West Virginia State Chapter

Board of Directors
President: Bill Archer
Vice Presidents: Garry Bender, Roy Michael
Treasurers: Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Bennett         
Secretary: Diane Archer

Board of Directors
George Keeney, Chairman
Dr. William Welker
Roy Michael
Dr. Tim Miller

2014 Inductees

(Additional feature AT THIS LINK)

Mike Mason (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.

Mike Mason -- "Outstanding West Virginian"

Mike Mason graduated from Williamstown High School in 1993. As the son of Linda and Bill Mason, a 1972 West Virginia High School State Champion, Mike began his love for wrestling at the age of six and was coached by his father, Dick Casto and David Moore. Mike wrestled for Williamstown High School where he was coached by Jeff Givens, Bernie Buttrey and West Virginia Wrestling Hall of Fame Coach Bob Pickens. He was a runner·up as a freshman and later went on to become a 3X State Champion, accumulating a record of 112·1.

Mike finished third in the High School National Tournament, third In the Junior World Team Trials and finished third and 7th in the Junior National Freestyle Tournament. Then he went to wrestle for West Virginia University where he was coached by Craig Turnbull and 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr. While at WVU, Mike was a 4X NCAA qualifier and earned All America Honors In both 1997 and 1998 by finishing 7th and third in the NCAA Division I Tournament respectively. He was also the 1994 Espoir National Freestyle Champion, an Eastern Wrestling League Champion and surpassed the 100 win mark for the Mountaineers.

While residing in Bridgeport, WV, Mike is the Clinic Director of the Chiropractic Care Center and the author of Unstoppable Success. In 2002, he assisted Scott Hage in resurrecting the Bridgeport High School program and later assisted in the implementation of the Harrison County Middle School Wrestling Program. Now he runs The Elite Training Center in Bridgeport which hosts weekly practices for local wrestlers and is the new home of his annual summer wrestling camp which he began in 1993.

Mike and his wife Natalie are the parents of Rachel and Tyler.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Mike Mason with the "Outstanding West Virginian" award, class of 2014.

Joe Altobello (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.
Joe Altobello -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

Joe Altobello started his involvement in wrestling at Keyser High School with Coach Joe Stanislawczyk. In 1971, he graduated from Fairmont State College. When he returned to Keyser High in 1972, Joe became the assistant wrestling coach under Coach Jim Thompson. During the 1977 season, he took over as head coach until the conclusion of the 2001 season when he retired.

During the 24 years as head coach, Joe's teams won 241 matches. He coached 23 state place winners, including two champions and one runner-up out of 84 qualifiers. Keyser was Potomac Valley Conference Champions seven times and runner-up 10 times with 74 individual champions. Joe was named conference coach of the year for each of those team wins. He started the Keyser Kiwanis Invitational in 1980 and still directs the meet. He has been and continues to be the regional tournament director when it is held at KHS. Joe was a member of the State Wrestling committee twice, President of the WV State Coaches' Association and USA Wrestling state representative.

From 1972-76, he coached Keyser Junior High Cross Country. Also from 2001 - 2010, he coached the Keyser High varsity and remains meet director for all home meets, including regionals. In 2007, Joe retired after 30 years of teaching social studies and an additional five years as Assistant Principal of Keyser. He is also a member of the Keyser High Athletic Hall of Fame.

Joe and his wife, Marlene are the proud parents of two sons, Chris (Mollie) and Jared (Christi). They have five lovely grandchildren, Luca, Enzo, Gianni, Noah, and Emmy.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Joe Altobello with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2014.

Harold Wayne Bennett (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.

Harold Wayne Bennett -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

Harold Wayne Bennett graduated from Central High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1965. While in high school, he lettered in football, wrestling, basketball, baseball and track. After graduation, Wayne walked on and earned a football scholarship at Marshall University. During his senior year, he was selected as one of the defensive captains for the team. He earned his B.A. 1970 and a Masters Degree in 1973 from Marshall University.

