth at the NCAA Division I championships. 13 wrestlers earned All-American status under Poff, and 80 qualified for the Division I national championships."

 

5th Place finish at NCAA's as a coach isn't bad for a two-time qualifier. 

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You guys are talking about people that "never AAed" but later went to the olympics as worst wrestlers ever? From this thread, it looks like just about every successful college coach coach in modern history was at least a D1 national qualifier. That almost goes against the argument that you don't have to be a good wrestler to be a good coach

 

I suspect the issue is that guys don't get assistant coaching jobs at D1 programs if they aren't a good wrestler. No other sport trains with the athletes like wrestling does.

 

As a result, you're not getting people who get the experience on their resume to be able to lead a D1 wrestling program.

 

A friend of mine is a young D1 assistant coach. He has lot of coaching accolades, multiple bids to the NCAA tournament and not one-and-done either.

 

He never played college basketball for a four year program. He isn't a great basketball player but he is a great recruiter and has always been a student of the game so he knows how to coach. It would be really hard to do that in wrestling.

 

To answer this question, we are likely better off looking at non-D1 programs and see who has done the best job as a coach with minimal success as an athlete.

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That's really cool. O'Connell is my great-grandfather which is the only reason I know anything about him. 

 

Here is the Cornell team picture from 1917. Your great-grandfather (O'Connell) is back row, second from left.  My great uncle is second row, first on right (Bard).

 

 

91mbo0.jpg

Edited by ClawRide

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My great uncle, a farm boy from rural Lancaster County, PA, who had no previous wrestling experience, won an EIWA title at Cornell under this guy.

 

 

"Well over 6 feet tall, he weighed 127 pounds and was so frail that he was reluctant to appear on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. His doctor told him he had less than a year to live."

 

 

Was he actually ill with something such that his doctor told him of his life expectancy?  Quite a turnaround!

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Here is the Cornell team picture from 1917. Your great-grandfather (O'Connell) is back row, second from left.  My great uncle is second row, first on right (Bard).

 

 

91mbo0.jpg

 

It's amazing how much bigger people have gotten in 100 years.  Hwt is over 175 lbs.  Hard to imagine someone weighing in the 170's wrestling a modern Hwt.

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It's amazing how much bigger people have gotten in 100 years.  Hwt is over 175 lbs.  Hard to imagine someone weighing in the 170's wrestling a modern Hwt.

 

 

George Bard (175+) was probably bigger than average for that time.  Below is a picture of him not long afterward in uniform.  I had always heard the guy was beastly strong.

 

He grew up working several farms as the only boy among 4 sisters.  His mother was killed and his father left disabled in a trolley accident.  My grandmother told me as a teenager he would routinely put a large feed sack on each shoulder and just walk to the next farm to drop them off.  Another relative told me he would bend large nails with his hands for his friends to win bets at the local hardware store.

 

At Cornell, O'Connell recruited him for wrestling.

 

He graduated from Cornell as a veterinarian, went to WW1 in France, got gassed, and spent the remainder of his life in a veteran's hospital.

 

For his effort and hardship, he deserved far better in life.  But, he was an EIWA heavyweight champion at Cornell, and I am proud that my family's wrestling tradition spans 100 years, beginning with this hard-working farm boy from Lancaster, PA wrestling for O'Connell.

 

 

gpbard_holding_man.jpg

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George Bard (175+) was probably bigger than average for that time. Below is a picture of him not long afterward in uniform. I had always heard the guy was beastly strong.

 

He grew up working several farms as the only boy among 4 sisters. His mother was killed and his father left disabled in a trolley accident. My grandmother told me as a teenager he would routinely put a large feed sack on each shoulder and just walk to the next farm to drop them off. Another relative told me he would bend large nails with his hands for his friends to win bets at the local hardware store.

 

At Cornell, O'Connell recruited him for wrestling.

 

He graduated from Cornell as a veterinarian, went to WW1 in France, got gassed, and spent the remainder of his life in a veteran's hospital.

