West Virginia Wrestling

Dr. Bill Welker
110 North Huron Street
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
email mattalkwv@hotmail.com



  • He was a Pennsylvania 3-time Sectional and 3-time District Four Champion, 2-time Northeastern Regional Champion, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) State Champion in 1963 and PIAA State Runner-Up in 1965. (Note: There was only one division of schools at the time and if you lost at any level, you were eliminated.)

  • A four-year varsity performer, he had undefeated dual meet seasons as a freshman and senior. He received the "Robert Kemp Outstanding Wrestler Memorial Award" his senior year at Shamokin High School.

  • He was the last Shamokin wrestler to compete in a "Greyhound" uniform before the school consolidated with Coal Township High School to become the Shamokin Area "Indians" in the fall of 1965. He also held the old "Shamokin Greyhound" record for the most wins (83 victories).

  • He is ranked 7th in Shamokin's "Top Ten" all-time winners' list (83 victories). In 1974, he was ranked 7th in Pennsylvania's first "Top Ten" all-time winners' list compiled by Bob Hower, Pennsylvania's premier high school wrestling historian.

  • He earned a wrestling scholarship from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a place winner in the Naval Academy Freshman Tournament and a varsity performer for the Pitt Panthers.

  • He was a head wrestling coach at old Wheeling High School (1970-72), Wheeling Central Catholic High School (1972-76), and Wheeling Park High School (1979-80). He also helped to produce three West Virginia AAA State Championship Teams at Wheeling Park High School and was honored as one of the top coaches in the country in 1979 by Scholastic Wrestling News.

  • He has conducted numerous clinics on wrestling in the Ohio Valley over the years, especially involving his Pancake Takedown Series.

  • Dr. Welker has been the guest speaker at numerous wrestling/sports banquets throughout the Ohio Valley (John Marshall, Beallsville, Wheeling Park, Cameron, Steubenville, Brooke, Buckeye Local, Oak Glen, Cadiz, former Jefferson Union, Magnolia, Hundred, etc.).

  • He was selected as the "1987 National Wrestling Sportswriter of the Year" by Wrestling USA Magazine for his "Mat Talk" column, which appeared in the Wheeling (WV) News-Register from 1978 until 2010. Since 1974, he has authored over 600 articles on the art and science of wrestling. His writings have appeared in many periodicals, including the Wheeling News-Register, Steubenville Herald-Star, East Liverpool (Ohio) Evening Review, Parkersburg News, Shamokin (PA) News-Item, The West Virginia Wrestler, Scholastic Wrestling News, Amateur Wrestling News, The coaches' Quarterly (NF), The Coaching Clinic (Prentice Hall), Wrestling USA, Ohio Wrestling News, Pennsylvania Wrestling Newsletter, Tom Elling's Pennsylvania Wrestling, and The Officials' Quarterly (NF).

  • In 1990, he was inducted into the Bernie Romanoski Chapter of the "PA Sports Hall of Fame" and was also honored as the "1990 Outstanding West Virginia Wrestling Official of the Year."

  • In 1991, he received the prestigious "Mr. Mat" Award from the OVAC, the largest high school athletic conference of its kind in the nation.

  • Welker is the official biographer of all the Mr. Mat Award Winners since the accolade's beginning in 1976. He writes the biography of each new recipient for the Wheeling News-Register and Martins Ferry Times-Leader.

  • He has been selected an unprecedented seven times as the "West Virginia Wrestling Sportswriter of the Year" (1981-1985-1989-1996-2000-2007-2010). In fact, he was the first recipient of "The Snyder-Miller Media Award" in 2010.

  • He was inducted into the "2000 Pennsylvania District IV Wrestling Hall of Fame."

  • He was honored by Wrestling USA Magazine as the "2001 West Virginia Wrestling Man of the Year."