Wayne coached several different high school and junior high sports including football and wrestling from 1969 - 1994 in the Man and Logan areas of Logan County. Two of his wrestlers became AAA Runners-up, one third and two fourth placers. At the time of his retirement in 2003, he was Principal at Ralph R. Willis Vocational Technical Center in Logan, WV. In the early stages of his retirement, be was asked by a former wrestler to coach his son (Ben McCoy). He returned to coach wrestling at Man High School in 2005 and 2006.

Wayne has four wonderful children; Stephen, former baseball player at Marshall, Chad, former Marshall Band member and also award winning Barber Shop Quartet "Heritage Station," Bailey, a high school junior playing softball, and Trey, a high school freshman playing football and running track. He now resides in the Teays Valley area near Hurricane, West Virginia.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors H. Wayne Bennett with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2014.

David Darst (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.
David Darst -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

David Darst started his wrestling career in 1977 as a wrestler at Point Pleasant Junior High until 1979, where he then moved up to Point Pleasant High School to finish out his 1980 and 81 seasons. David graduated from Glenville State College in 1986 with a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education. While there, he was a two time all conference football player, as well as a four time all conference, and All-American track athlete. He later received his Master's Degree in Leadership Studies from Marshall University.

After college, David returned to Pt. Pleasant and in 1990 along with Jack Cullen helped initiate the Mason County Youth Wrestling League. This league was established to introduce elementary students to the sport of wrestling. Over 300 kids from 6 different schools came out find thus the beginning of the transformation of Point Pleasant Wrestling.

David was a high school assistant coach at PPHS for 11 years as well as the head wrestling coach at Pt. Pleasant Middle school for 15 years. During this time, he served many roles: Youth League Director, Tournament Director for Mason County Open, Jason Eades Duals, and Regional director for both AAA & AA tournaments, as well as hosting numerous individual and dual tournaments at Point Pleasant. During his time as the PPMS head coach, David amassed 12 WSAZ Team Championships, four Tri-State Middle School Championships, and one Wood County Conference Championship being the only non-Wood County winner ever, with an astonishing dual match career record of 421-23.

While at Point Pleasant, David coached over 20 different WSAZ individual champions and numerous Junior State Champions. He also had a hand in coaching 12 of our 14 high school state chnmpions as either their middle school coach or high school assistant. At present, he is the Head Football Conch at PPHS.

David and his wife, Brenda are the parents of two children, a son Anthony and a daughter Alissa and son-in-law Gabriel Roush.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors David Darst with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2014.

George Keeney (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.
George Keeney -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

George Keeney graduated from Dupont High School in 1966 and attended West Virginia Tech. He began working for the Department of Highways in 1968. After 37 years of service to the public, he retired as a Project Supervisor / Senior Engineering Technician.

In 1973, he began his officiating career and was appointed his first regional tournament the following year. He has worked over 60 regional tournaments in West Virginia and Kentucky. During the 1978-79 season, George was selected to work the WV State Tournament and continued for 35 consecutive years ending with his retirement in the 2013-14 state tournament. For one year, he worked the Kentucky State Tournament. He was selected the 1992 Official of the Year in West Virginia and the Outstanding Official in the Cliff Keen Eastern National Tournament in 2009.

What George is proudest of is his commitment to the Kanawha Southern Wrestling Officials Board, training young officials, and demanding that they provide the best possible officiating to the youth of our great state whether it he high school, junior high. or peewee. There have been more officials selected to work the WV State Tournament from the Kanawha Southern Board than any other!!! George is known as the "official's official" by his peers and is highly respected by the wrestling community. Making his home in Scott Depot, George continues to stay active playing senior softball, coaching Little League Baseball, and devoting his life to his family.

He would like to mention his father Albert M. "Bus" Keene who provided him with lifelong lessons about values in life including faith, family, and integrity. As George says, "Call the Stall, call the fall, call it all."

