2016 OVAC Mr. Mat - Jim Crosier
By Dr. Bill Welker
Coach Jim Crosier graduated from Steubenville High School in 1967, where he was an OVAC Runner-up at 175 pounds under OVAC Hall-of-Famer and Mr. Mat: Steubenville head wrestling coach - Bob Hedmond. He later earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio University in 1971.
Jim was an outstanding educator for 40 years, retiring in 2011.
Crosier taught and coached at Steubenville High School for two years (1971 to 1973). The next 38 years he taught, coached wrestling, and was an athletic director and administrator at Union Local High School. Jim Crosier was also a wrestling official for 29 years.
As head coach for nine years, Crosier's mat teams won two AA OVAC Team Titles and one AAA OVAC Team Championship. He produced four OVAC champions: Mike Gregg, Kelly Wallace, Randy Simpson, and Jeff McCormick. Kelly Wallace placed 5th at states in 1975.
Jim Crosier was named OVAC AA Coach of the Year in 1974 and 1975, as well as OVAC AAA Coach of the Year in 1980.
Coach Crosier also founded the Ohio Valley Junior High Championships in 1976. The event has often been referred to as the junior high/middle school OVAC Tournament, though not affiliated with the Conference. Many middle schools in the Ohio Valley consider it the premiere event of the season. The competition is still going strong today.
But most mat enthusiasts in the Ohio Valley know him as an arbiter of the mats. As a member of the Ohio Valley Wrestling Officials Association, Jim Crosier has refereed many, many Ohio Sectional, District, Regional, and State tournaments. He was also invited to officiate the 1979 NAIA National Wrestling Championships held at the Wheeling Civic Center (now Wesbanco Arena).
In 2001, Jim Crosier was named the Larry Deaton OVAC Official of the Year by the OVAC Wrestling Coaches Association for his exceptional efforts as an overseer of the mats.
Crosier's most recent honor was his induction into the Ohio Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame in 2014.
Jim Crosier was married to Deborah Crosier for 41 years before her passing in 2013. They have two wonderful sons: Brian and Fritz.
The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference takes pride in honoring Coach Jim
Crosier as the 2016 Mr. Mat recipient.
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