West Virginia State Chapter

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

George Keeney, Banquet Chairman
Dr. William Welker
Dr. Tim Miller, Photographer, Website Manager

2017 Inductees

(Additional feature AT THIS LINK)

Pete Cuffaro (left) receives his award from Bill Archer (WV HOF '07)

Pete Cuffaro -- "Medal of Courage"

In high school Pete Cuffaro was involved with promoting wrestling at Linsley Military Institute, (keeping score, etc.) as a student there. Cuffaro has been instrumental in supporting and promoting our nearly 50-team OVAC High School Wrestling Championships.

For over 25 years, Mr. Cuffaro has served as a volunteer Clock Operator and Official Score Keeper at the OVAC Wrestling Championships, as well as various other invitational wrestling tournaments in the upper Ohio Valley.

Over the years, Pete Cuffaro has authored numerous wrestling articles in the Wheeling (WV) News-Register's prestigious, award-winning Mat Talk Column. For decades, Mr. Cuffaro has been the featured speaker at various high-school wrestling baquets in the upper Ohio Valley.

When a fellow wrestler by the name of Daniel Burke was killed in an automobile accident in 1983, Pete Cuffaro initiated and has annually presented the Daniel M. Burke Memorial Wrestling Scholarship at the OVAC's Spring Banquet since 1984.

In June of 1983, Pete Cuffaro suffered a spinal cord injury in a freak diving accident which left him permanently confined to a wheelchair. Still, Pete did not let the injury keep him down. He has the upmost respect of the area wrestling community for his dedication to the mat sport for well over 30 years, as well as many other civic organizations.

Pete Cuffaro lives by the following motto: "No matter how bad you think you have it, look around. You can always find someone else who has it worse that you do. Count your blessings."

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Pete Cuffaro with the "Medal of Courage" award, class of 2017.

Buddy James (right ) receives the award from Wayne Bennett, (WV HOF '08)

Buddy James -- "Outstanding West Virginian"

Buddy James was a 1956 graduate of Parkersburg High School. While under Coach Bob Dutton at 155lbs., he placed 4th at heavyweight as a junior. During his senior year in 1956, Buddy was undefeated, pinned all his opponents except in his championship match at 168 lbs., which he won 5-0. Also playing football, he was first All State Tackle and on the All Northern Team.

Upon graduation, he went to Montana State University his freshman year on a Football scholarship and lettered in wrestling. In 1957, he transferred to Marshall University where he again played football and wrestled.

With a BS degree from Marshall, he was hired to teach Civics at Jackson Junior High and coached Football, Wrestling, Basketball and Track. Since he started wrestling in Wood County for junior junior highs, each year they present the Buddy James Coach of the Year Award. For many years, he has been a wrestling official.

In 1963 , he went to PHS as Assistant Coach in Football, Wrestling, and Track. PHS won State Championships in Wrestling and Track. He became the Head Football Coach in 1968. He was the winningest AAA Football Coach in WV, when he retired in 1990. Each year at PHS, the outstanding lineman receives "The Buddy James Lineman of the Year" Award.

Among his many awards, Buddy was inducted into the Montana State University HOF, Mid-Ohio Valley HOF, Parkersburg HS All Sports HOF and PHS Football HOF. In 1977, he coached the North Bears in the North-South Classic.

Buddy is the recipient of the National High School Coach Golf Award. He has been featured in numerous books for Football coaching and programs. In 1999, he received "Lifetime Leadership Role Model Award" for coaching in all sports. He received Retired Coach of the Year Award in 1995, presented by WV Coaches Association.

Buddy and his wife Nancy live in Vienna. They are the proud parents of two daughters Lorrie and Pam.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Buddy James with the "Outstanding West Virginian" award, class of 2017.

Jim Crawford (left ) receives his award from George Keeney, (WV HOF '14)

Jim Crawford -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

Jim Joseph Crawford was born and raised in Winfield. While playing Center for his football team under the direction of his mentor Coach Bob Anderson, the team placed second in the State in 1952. He was also as active member of the baseball and basketball teams. Jim earned a BS Degree in Physical Education and Social Studies from West Virgiuia State College while playing both football and golf. In 1973, Jim earned his Master's Degree in Education from West Virginia University.

