University Park, Pa. — The 1953 Penn State wrestling team that won the NCAA National Championship will be honored this weekend by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Penn State's 100 year centennial in the sport will be recognized as well.
The Hall of Fame's annual weekend of activities will feature a reception on Friday evening in Stillwater, Okla., where the 1953 Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team will be honored for its national championship run in 1953. Penn State had one national champion and five total All-Americans that year in winning the team title.
Head coach Charlie Speidel's squad was led during the entire season by captain's Donald Frey and Joe Lemyre. Hud Samson won the individual national title at 191 while Dick Lemyre was second at 130. Jerry Maurey was third at 137, Frey was third at 147 and Joe Lemyre was third at 167.
The 1953 season was one of historical success for Penn State. The Nittany Lions went 9-0 in dual meets by a combined score of 206-52. Penn State won the EIWA title at Princeton and then hosted the NCAA Championships in Rec Hall and blazed its way to the team crown. Penn State's performance at nationals that year was amazing. The Nittany Lions, beyond the five All-Americans and one national champ, posted a 21-9 combined record and had five pins.
The Nittany Lions also recently celebrated 100 years of wrestling, with head coach Troy Sunderland's team capping a century of success with a third place finish at the 2008 NCAA Championships, claiming four All-Americans and crowning yet another national champion. The annual weekend of activities in Stillwater at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame will take place on Friday and Saturday and features a full slate of activities and events.