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|T-shirt signed by Olympic wrestlers brings joy to Florida coach recovering from heart attack
Doug Howard Special to TheMat.com
A popular wrestling coach in Florida has been recovering from a heart attack. His friends in wrestling were able to bring him back a special gift from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa, bringing support from the Olympic team during his recovery
Longtime Florida coach Bobby Burns of Deerfield Beach High School suffered a major heart attack on March 28th. He had to be revived three times by paramedics, ironically whom he had actually coached or taught while they were in high school.
Bobby fought like the true wrestler he is at heart, and was able to go home on April 23 to continue his impressive recovery.
Bobby is a well liked and respected coach in South Florida and was a 2007 inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Florida chapter.
While at the Olympic Trials in Iowa City, USA Wrestling’s merchandise partner All American Wrestling Supply kindly provided a Team USA shirt to obtain autographs from the Olympic Team.
The entire Olympic team graciously autographed the shirt along with the referee delegation and coaches. In addition, Olympic champions and wrestling legends Dan Gable and Kenny Monday signed it as well. While they were signing the shirt, they were told Bobby's story.
The Palm Beach Wrestling Officials Association had the shirt framed and three of its members, president Don Smith, Treasurer Robert Matyskiel and Doug Howard, on behalf of the PBWOA, presented, the framed shirt to Bobby. This presentation happened the National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Florida Chapter’s Sporting Clay Tournament fundraiser on June 9th.
Bobby is a Hall of Fame member and person, and it was great to see him attend this event with many of his friends. Bobby attended Penn State University in the late 70’s and was the PSU "Mike Man" before moving to South Florida to coach in 1982.
Please pass along sincere thanks and appreciation to the Olympic Teams in all three styles as well as their coaches for taking the time to help make this happen for Bobby. We also thank All-American Wrestling Supply for its generous contribution.
Bobby continues his recovery and is doing well as you can see in the photo. He also wanted to pass along his sincere thanks and appreciation as well.
In the photo (L-R) Doug Howard, Don Smith, Robert Matyskiel, and Bobby Burns