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Baumgartner re-elected as USAW President at Board of Director meeting 8/26

USA Wrestling held its semi-annual Board of Directors meetings at the Village at Breckenridge Resort in Breckenridge, Colo., Saturday, August 26. The meeting was conducted by President Bruce Baumgartner of Edinboro, Pa.

Elections were held for USA Wrestling officers, open positions on the Board of Directors, as well as openings on a variety of USA Wrestling standing committees.

Baumgartner was re-elected by acclamation as President. Baumgartner, who was a two-time Olympic champion and three-time World Champion as an athlete, as well as a successful Div. I college wrestling coach, is currently the athletic director at Edinboro University.

Re-elected by acclamation as First Vice President was Duane Morgan of Hollister, Calif. Morgan serves as Chairperson of the Junior Council and is a leader in USA Wrestling grassroots programs.

Also re-elected by acclamation as Second Vice President was Van Stokes of Clarksville, Tenn. Stokes represents the Armed Forces on USA Wrestling's Board of Directors, and has served in a number of major leadership positions in the past.

James Ravannack of Kenner, La. was elected by acclamation as Secretary of USA Wrestling, his first selection as an officer. Ravannack serves on USA Wrestling's Board of Directors as an at-large member, and is also the USA Wrestling state chairperson from Louisiana.

Re-elected by acclamation as Treasurer of the organization was Bill Stecklein of Langhorne, Pa. Stecklein serves as the chairperson of the Public Relations Committee, and is a world-class wrestling official who will work the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

All of the officers will serve two-year terms. As officers of USA Wrestling, all five will also serve on USA Wrestling's Executive Committee.

Elected to the Board of Directors as at-large members were Ravannack, plus Scott Beck of Boulder, Colo., Stan Dziedzic of Marietta, Ga., Jeff Levitetz of Boca Raton, Fla., Nancy Schultz of Foster City, Calif.; Fred Lehrke of Schofield, Wis. and Chuck Elvin of Lenexa, Kan.

The Board also filled two open positions on the Executive Committee, electing Rick Tucci of Pembroke Pines, Fla. and Greg Strobel of Bethlehem, Pa.

A number of other positions on USA Wrestling standing committees were elected by the Board, to include:

Long Range Planning Committee: Beck, Lehrke, Schultz plus Bill Crum of West Orange, N.J., Mike Hagerty of Blue Springs, Mo. and Dave Martin of Stillwater, Okla.

Freestyle Sport Committee: Strobel, Tucci, plus John Welch of Liberty Corner, N.J., Joe Wells of Corvallis, Ore., Leroy Evans of Hughson, Calif. and Lauren Lamb of Farmington, N.Y.

Greco-Roman Sport Committee: Levitetz, plus Randy Couture of Gresham, Ore., Shawn Sheldon of Colorado Springs, Colo., Al Kastl of Clinton Township, Mich. and Kevin Bracken of Chicago, Ill.

Women's Sport Committee: Schultz, Sherrow, Ravannack, Ken Sherrow of Marshall, Mo., Marcia Haise of Freeport, N.Y, and Jackie Berube of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Freestyle Coach Selection Committee: Tucci and Ravannack.

Greco-Roman Coach Selection Committee: Bracken and Couture.

Women's Coach Selection Committee: Schultz and Lamb.

Steering Committee: Evans, Stokes, Hagerty and Myron Roderick of Stillwater, Okla.

The Board of Directors approved the 2000-2001 fiscal year budget.

USA Wrestling presented a special plaque for 23 years of service on the Board of Directors to Fritz McGinness of Indianapolis, Ind., who has represented the National Federation of State High School Associations on the Board. "I can say I hold no one in higher esteem for their service to the Board," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Jim Scherr. "His contributions are immeasurable and immense."

President Baumgartner presented his report to the Board, mentioning a number of successes for the organizations during the last year. "The highlight of the year has been our Olympic Trials," said Baumgartner. "I've been involved as an athlete at the Olympic Trials since 1980, and by far, Dallas was the best run, and maybe the best national event ever hosted by USA Wrestling."

Executive Director Jim Scherr also presented his report, and provided the Board with a number of critical factors that he believes must occur for the sport to move forward.

In his introduction, Scherr expressed his respect for wrestling and for Olympic sports. "Some people dismiss sports as not important to society, as a form of entertainment," he said. "I disagree. Olympic sports are important to society. The Olympic Games has a quality like no other sporting event. In the public's eye, it's about the pursuit of excellence, what the human spirit can do in order to achieve. Wrestlers, and the sport of wrestling, epitomizes the Olympic ideal. It represents the struggle for achievement. Our athletes truly epitomize that ideal, and are second to no other sports. Our athletes are better role models. They are real heroes for our society."

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