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|Jerry Kuntz named USA Wrestling Official of the Year|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Jerry Kuntz of Yukon, Okla. was named USA Wrestling Official of the Year, as selected by the U.S. Wrestling Officials Association (USWOA).
Kuntz has served as an official for 16 years, and also spent 25 years as a wrestling coach. When he was coaching at Putnum City High School, the club he worked with was required by the state to sign up a referee. Kuntz, who has been a football official, decided to give wrestling officiating a try, and has been a referee ever since.
He has been ranked as a FILA-1 on the international level since 2001 and a USA-1 on the national level since 1996. Kuntz has worked international tournaments in Ukraine and Canada, as well as the major international tournaments hosted in the United States. He has officiated at the U.S. National Championships for the last 10 years. In his roles as both a coach and an official, Kuntz has attended the Junior and Cadet Nationals for the last 25 years.
Kuntz has served as the head official and clinician for the National Junior Duals for the last 10 years. He has also been a head official for the Southern Plains Junior Regionals and the Southern Plains Kids/Cadet Regionals. He also was the head official for the ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals three times.
He is a member of the Board of the USWOA, and was elected to his second term on the Board during elections this week. He serves as the officials liaison, representing the USWOA, on USA Wrestling's Kids Council. He was selected to serve as Team Leader for the 2006 Junior World Team which will compete in Guatemala at the end of August.
As a high school wrestling coach, Kuntz coached Putnam City to a top-five finish in the state championships five times, and has coached 16 individual state champions. Kuntz served 14 years as the Junior team coach for Oklahoma USA Wrestling. In 1994, Kuntz was named USA Wrestling's Developmental Coach of the Year.
Kuntz wrestled in high school and at the Univ. of Central Oklahoma. His wife Nancy is a pairing official, and has served as Oklahoma's state pairings director.
Official of the Year Award
1971 - Vince Zuaro, New York
1972 - Wes Hogland, Oregon
1973 - Dennis Fankhouser
1974 - Pat Lovell, California
1975 - Pat Lovell, California
1976 - Sam Williams. New York
1977 - Mick Pickford, Iowa
1978 - Charlie White, Colorado
1979 - Jon Schaus, Illinois
1980 - Don Sondgeroth, Colorado
1981 - Steve Bernhardt, Virginia
1982 - Gordon Weeks, Michigan
1983 - Bernie Norris, Illinois
1984 - Leroy Evans, California
1985 - Carolyn White, Colorado
1986 - Tony Melosci, New York
1987 - Santos Cageao, Ohio
1988 - Bob Dellinger, Oklahoma
1989 - Chuck Almeida, Florida
1990 - Eric Kopsch, Michigan
1991 - Sue Siar, Pennsylvania
1992 - Rick Tucci, Florida
1993 - Bill Stecklein, Pennsylvania
1994 - Jack Bowman, Indiana
1995 - Bob Siar, Sr., Pennsylvania
1996 - David Errett, Indiana
1997 - Chris Curtis, New Jersey
1998 - Tom Clark, Indiana
1999 - Mort Geller, Florida
2000 - Mike Hess, Washington
2001 - Tom Siar, Pennsylvania
2002 -Jan Hesser, Indiana
2003 - Douglas Molin, Indiana
2004 - John Branch, California
2005 - John Heyman, Florida
2006 - Jerry Kuntz, Oklahoma