|Distinguished Member - RICHARD DELGADO|
By National Wrestling Hall of Fame
Richard Delgado thrived at all levels of competition, but his standout performances at the University of Oklahoma will be remembered best.
Delgado wrestled three years at San Diego High School, compiling a 35-4 record and a third place finish in the 1949 state tournament.
Between high school and college, he served his country as a member of the United States military. Representing the Navy out of San Diego, California, he was a National AAU freestyle champion in 1953 and a double AAU National champion in 1954, winning titles in freestyle and Greco- Roman.
Taking his talents east, Delgado wrestled three years under Hall of Fame coach Port Robertson at OU. In 1956, he immediately impacted the Sooner wrestling program, winning the Big Seven tournament and placing third at the NCAA. The Sooners placed second as a team that year, as well.
Representing the Sooner Athletic Club, Delgado won his third National AAU later that year. He also won the final Olympic trials and placed fifth at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia.
Upon his return from the Olympics, Delgado did not lose another match the remainder of his collegiate career. In 1957, he won his second Big Seven title and his first NCAA title. His pin of Bill Hulings of Pittsburgh in the 115-pound finals clinched the NCAA team title for Oklahoma. Delgado’s teammate, Hall of Famer Dan Hodge, would also secure a pin in the 177- pound finals.
His senior year at Oklahoma was even more impressive. Delgado won his third consecutive conference crown and his second NCAA title. His run to the NCAA championships included three pins and an 8-3 win over in-state rival Bob Taylor of Oklahoma State in the finals. For his performance, Delgado was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Delgado passed away on July 3, 1991.
For his outstanding record as a competitor and as a teammate, Richard Delgado is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.