West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

Wrestling in the Real World Part One

(Columnist's note: The following story was related to me by Tod Jeffers, a great wrestling enthusiast and Mid-Day Talk Show host on WKKX 1600 am.)

The late Dr. Bill Koll, a graduate of Iowa State Teachers College (now Northern Iowa University), was undefeated for three years, won three consecutive NCAA National Titles, and was the first collegiate wrestler to receive two outstanding wrestler awards at nationals. His double leg was unstoppable, and his phenomenal accomplishments on the mats are legendary to this day.

A veteran of WWII, having seen the worst of humanity at Omaha Beach on D-Day, Dr. Koll feared no man, on or off the mats. It's what happened off the mats that I will now share with you.

Bill Koll was the head wrestling coach at Penn State from 1964 to 1978, where he compiled a coaching record of 127-22-7. During his final year as coach, Koll's Nittany Lions traveled to Springfield College, near Boston, for a dual meet. They arrived in town the night before the meet and were staying at a motel in a fairly rough neighborhood.

As was Coach Koll's custom, he would always take a walk the night before away matches to find an appropriate restaurant for his team's breakfast the next morning. He had been gone for a couple hours and Tod Jeffers, traveling with the team to report on the match, began to worry. Finally, he received a call from Coach Koll . . . from the police station!

At this time, Coach Koll was 55 years old, could hardly see without his glasses, weighed approximately 150 pounds, and limped from an old wrestling injury. As he was walking down the streets of Boston, two muggers targeted him as their next victim. A little old man would be a cake walk.

Approaching Coach Koll and demanding his wallet, Koll simply said "No!" Thus, they decided to rough him up. Boy, were they in for the shock of their lives.

When the dust (literally) cleared, Coach Koll had already double legged one of the muggers to the ground, breaking his arm with a twisting hammerlock (illegal, I might add). The second mugger ran screaming down the street, as the police arrived.

While on the phone, Jeffers asked Coach Koll if he was okay.

"Hell, no, Tod! The damn hoodlums broke my glasses; I can't see! Come down and get me. Now!"

The next morning at breakfast Coach Koll began trying on some of his wrestlers' glasses. "These will do," said Koll to Jerry White, an All-American at the time.

Tod Jeffers just smiled and shook his head.

(Columnist's note: Next week's Part Two involves another mugger's unfortunate encounter with a local coach.)

The Assistant Referee

An assistant referee may be utilized during competition, usually during tournament action. He is allowed the same mobility around the mat as the match official.

Furthermore, the assistant referee may talk to the main official during the match, and assist the main official in making calls if the main official asks him for help.

The assistant official can also signal the technical violation of locked hands on the mat or the grasping of clothing.

Although all other calls must be made by the main official, the assistant official is allowed to make the main official aware of various infractions.

If there is a disagreement between the two, the main official will have the final say regarding the situation.

Note: Coaches are not to address the assistant referee during the course of a match.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: In the second period of the bout, the assistant referee warned Wrestler A for stalling. Immediately, Wrestler A's coach approached the scorer's table and argued that the assistant referee had no authority to make that call. Was he right or wrong?
A: The coach was correct. Only the main official of the match is allowed to designate stalling.

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is Tyler Consolidated's Andrew Kile, who wrestles at 285 pounds. Most recently, Andrew was a Magnolia Invitational Champion. The "Silver Knights" matman has a present record of 19-8.

Last year, Andrew Kile wrestled at 275 pounds. He was Region I AA Champion, the school's 4th regional champion and had an over-all record of 56-28.

Congratulations are extended to Andrew Kile - this week's Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior.

Mat Message
"You have to set new goals every day."
- Julie Krone

(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: mattalkwv@hotmail.com)
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