West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker, National Wrestling Hall of Famer
and Rick Welker


By Dr. Bill Welker January 22, 2011

Coach Rich Gregor began his wrestling career at Springfield High School, where he was an outstanding varsity performer on the mats for four years. After graduating from high school in 1959, Rich Gregor decided to matriculate at Ohio University.

At the university, Gregor wrestled under legendary mat mentor Harry Houska for four years, graduating in 1963. Later, Rich Gregor earned his masters degree from Central Missouri State in 1965.

Over five decades (1960s to the 2000s), Gregor has coached in Florida, Maryland, and Ohio at both the collegiate and scholastic levels. But his true home has always been Springfield High School (now Edison Local High School), where he began and ended his coaching stint.

In the mid-2000s, Gregor coached at Springfield Junior High School, where he had the rare privilege of coaching his grandson Ryan who is now a senior at Edison Local High School.

Rich Gregor's overall coaching record is 326-162-3, winning 69-percent of his dual meets. His 1980 Springfield High School squad won the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class A Team Championship. As well as coaching many OVAC and state placewinners, he also produced one of the OVAC's greatest wrestlers - Kelly Shields. Shields is one of only six elite wrestlers to have won four Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournaments.

In 1998, Coach Rich Gregor's wrestling biography was spotlighted on the cover of the OVAC tournament souvenir program. A singular coaching honor so well deserved regarding Ohio Valley wrestling.

Rich Gregor is now retired and resides in Amsterdam, Ohio with his devoted wife Jan. They have three daughters - Annie, Holly, and Meredith - and eight grandchildren: Ryan, Hannah, Mark, Madeline, Zoe, Roman, Taylor, and Kennedy.

The Near Fall

Only the top or offensive wrestler can score near-fall points. He can do so by forcing his opponent (the defensive wrestler) into any of the following positions:
1) The defensive wrestler is in a high bridge situation.
2) The defensive wrestler is leaning back on his elbows with his shoulders facing the mat.
3) The defensive wrestler is exposing both his shoulders to the mat within four inches or less contact with the mat surface.
4) The defensive wrestler has one shoulder in contact with the mat and the other shoulder at a 45-degree position from the mat or less.

The offensive wrestler can score two match points by holding the defensive wrestler in any of the previously discussed positions for two seconds. If the offensive wrestler is able to control the defensive wrestler in any of the previous positions for five continuous seconds, he would be awarded three match points.

The official usually indicates the presence of such near-fall situations by making an angular sweep of his arm, with each sweep indicating one second of back exposure. The referee will not signal any match points until the near-fall situation is terminated.

Also note, a near-fall can still be awarded if both shoulders of the defensive wrestler remain partially in-bounds or just one shoulder is completely in-bounds.

The half-nelson, arm-bar series, cradle, and three-quarter nelson are common pinning situations that can score near-fall points as well as the pin or fall, concluding the match - which is next week's rules discussion.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: Utilizing a half nelson, Wrestler A forces Wrestler B to a high bridge on his head for four seconds before Wrestler B was able to turn over on his stomach. Then Wrestler A quickly caught Wrestler B in a cradle and placed him placed him in another near-fall situation for over five seconds before the end of the period buzzer sounded. How many near-fall points would Wrestler A receive?
A: Five match points. He would receive two match points for the half nelson, which was held for less than five seconds. Then Wrestler A earned three match points for holding the cradle near-fall for five seconds before the period ran out.

Mat Message
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
-- Bern Williams

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