 

For his effort and hardship, he deserved far better in life. But, he was an EIWA heavyweight champion at Cornell, and I am proud that my family's wrestling tradition spans 100 years, beginning with this hard-working farm boy from Lancaster, PA wrestling for O'Connell.

 

 

gpbard_holding_man.jpg

For some reason I can't send you a direct message, but I'd never seen that team photo before. If you have anymore old Cornell photos or articles, particularly ones featuring Walt, I'd love to see them. Shoot me an email at mwillis@usawrestling.org

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It's amazing how much bigger people have gotten in 100 years.  Hwt is over 175 lbs.  Hard to imagine someone weighing in the 170's wrestling a modern Hwt.

I think it has to do with modern food production and the availability of food and cheap food sources.

but it is crazy the difference

 

although I can remember the opposite in the late 90's. football coaches were lamenting the lack of big farm kids, b/c the chores had been taken out by machinery.

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George Bard (175+) was probably bigger than average for that time.  Below is a picture of him not long afterward in uniform.  I had always heard the guy was beastly strong.

 

He grew up working several farms as the only boy among 4 sisters.  His mother was killed and his father left disabled in a trolley accident.  My grandmother told me as a teenager he would routinely put a large feed sack on each shoulder and just walk to the next farm to drop them off.  Another relative told me he would bend large nails with his hands for his friends to win bets at the local hardware store.

 

At Cornell, O'Connell recruited him for wrestling.

 

He graduated from Cornell as a veterinarian, went to WW1 in France, got gassed, and spent the remainder of his life in a veteran's hospital.

 

For his effort and hardship, he deserved far better in life.  But, he was an EIWA heavyweight champion at Cornell, and I am proud that my family's wrestling tradition spans 100 years, beginning with this hard-working farm boy from Lancaster, PA wrestling for O'Connell.

 

 

gpbard_holding_man.jpg

 

 

https://foresthistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Timeless-Heritage.pdf

 

"George Philip Bard, "The Working Plan Report for the Manzano National Forest" (Albuquerque, NM: 1908), p. 5. Federal Records Center, Denver, 09557A0179; Daniel W. Adams, Forest Supervisor, "Twenty-Five Year Working Plan for the Sitgreaves National Forest," n.p., n.d., pp. 7-8. Federal Records"

 

Any family connection?

 

 

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I think it has to do with modern food production and the availability of food and cheap food sources.

but it is crazy the difference

 

although I can remember the opposite in the late 90's. football coaches were lamenting the lack of big farm kids, b/c the chores had been taken out by machinery.

 

https://priceonomics.com/where-are-the-tallest-people-in-the-world/

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my brother was born when my parents were 16 and 17. he is 6'3

i was born 3 years later. im 5'9.

 

hmmm

 

how do they account for the ethiopians...or sudanese... manute bol...

 

on the other hand... mayans were surrounded by fruits and veggies.. .and ate them...

Edited by GockeS

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my brother was born when my parents were 16 and 17. he is 6'3

i was born 3 years later. im 5'9.

 

hmmm

 

how do they account for the ethiopians...or sudanese... manute bol...

 

on the other hand... mayans were surrounded by fruits and veggies.. .and ate them...

 

Pretty weird, right? The chart shows the average height for Koreans as 4'11" in 1900! They average about 5'6" now, and have gained the most height. Americans dropped from tallest in the world in 1900 to 40th today, although gaining 2 inches in height in the intervening century +. The experts seem to chalk it up to a lack of prenatal care and such, along with nutrition. I'm sure they know more about it than I do.

 

In the USA there are differences as well. I noticed that the people in SoCal (white folks, anyway) were taller than Okies when I lived in El Segundo in the 90's. In Oklahoma I'm above average height, in California I was kinda mediocre (5'11"). Guessing that has to do with lack of prenatal care due to poverty and poor nutrition (Oklahoma is poor as a church mouse and it's healthcare is pure garbage).

 

It's kind of an egotrip visiting a country filled with short people. I've been to the Philippines twice and I was a freaking beast compared to those people! I met a 6'10" German at a supermarket and joked "now I know how you feel being around people tons shorter than you", he thought that was pretty damned funny (German sense of humor: weird).

Edited by TobusRex

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