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Jeff Levitetz named 2004 USA Wrestling Man of the Year



Jeff Levitetz of Boca Raton, Fla. has been named the 2004 Man of the Year by USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling. This award recognizes an outstanding man for his contributions to the sport of wrestling. Levitetz serves a member of USA Wrestling's Board of Directors, and has been active in wrestling on many levels throughout his life Levitetz served as Team Leader of the U.S. Olympic Team for Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The U.S. team was led by Olympic bronze medalist Rulon Gardner, and featured six Olympic athletes who represented the U.S. in Athens. He served as a team leader for other U.S. international teams, including the 2003 Senior Greco-Roman World Team, the 2003 Pan American Games Greco-Roman Team, the 2002 Senior Freestyle World Team and the 1999 Senior Freestyle World Team. He is involved with the Gator Wrestling Club, which trains and supports talented Senior-level wrestlers in all three styles. The Gator WC placed three athletes on the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, and has had numerous all-Americans in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's wrestling in recent seasons. The Gator WC won the Div. II team title at the U.S. Nationals in freestyle the last two seasons. He served as Co-Chairperson of the successful "Wrestling for the Next Millennium" capital campaign, which benefited USA Wrestling, the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. The campaign was completed in January 2002, with a total of $7.5 million in pledges made to the organizations. Levitetz developed The JRC Memorial Fund, which was established in honor of John Ricciardi, Rochelle Levitetz and Charlie Levitetz. Through the generous donations from the JRC Memorial Scholarship Fund over the past two years, over 75 athletes received scholarships to attend summer wrestling camps they would not have otherwise been able to afford. The goal is for approximately 125 athletes to be granted scholarships to attend camps in 2005. In addition, funds from the scholarship are designated specifically to help athletes in the USA Wrestling State Association of Florida through a part of the program honoring the late Richard Anthony Tucci, son of FILA Official and U.S. Wrestling Officials Association President Rick Tucci. He served on the committee of leaders who organized "An Evening With Legends," the successful evening held during the 2003 World Championships, where former wrestlers and world leaders J.Dennis Hastert, Donald Rumsfeld, Stephen Friedman, John Irving, Norman Bourlag and Kun Hee Lee were honored by the wrestling community. Levitetz is the Chairman of the Board of Purity Wholesale Grocers, Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. Purity Wholesale Grocers, Inc. served as the official sponsor of USA Wrestling's Greco-Roman National Team and supported the team through the 2004 season. In 2002, Levitetz was named as an Outstanding American by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, which recognizes former wrestlers for their success in all walks of life. Levitetz founded Purity Wholesale Grocers from a startup company with his own personal investment back in 1982, and built the leading promotional warehouse grocer in the United States. His company has been listed among Forbes top 150 private-owned companies. He founded the Boca Raton Wrestling Club in Florida, a youth wrestling organization in his community. The club has used the slogan of "Wrestling: Training for the Rest of Your Life." In 1999, Levitetz and Sal Ricciardi developed Handshake University, which teaches kids how to make a great first impression with a good, solid handshake. He competed in wrestling at Deerfield High School in Illinois, under coach Steve Combs, who served many years as USA Wrestling's Executive Director. He was also a wrestler at the Univ. of Alabama under coach Pat Milkovich. PAST USA WRESTLING MAN OF THE YEAR WINNERS 2004 - Jeff Levitetz 2003 - Set Agonian 2002 - Al Kastl 2001 - James Ravannack 2000 - Rulon Gardner 1999 - Duane Morgan 1998 - Scott Beck 1997 - Rick Tucci 1996 - Dave Schultz 1995 - Leroy Evans 1994 - James E. Scherr 1993 - Arthur J. Martori 1992 - Bruce Baumgartner 1990 - Eugene Barone 1989 - John Vaughan 1987 - Dave Rudrud 1986 - Jeff Blatnick 1985 - Dr. Dan Gould 1984 - Gary Thompson 1983 - Don Sondgeroth 1982 - Frank Rader 1981 - John Roberts 1980 - Rick Bay 1979 - Ben Bennett 1978 - Werner Holzer 1977 - Vince Zuaro 1976 - Ken Kraft 1974-75 - Russ Hellickson 1973 - Jack Stanbro 1972 - Melvin Jones 1971 - Bud Linholm 1970 - Rex Peery
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