Board of Directors
President: Bill Archer
Vice President: Garry Bender
Treasurer: Wayne Bennett
Secretary: George Keeney

Dr. Bill Welker
Dave Poe
Jim Potts
Dr. Tim Miller
Ron Mauck
Sidney Boggs
Bill Hinegardner
Diane Archer

West Virginia State Chapter

2004 Inductees

"Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

The late Joe Grass was considered by West Virginia mat enthusiasts as one of the best referees to ever officiate the state wrestling tournament. He was noted for his knowledge of the rules, consistency, and fairness to the wrestlers.

Joe Grass started his officiating career in the 1960s ... and never looked back. During his tenure, Grass refereed 15 state championships, one NAIA Tournament in 1979, over 20 regional events, and nearly twenty top tournaments a year. Joe's valued services were also solicited by the states of Ohio and Kentucky.

For his efforts on the mats, Joe Grass was selected as the "Official of the Decade" in the 1970s by The West Virginia Wrestler. No one would disagree. Grass was respected by the coaches, the wrestlers, the fans, and his peers. In fact, one reporter once wrote that "Mr. Grass is the only wrestling official to receive a standing ovation from fans at the state championships two years in a row."

When not officiating, Joe Grass was also involved with his community. A former Milton City Councilman, he promoted numerous recreational and youth athletic programs in the area. Grass initiated the "midget" wrestling program that assisted Milton High School to develop into one of the top wrestling programs in the state. Now there is an open mat event named after him -- "The Joe Grass Wrestling Tournament."

Joe Grass is survived by his wife, Sara, and two sons, Todd and Ty.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors the late Joe Eddie Grass with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2004.

Bill Hinegardner
"Lifetime Service to Wrestling"
Coach Bill Hinegardner graduated from Meadow Bridge High School in 1960. He received his bachelor's degree from Concord College and master's degree from West Virginia University in 1965 and 1968 respectively. Bill Hinegardner's first coaching position was at Moundsville High School in 1966.

Coach Hinegardner took over the reins as head wrestling at John Marshall High School in 1968, where he served as a school counselor until 1999.

Bill Hinegardner coached wrestling at John Marshall High School for 14 years. During his tenure, the "Monarchs" won four state team titles (1972, 1973, 1974, and 1979). His teams also won four OVAC Tournament Championships (1972, 1973, 1974, and 1977) and five OVAC Dual Meet Titles (1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, and 1978). Hinegardner's dual meet record was an amazing 133-29-1 and he produced 20 individual state champions.

Coach Bill Hinegardner was named "West Virginia Wrestling Coach of the Year" three times (1972, 1973 and 1979). He was the first wrestling coach to be selected as the OVAC Coach of the Year in 1974. In 1984, received the coveted "Mr. Mat Award" for contributions to the sport of wrestling in the OVAC.

Bill and his devoted wife Shirley reside in Moundsville. They are the proud parents of a son Tim, and a daughter Tammy, and four grandchildren, Alexa, Sean, Brad and Luke.

The late Bill Van Horne, a three-time WV Wrestling Sportswriter of the Year and 1977 Mr. Mat recipient, affectionately referred to Coach Hinegardner as "West Virginia Wrestling Man of Character." The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Bill Hinegardner with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2004.

"Lifetime Service to Wrestling"
Coach Roger Jefferson graduated from Barboursville High School. He was a two-time regional champion and two-time all-state West Virginia wrestler.

Jefferson attended Marshall University, where he was co-captain of the wrestling team his senior year. As a collegiate wrestler, Roger Jefferson placed third in the Mid-American Wrestling Conference Tournament as a sophomore at 177 pounds and silver medalist at heavyweight his senior year.

Upon graduating from Marshall, Roger Jefferson was assigned as the first mat coach at Charleston's Stonewall Jackson High School. And what a job he did!

Coach Jefferson's dual meet record was an impressive 142-39-2 over a 16-year period. During his tenure as wrestling coach, he produced 7 individual state champions, 7 state runner-ups, and 18 other state placewinners. His wrestling teams were state runner-ups in 1966, 1969, and 1972. Coach Jefferson also served two terms as President of the West Virginia Wrestling Coaches Association.

