Dick Campbell was honored for his longtime involvement in wrestling when he was inducted into the Section III Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday March 6.
Campbell was one of five new inductees to join 57 other distinguished Hall of Fame members who have been honored for their accomplishments on the mat or for exemplary service to Section III wrestling. Bruno Schirripa was the MC and Tim Green was keynote speaker at the event, which took place at Borio's Restaurant on Oneida Lake.
"Coach Campbell is the main reason Skaneateles wrestling exists today," said T.J. Fraher, the current wrestling coach. "Nine years ago he was the catalyst in reestablishing the program and has spent countless hours as a volunteer coach in the program. This honor is well deserved."
According to information in the program, Campbell began his wrestling career at Marcellus Central High School as a varsity wrestler in the 98-pound weight class.
Graduating in 1961, he enrolled at Michigan State University where he was involved in wrestling through graduation. Doug Blubaugh, a 1960 Olympic Champion, was the MSU coach who encouraged Campbell to coach wrestling at the high school level.
Campbell became a teacher of European History in the Skaneateles Central School District in 1965, where he also served as the Boys Golf Coach for 40 years. His 569 varsity golf wins remains today as the New York State High School record for most wins.
In 1965, he inherited a wrestling team that returned just two experienced wrestlers. After a 6-24-1 start, he finished with a 173-73-1 when he stepped down in 1984. Several of his teams won OHSL Championships, and Bill McCauley (215) became the first ever New York State Champion from Onondaga County in 1969. Other Section III champions were Steve Groce (1976), who placed sixth in the States, and Joe Brillo (1981), who posted a remarkable record of 89-2-0 from 1978-81.