  • He is now a contributing writer for Wrestling USA Magazine. He has also written a nationally published, computer-assisted instructional program for wrestling officials entitled Wrestling Sports Officials Applied Skills and Knowledge Program, which was highly acclaimed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

  • He served as West Virginia's Wrestling Rules Interpreter and Clinician from 1989 until 2017, and was the Supervisor of Officials at the state high school wrestling tournament. In this capacity, he wrote and produced a video entitled "A Baker's Dozen of Difficult Calls in Wrestling" to aid in promoting official consistency across the state of West Virginia. He also initiated a pilot study on "Blood Time" (1993) for the National Federation (NF) which has since become a NF rule in 1996. He was instrumental in proposing, developing, and documenting the "Stall Procedure" & "Stall Procedure: Revised" two-year (1998-2000) pilot study for the NF to improve stalling consistency. During the 2002-2003 wrestling season, Dr. Welker coordinated a pilot study for the NF to investigate an innovative approach for improving how a wrestler is given the choice of position, should a match reach the 30-second ultimate tiebreaker.

  • He has been the wrestling rules interpreter for the Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament since 1992. More recently, he serves in the same capacity for the OVAC Dual-Meet Championships.

  • Since 1988, Dr. Welker chairs the committee (Bill Hinegardner, Dick Wolf, Dr. Dan Doyle, and Ron Mauck - members) that selects the OVAC Ohio and West Virginia Wrestlers of the Year.

  • As the OVAC tournament souvenir program coordinator & editor for 18 years (1979-1996), his 1996 OVAC Program design and format was awarded 2nd Place national honors by the selection committee of Wrestling USA Magazine's 26th annual Tournament Programs Division contest.

  • Dr. Welker is the secretary for the Mr. Mat Committee, OVAC Wrestling Coaches Committee, and OVAC Wrestling Scholarship Committee.

  • 2001 NFHS Mideast Section 2 Distinguished Active Official Award Winner. Section 2 includes officials in all sports from the District of Columbia and the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, & West Virginia.

  • 2002 National Wrestling Official of the Year Award Winner selection from Wrestling USA Magazine.

  • 2003 Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Official of the Year.

  • Since 2003, Dr. Welker has served as a charter board member of the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

  • 2005 Editor and Chapter Author - The Wrestling Drill Book (Human Kinetics Publishing Company, Champaign, Illinois), with contributions from Jim Akerly (PA), Bill Archer (WV), Dave LaMotte (Arizona), Patsy Pecora (PA), Ed Peery (MD), Ken Taylor (Colorado), and Craig Turnbull (WV). To date, the drill book has sold over 22,000 copies.

  • Dr. Bill Welker's officiating career was profiled in the July 2005 Issue of Referee Magazine, the premiere officiating magazine of the country.

  • 2006 Wrestling Consultant for the American Sports Education Program's Officiating Wrestling Methods On-Line Course under the auspices of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

  • 2008 "Master of Wrestling" Award recipient presented by Wrestling USA Magazine annually and is regarded as their most prestigious wrestling accolade.

  • 2008 National Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee (West Virginia Chapter) for his Lifetime Service as a coach and official.

  • In 2008, he produced the DVD: "Bill Welker's Pancake Takedown Series" which is being distributed nationwide.

  • Upon Dr. Welker's retirement from education in 2009, he was selected as "Teacher of the Year" by the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce.

  • 2010 Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee for his exceptional accomplishments as a scholastic wrestler.

  • 2012 Dr. Welker was selected to serve as a member of the NFHS National Wrestling Rules Committee which meets in Indianapolis, IN every April. He served on the committee from 2012 to 2015.

  • In 2012, due to the national success of Bill Welker's The Wrestling Drill Book, Human Kinetics Publishing asked Dr. Welker to edit a second edition of the book. It can be purchased on Amazon.com.

  • In 2013, Dr. Welker's second edition of The Wrestling Drill Book was published nationwide due to the extreme success of the first edition.

  • In 2013, Dr. Welker and his son Rick Welker were selected as the National Wrestling Sportswriters of the Year Award Winners by Wrestling USA Magazine. He and his son also host the Rick Welker Wrestling Radio Show on WKKX-1600, promoting Ohio Valley wrestling during the season.

  • In 2014, Dr. Welker was inducted into West Virginia University's prestigious Jasper N. Deahl Honors Society for his contributions to education.

