Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

July 2, 2014

Ex-UCO wrestler Kuntz set for Hall of Fame induction

EDMOND — Former Central Oklahoma wrestler Jerry Kuntz has served the sport as an official since 1991, working championships in the Olympic styles at every level of competition.  Kuntz has done it all -- kids, cadets, juniors and open division -- and  will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Saturday for his many years of dedicated service as an official.

The induction ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Student Union Ballroom at Oklahoma State.

Kuntz competed for the Bronchos from 1974-1977 before embarking on a long high school coaching career.  He was a high school wrestling coach at Clinton, Putnam City and Casady from 1978-2000, compiling a 199-78 dual meet record and coaching 16 individual state champions.

Kuntz also coached Team Oklahoma to freestyle national championships in 1988, 1989, and 1990. In 1994, he was named USA Wrestling's Developmental Coach of the Year.

As an official, Kuntz gained a reputation as one of the finest officials in the country—both in folkstyle and the international styles of the sport. He has been an NCAA official from 1991 - 2014 and a FILA official from 1997 - 2014. In 2006, Kuntz was named Official of the Year by USA Wrestling.

Kuntz has officiated 98 national tournaments, including 22 U.S. Opens, 23 Cadet/Junior Nationals, 23 Junior National Duals, four Kids freestyle/GrecoRoman Nationals, three Schoolboy Duals, and three University/Junior World Trials. In addition to that, he has officiated seven World Team Trials, two Olympic Trials (2004 and 2012), 43 USA regional tournaments, and three Armed Forces Championships.

Kuntz has also officiated the Oklahoma high school state championships 15 times.

Other significant awards Kuntz has garnered over the years include being inducted into the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (2008), the Oklahoma Wrestling Lifetime Achievement Award (2005), the Phil Portuese Award for developing young officials (2010), and the Mort Geller Award for outstanding work with international officials (2012). He is also an executive board member at USA Wrestling, and from 2002 – 2014 he was on the Ethics Committee as Chairman for cadet wrestling at the international level.

 

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