The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum has named Dan Chandler, Melvin Douglas, Matt Ghaffari, and Ron Gray as Distinguished Members of the Class of 2013, the Stillwater, Okla.-based facility announced Monday.
The four wrestlers will be officially welcomed into the Hall during Honors Weekend May 31-June 1, 2013.
Here are brief bios of the four Distinguished Members of the Class of 2013:
- Dan Chandler, from Minneapolis, Minn., claimed an amazing 12 National Greco-Roman championships as a competitor and was a member of three U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman Teams in 1976, 1980, and 1984 at 180.5 pounds. He has served as the Minnesota Storm Greco-Roman Club coach since 1978, guiding four of his wrestlers to five Olympic Greco-Roman medals. As head coach of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman Team, Chandler led the team to one of its strongest U.S. Olympic performances in history with three medals.
- Melvin Douglas claimed NCAA Division I collegiate wrestling titles in 1985 and 1986 while attending the University of Oklahoma. He went on to earn medals in three different World Championships, including a World Title in 1993. Douglas, from Mesa, Ariz., also represented the United States in freestyle wrestling at the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000.
- Matt Ghaffari excelled in Greco-Roman wrestling, representing the United States at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games in the super heavyweight division. The Avon Lake, Ohio resident claimed a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and captured silver medals at the World Greco-Roman Championships in 1991 and 1998, and a bronze medal in 1995. He won World Cup championships in 1991, ’92, ’94 and ’95, and was Pan American Games champion in 1991 and 1995.
- Ron Gray was a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion for Iowa State University at 147 lbs., with a collegiate record of 53-2-1. After earning runner-up honors in 1957, Gray won NCAA championships for the Cyclones the next two years, earning the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award in 1959. Gray served as head wrestling coach at Franklin & Marshall from 1965-1971, and at Kent State from 1971-1996. He is a resident of Kent, Ohio.
“This class of inductees for 2013 represents not only a standard of excellence achieved in the three styles of wrestling (folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman) contested in the United States, but also includes those who have taken lessons learned from the sport to excel in other walks of life,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “This group of inductees defines what it means when we say that America Needs Wrestling.”
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