  • In 2016, Dr. Welker published his memoirs: The Sparrow's Spirit: A Champion Wrestler's Lifetime Reflections on Prayer and Perseverance. It can be purchased on Amazon.com.

  • He is the souvenir program editor for the OVAC/MAC All-Star Meet.

  • Bill Welker was the third family member to win a PIAA State Championship (1963), and the youngest in Shamokin High School's storied wrestling history of nearly 75 years. His older brother Floyd was a state champ in 1959. In fact, Bill and Floyd Welker were the first brother-team to win states in District Four. They won their titles during a time when there was only one division of schools, and you couldn't lose at any level of the elimination process. Also, cousin Harold Welker won his state crown in 1938, at the first PIAA state wrestling tournament held in Penn State's "Rec Hall." All three were Shamokin "Greyhounds." They have been dubbed the "First Family of District Four Wrestling.")

  • After receiving his B.S. (1969) and M.Ed. (1970) degrees from The University of Pittsburgh, he later earned a doctorate degree from West Virginia University in 1989. He has been the Reading Specialist at Warwood Middle School in Wheeling, WV from 1976 to 2009. He also served as Dean of Students from 1991 to 2000.

  • A resident of Wheeling Island since 1972, Bill and his wife Peggy have four children (Billy, Ricky, Tiffany, and Danny), and 15 grandchildren (Cory, Drew, Chase, Camden Rose, Cheyenne, Canon, Shannon, Alaya, Vander, Nathan, Lillian Grace, Molly Margaret, Sophia Rayne, and Tayla and Isaac).

    Dr. William A. Welker
    Professional Career
    1969 - 2009

    2009 Teacher of the Year
    (Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce Award)

    2009 March Teacher of the Month
    (WTRF-TV/Wheeling Hospital Award)

    2009 April "Teacher Feature"
    (Ohio County School's Focus Magazine Award)

    Dr. Welker began his professional career in the Pittsburgh Public Schools System (1969-1970), teaching Physical Education at Philip Murray Elementary School. He moved to Wheeling and taught at Edgington Lane Elementary School in Wheeling (Ohio County Schools System) as a self-contained classroom teacher from 1970-72.

    Dr. Welker then taught English and Reading at Wheeling Central Catholic High School from 1972 until 1976. In the fall of 1976, he returned to the Ohio County Schools System as a reading teacher at Warwood Junior High School (now Warwood Middle School), where he retired on June 9, 2009.

    Over the years, Dr. Welker has presented papers on teaching reading locally, regionally, and nationally at such locations as Atlanta, Georgia, Lexington, Kentucky, Charleston, Webster County, Brooke County, and the Greenbrier. He also taught graduate reading-instruction classes as an adjunct professor for West Virginia University.

    Dr. Welker has written dozens of articles on the art and science of teaching practices in the classroom since 1976. The following are just a few of his professional writings and endeavors outside of the k-12 classroom setting.


    Parent Teaching Tips, an archive of articles by Dr. Welker relating to the art and science of education.

    West Virginia Mat Thoughts, by Dr. Bill Welker

    West York Wrestling Alumni: Interview with Dr Bill Welker

    PAWR Wrestling: Interview with Dr Bill Welker

    The Sparrow's Spirit, by Dr. Bill Welker, Ed.D.
    A Champion Wrestler's Lifetime Reflections on Prayer and Perseverance

    Available on-line from the publishing company RoseDog Books through its online bookstore.

    Also available on-line at amazon.com

    Publication Notes

    The Wrestling Drill Book, 2nd Edition, edited and authored by Dr. Bill Welker
    with contributions by Jim Akerly, Bill Archer, Dave Lamotte, Pat Pecora, Edwin C. Peery, Bruce Burnett, Larry Shaw, Ken L. Taylor, and Craig Turnbull.

    Available on-line from the publishing company, Human Kinetics, or through book stores nationwide.

    Also available at amazon.com

    Bill Welker's Pancake Takedown Series.
    Available for mini-clinic demonstration
    FOLLOW THIS LINK for details

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