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Early Years of Wrestling

The Early Years of Wrestling

Head Coach Horner with 1938-39 Captain Walter Woytovich


Wrestling Begins

The 1930 Bloomsburg State Teachers College wrestling team


The beginning of Bloomsburg Wrestling

From the 1939 Yearbook

Wrestling was introduced at the Bloomsburg State Teachers College in January of 1930, when Shamokin High School was the first opponent.  Following this initial season the sport was suspended for seven years until 1937.  Teams were then fielded for three years until wrestling went on hiatus as an official sport, with the exception of teams organized by the naval training units on campus during World War II.

The 1st Wrestling match in school history


The Rebirth in the 1950s

1955 team photo with Coach Walter Blair


After a hiatus that ended up lasting sixteen years wrestling once more returned to the Bloomsburg campus.  The revived sport began competition on January 8, 1955, and has continued on to the present day.  Jack Yohe, who was also in charge of the football team, coached wrestling that first season.  Walter Blair then took over for two years, and had a record of 11 - 6 in dual meets.

The 1955's Orbiter 2 page spread on the reborn wrestling program

Russ Houk Arrives

Head Wrestling Coach, Russ Houk, 1957-1971.



Bloomsburg State College head wrestling coach Russ Houk was hired in 1957.  By his second year the team had a record of 9-1 and had won its first Pennsylvania State College Athletic Conference (P.S.C.A.C.) championship.  Houk went on to coach his teams to five P.S.C.A.C. championships and three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (N.A.I.A.) titles in fourteen seasons, compiling an overall record in dual meets of 142 - 34 - 4, winning 80% of the time.


(Click on image for larger picture)

1958-1959 State Teachers College Wrestling Champions


(L-R): Paul Withers, 191 lbs.; Robert Asby, 2nd place, 167 lbs.;  Stanley Elinski, 2nd place, 177 lbs.; Robert Rohm, 1st place, 157 lbs.; Gary Allen, 1st place, Hwt.; Richard Rimple, 1st place, 137 lbs; Dale Sullivan, 2nd place, 130 lbs.; Tom Gorant, 130 lbs.; James Garman, 1st place, 123 lbs.; Manard Aungst, 2nd place, 115 lbs.

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