As a 29-year veteran wrestling official, Roger Jefferson refereed 12 state wrestling tournaments. His state interpreter referred to him as "the most humble and conscientious referee to officiate the state championships." Roger Jefferson always cared about the kids.

Roger and his wife Carol presently live in South Charleston, and have two children and three grandchildren The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Roger Jefferson with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2004.

"Lifetime Service to Wrestling"
Coach Bob Pickens graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1964. He received his bachelor's degree from Marshall University and master's degree from Salem University in 1969 and 1999 respectively. At Marshall University, Coach Pickens was captain of the wrestling team his junior and senior years.

Bob Pickens, a "Big Red" state champ in 1964 under legendary coach Bob Dutton, was assigned the wrestling coach at Williamstown High School in 1977.

Coach Pickens coached wrestling at Williamstown High School for 25 years. During his tenure, the "Yellow Jackets" won two state team titles (1982 and 1983). Furthermore, Coach Pickens' teams were state runner-ups four times. His teams also won seven "Little Kanawha Conference" Wrestling Championships, which he had 68 individual champions. The conference does not have a coach of the year award, but if it did, Bob Pickens would have been the recipient of that award many times.

Coach Bob Pickens was named "West Virginia Wrestling Coach of the Year" two times (1982 and 1983). He produced 37 individual state champions, including three-time state titliest Dan Rowell who was a high school All-American and Mike Mason, who was not only a three-time state champion, but also a multiple NCAA Division I All-American at West Virginia University. In fact, Coach Bob Pickens presently ranks second, statewide, with the most individual state champions. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Bob Pickens with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2004.

"Lifetime Service to Wrestling"
Coach Bob Stover graduated from Clay County High School in 1955. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Morris Harvey College in 1964. Coach Stover later earned a master's degree from West Virginia University. He also studied at Marshall University and was a participant on the school's wrestling and baseball teams.

In 1967, Bob Stover initiated the wrestling program at Clay County High School. The team's first mats were 4' by 6' gym mats tied together. Their uniforms were gray sweat suits. At that time, there were no divisions and Clay County wrestlers competed against the bigger schools as well as the smaller ones.

During Coach Stover's tenure, he produced 8 individual state champions, 11 state runner-ups, six regional team titles, six New River Valley Conference titles, and amassed 299 dual meet wins. For his efforts, Bob Stover was voted the AA State Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1980. He was also selected as the West Virginia High School Wrestling Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Coaches Association that same year. Coach Stover was later dubbed the Regional Coach of the Year by the West Virginia School's Athletic Coaches Association in 1988.
Coach Stover retired from coaching in 1989 after 25 years of devotion to the mat sport. Because of his dedicated efforts to wrestling, the "Bob Stover Classic Wrestling Tournament" is now a part of Clay County High School's schedule.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Bob Stover with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2004.

"Lifetime Service to Wrestling"
Coach Pat Vance has worn many hats in his service to wrestling for over 30 years. Pat has performed the roles of assistant wrestling coach, head wrestling coach, tournament director, and athletic director at Nitro High School. During his tenure as head coach, Pat Vance has produced nearly 20 all-state wrestlers, including one state champion. When Vance resigned from coaching and took over the reins as athletic director at Nitro, he was determined to keep the mat program at the school strong. He enlisted the services of some of the finest wrestling minds in the area, included Steve White, Steve Stoffel, and Chuck Easter.

Coach Vance's greatest contribution to wrestling was his 30-year stint as the Nitro Invitational Wrestling Tournament Director. Because of his dedication to this annual competition at the school, the Nitro Invitational Wrestling Tournament has been re-named the "Pat Vance Invitational Wrestling Tournament" in 2004.

Pat Vance's principal and longtime friend, Paul McClanahan, had this to say about Pat's work ethic: "I relied very heavily on Pat's expertise, leadership, experience, and unwavering professionalism. However, the most sterling quality that he brought to his job was his fairness and conscientiousness when dealing his students and fellow coaches."

Pat and his wife of 38 years, Joanne, have two lovely daughters, Leigh Ann and Beth, and two beautiful grandchildren -- Jordan (7) and Mackenzie (2)

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Pat Vance with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2004.

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