AAU Wrestling Announces Hall of Fame Inductees
AAU Announces Hall of Fame Inductees
The AAU Wrestling Committee is proud to announce the 2013 AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductees, Darrel Lauderdale, Dick Torio, Kurt Weinberger, and Greg Wojciechowski. Each of these recipients have dedicated their lives to the sport of wrestling and have made huge strides toward its growth and success.
Darrel Lauderdale has spent the better part of 30 years coaching Middle and High School wrestling in Eastern Tennessee. He has served as the chairman of Southeastern AAU Wrestling since 1996, and has been an integral part in growing the district’s program over 4,000 members. In addition to local State Tournaments, Darrel also helped establish the AAU Spring Youth National Championship, which has been held in Tennessee for the last 9 years. He has also been the tournament/site director for the AAU Junior Olympic Games, AAU Ironman World Championships, and the AAU Elementary School Duals. In 2000, Darrel was named to the AAU Wrestling Executive Committee and still serves as a committee member to this day. Additionally, Darrel has served as the Governor of the Southeastern District of the AAU for all sports since 2010. Darrel was also inducted into the Tennessee Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010.
Since no wrestling programs were available in the Jersey City School System, Dick Torio only learned to wrestle while in college. While attending the University of Toledo, Dick was a three time NCAA All American at three different weight classes. After serving in the US Army, Dick went on to be an Assistant Coach at Toledo University where he coached NCAA three-time All Americans Merrill Solowin, Dick Wilson, and Greg Wojciechowski. Dick also coached the US World Greco-Roman Team in 1963, and produced the first US medal ever at Heavyweight in World competition. Dick served as a member of the National AAU Committee from 1959 – 1977, an Executive Committee member of National AAU from 1968 – 1977, President of Ohio AAU from 1976 – 1977, a member of the US Olympic Committee from 1962 – 1978, and Secretary of the US Olympic Committee from 1972 – 1976. Dick was the editor of the Olympic (FILA) rules summary from 1969 – 1986, and editor of the National AAU Wrestling rule book from 1975 – 1977. Dick was the National AAU Official of the year in 1976, officiated in 22 Olympic and Senior World Championships, and served as an official or team manager in five consecutive Olympics from 1960 – 1976.
Kurt Weinberger is a two time AAU National Greco-Roman Champion, as well as an AAU National Freestyle champion. After his amateur career, Kurt went on to coach Central Bucks East High School and Plumstead Christian School for 14 years. In addition to coaching, Kurt has also been a wrestling official since 1977. During his officiating career, Kurt has been a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) official, AAU Freestyle Official, four time Head Official at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, Head Official at AAU Grand Nationals, five time AAU Scholastic Duals Official, and five time Grand Nationals Official. Kurt has also been a five time PIAA State Championship Official and the 1994 AAU Freestyle Official of the year.
Greg Wojciechowski produced an outstanding wrestling career as a two time Ohio High School State Champion, a three time NCAA finalist and one time NCAA Champion, a 13 time National Champion in the Olympic styles (including the National AAU Freestyle and Greco-Roman Championships), a two time Pre-Olympic games medalist, a two time World Cup Freestyle medalist, a two time top six place winner in the World Freestyle championships, and a member of the US Olympic Freestyle Team. Greg followed up his amateur achievements with a successful professional wrestling career while teaching a Libbey High School in Toledo. He also contributed to the accomplishments of Northwest Ohio wrestling by coaching at Archibold, Libbey, and Bowsher High Schools producing a state champion, state runner-up, and multiple state qualifiers.
For complete bios on each of these outstanding members of the wrestling community, CLICK HERE.