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|Bill Hinchley named USA Wrestling Official of the Year|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Bill Hichley of Owatonna, Minn. was named USA Wrestling Official of the Year. This award is presented annually to an outstanding official within USA Wrestling for achievements and service to the sport.
Hinchley has been working as a mat official within USA Wrestling for over 35 years, going back to the early 1970's. He started his career working local and state level events, and has been working USA Wrestling's Junior National Championships over the past 30 years, starting when the event was held in Iowa City, Iowa.
He is an M1 mat official, and has worked numerous USA Wrestling national and regional events for many years, including the U.S. Senior National Championships. He has officiated at international competitions held in the United States, including tournaments, dual meets and exchanges.
He has been very active as a leader within USA Wrestling on the state levels, serving as USA Wrestling's State Chairperson for Minnesota for 15 years. He held numerous other positions within the state association in Minnesota, including Officials Director, Vice President and President.
Hinchley became very involved in wrestling when his two sons became active in the sport. For many years, he was ran the Owatonna Wrestling Club, which provided opportunities for young people in his community to compete and train in wrestling.
"This is an unbelievably overwhelming honor," said Hinchley. "I think about all the years of volunteering. It is important to be a volunteer for a sport this great to help it to grow. This is the greatest sport in the world. I am also involved because of the camaraderie among this great group of people who serve as officials."
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
2007 - Bill Hinchley, Minnesota