George resides with his fiancee Jeanne Harvey Lowe and their precious grandchildren Michael and Catalan Lowe.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors George Keeney with the "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2014.

Mike Kirby (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.
Mike Kirby -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

Mike Kirby started wrestling in 1968 for Milton Junior High as an 8th grader. Under the direction of Coach Bernie Stone Jr., his first coach , he became the first Milton Cabell County Junior High Champion at 83 pounds. Moving to Milton High School while wrestling for Coach Larry Jordan for two years and one year for Coach Stone, Mike became a West Virginia State Champion in 1971 and 1972 with a record of 98 wins and one loss.

In 1972, Mike went on to Fairmont State College. While under the leadership of Dr. Samuel Church, Mike won three WVIAC Championships and was runner-up during sophomore year. In 1975, he placed third at NAIA National Tournament. During his senior year, Mike was undefeated and number one seed, but a nose bleed and a loss kept him from placing. His wrestling career record was 168-9-2. He credits his wrestling success totally because of his close friends and teammates at Milton High School and at Fairmont State College.

In 1980-83, he coached at Fairmont Catholic First through eighth grades. Mike's officiating career started in 1982 and continued for 28 years. He was selected several times to officiate the WV State Tournament.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Mike Kirby with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2014.

David Riggs (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.
David Riggs -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

David Riggs attended Huntington High School. At the age of 19, he started working for the Cabell County Board of Education as a custodian following in the footsteps of his Mom and Dad.

While working at Beverly Hills Junior High, Wrestling Coach Joe Browning asked him to help get his boys in shape. This was the seed toward his coaching career. Transferring the next year to Enslow Junior High, he saw several boys who were neither doing well nor liking school. While looking for something to motivate them, David along with the late John Barriteau took on the jobs of coaching the wrestling team. It changed a lot of troubled boys' lives as well as David's chance to give back.

Years later, he transferred to Cammack Junior High where he finished out his coaching career. Under David's lead, Cammack won the county tournament numerous times. Several of his boys went on to become State Champions. One of them was his son Justin who became Huntington High School's first 3X WV State Champion.

During the years of coaching, his two daughters and wife worked many hours and weekends at tournaments in support of his love for wrestling. Presently, David is the Head Custodian at Huntington High School.

David and his wife, Pam married for 35 years are the parents of Jessica, Jamie, and Justin. They are also the proud grandparents of five wonderful grandchildren.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors David Riggs with the "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2014.

Craig Turnbull (left) receives his award from former WVU Assistant Coach and USA Olympic Bronze Medalist Nate Carr.
Craig Turnbull -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

Coach Turnbull has served as the head wrestling coach at West Virginia University for 36 years. He is the winningest coach In West Virginia University history, having built one of the strongest and most dominating wrestling programs in the United States. His teams have compiled an impressive record of 265 dual meet wins, ranking him the 7th winningest active coach In Division I wrestling.

He produced 42 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) champions, 26 All-Americans, 7 NCAA finalists , and 3 wrestlers who won five NCAA Division I titles. Since winning the NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award, Turnbull's squads have consistently placed in the top 25 nationally. In 1990, Turnbull was selected as the Eastern Wrestling League's Coach of the Year as West Virginia University captured its first Eastern Mat Poll number-one ranking. Turnbull was also selected to coach the National Wrestling Coaches Association's All -Star Classic In 1992. He has been named the EWL's Coach of the Year three times and has won five Eastern Dual Meet Championships from 1990 to 2003.

Turnbull is a member of the Wesleyville-Iroquois-Lawrence Park Hall of Fame, the Metro Erie Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was a board member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Coach Turnbull and his wife, Sue, have two children and reside In Morgantown, West Virginia.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Craig Turnbull with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling " award, class of 2014.

2014 Induction Ceremony Feature

Hall of Fame Main Page

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