His first teaching job was in a one room school in Putnam County. In 1962, Jim was hired for a teaching position at St. Albans High School. Coach Sam LeRose gave him his start in his illustrious career as an Assistant Football Coach. While continuing his career at St Albans, Jim coached Golf, Wrestling for 30 years and Girls Track. The St. Albans Girls Track Team won the State Championship in 1975. For many years, Jim slso worked at St. Albans as the Athletic Director.

Over the course of his career, Jim has officiated Football and Wrestling. For several years, he has been the Director of the Gazette Relays Track Meet held at Laidley Field in Charleston. In 1975, Jim was awarded The West Virginia Sports Writers Association Recognition Award for the 1975 Girls Track Champions.

After retiring in 1999, Jim decided to run for the Kanawha County Board of Education. Having won in 2000, he has been and still is a member and has served as President on two occasions. Also Jim has served on the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, been President of the West Virginia School Board Association, President of the National Federation of Secondary Schools urban Districts and presently a member of the Board of Directors of the Childhood Language Disorders Center in Chareston, WV for Pre-School and Elementary Students.

Jim and his loving wife, Marilyn reside in St. Albans. They are the proud parents of their son Jim, and his wife, Marilyn.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Jim Crawford with the "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2017.

Bill Donohew (left) receives his award from George Keeney, (WV HOF '14)

Bill Donohew -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

A 1966 West Virginia State Champion, Bill Donohew matriculated at Fairmont State College where he won two West Virginia State College Wrestling Titles. His collegiate record as a 4-year letter winner was an outstanding 45-6.

Bill Donohew's first coaching position was at St. Marys (WV) High School from 1971 to 1973, where his team won the Little Kanawha Conference Title.

Donohew then moved to Wheeling to teach and coach at Warwood High School. He was assigned as the school's assistant varsity wrestling coach, a position he held from 1973 to 1976.

While there, his "Viking" matmen won team championships at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships and a West Virginia State Tournament title.

In the fall of 1976, Warwood, Triadelphia, and Wheeling High Schools combined to form Wheeling Park High School. Donohew then assumed the post of head wrestling coach at Warwood Junior High School, where his teams won two PAC-8 Championships during his tenure there from 1976 to 2003.

For his accomplishments at Warwood Junior High School, Coach Bill Donohew was honored with the OVAC Junior High Wrestling Coach of the Year award.

After retiring as a teacher in 2003, Bill Donohew took on the position of head wrestling coach at Follansbee Middle School. Throughout his tenure there, his "Blue Wave" wrestlers have won three BMAC Championships (2003 - Present).

Coach Bill Donohew has coached wrestling for an incredible 45 years and is still going strong on the mats!

Bill Donohew and his wife Jeanette reside in Warwood. They have two children, Kelly and Scott, and are now enjoying their grandchildren: Chelsea, Bethany, and Bret.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Bill Donohew with the "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2017.

Troy Owens (left)) receives his award from Roy Michael (WV HOF '05)
Troy Owens -- "Lifetime Service to Wrestling"

Troy Owens was a graduate of Parkersburg High School in 1977. While wrestling for Coach Joe Handlan, Troy won the WV State Championship in the 105 pound weight class.

After graduation, Troy attended West Liberty State University. Under the expert coaching of Vince Monseau, Troy placed 7th in the NAIA Nationals.

In 1981, he joined the Army. Diring the years of 1982 - 89, Troy wrestled on the All-Army Wrestling Team. While in the Army, Troy wrestled in the 1988 Greco-Roman Olympic Trials.

At the beginning, Troy's first job in his wrestling coaching career was at Ravensweed High School as Assistant Wrestling Coach from 1990 - 1992. In 1993, he was hired as Assistant Coach at Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio. Then Troy became Head Coach at Northland HS from 1994 - 1997.

Troy returned home to coach at his alma mater, Parkersburg High School "Big Reds" as assistant from 1997 - 2017. He has been a mentor to many young men in their wrestling endeavors. One can always remember his enthusiasm, instructions and demonstrations of moves from the corner while coaching for years at Parkersburg High.

Troy resides in Parkersburg. He is the father of eight children. His three daughters are Casey, Shaileigh, and Skylar. His five boys are Chase, Trevor, Tyler, Chandler, and Corbin.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Troy Owens with the "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2017.

2017 Induction Ceremony Feature

Hall of Fame Main Page

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