35 episodes

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Mat Talk Podcast Network presented Legends, a series dedicated to telling the stories of wrestling's greats. Featuring Outstanding Americans, Distinguished Members, Order of Merit and Medal of Courage winners, Legends will chronicle the stories from the most legendary figures in Olympic, college and high school wrestling.

Legends Jason Bryant, Mat Talk Podcast Network

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Mat Talk Podcast Network presented Legends, a series dedicated to telling the stories of wrestling's greats. Featuring Outstanding Americans, Distinguished Members, Order of Merit and Medal of Courage winners, Legends will chronicle the stories from the most legendary figures in Olympic, college and high school wrestling.

    2022 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

    2022 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

    The 2022 National Wrestling Hall of Fame Honors Weekend closed out with its annual induction program featuring all the honorees. The Class of 2022 featured Meritorious Official Tom Clark (posthumously), Order of Merit recipient Mike Moyer, Medal of Courage recipient Melissa Simmons, Outstanding American Mario Lopez and Distinguished Members Clarissa Chun, Sara McMann, Andy Rein and Jake Varner. The program includes highlight speeches and video presentations. Also honored are Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winner Cory Land of Alabama and Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award winner Sofia Macaluso of New York.

    1:05 - Opening Remarks
    8:30 - Cory Land
    12:30 - Sofia Macaluso
    16:30 - The late Tom Clark
    23:55 - Mike Moyer
    33:00 - Melissa Simmons
    44:00 - Mario Lopez
    53:00 - Clarissa Chun
    1:11:00 - Sara McMann
    1:20:00 - Andy Rein
    1:31:00 - Jake Varner
    1:45:00 - Closing Remarks

    
And if you're a fan of the extensive and broad-based reach of the shows on the Mat Talk Podcast Network, become a contributor today.. There are various levels of perks for the different levels of patronage. If you like wrestling content — scratch that — if you LOVE great wrestling content, consider becoming a contributor. How much you give is solely up to how much you believe it's worth to you.

    Recorded June 2022 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

    • 1 hr 48 min
    2022 Hall of Fame Tribute Breakfast

    2022 Hall of Fame Tribute Breakfast

    The 2022 National Wrestling Hall of Fame Honors Weekend was back to a fully attended in-person event after a delay from the 2020 class and the 2021 induction ceremony. The McKnight Center hosted one of the newest additions to the weekend, the Tribute Breakfast.

    Speaking at the Tribute Breakfast in 2022 were Rick Tucci and Zach Errett for Meritorious Official inductee Tom Clark, Jim Miller and Greg Hatcher for Order of Merit inductee Mike Moyer, Archie Randall and Dr. Bob Hines for Medal of Courage inductee Melissa Simmons, Greg Blankenship and William Virchis for Outstanding American inductee Mario Lopez. From the Distinguished Members, speaking are Dr. Roberta Kraus and Waylon Hiler for inductee Clarissa Chun, Tim Hutchins and Art Martori for inductee Sara McMann, Jenna Zipf and Duane Kleven for inductee Andy Rein, Andy Varner and family for inductee Jake Varner.

    
And if you're a fan of the extensive and broad-based reach of the shows on the Mat Talk Podcast Network, become a contributor today.. There are various levels of perks for the different levels of patronage. If you like wrestling content — scratch that — if you LOVE great wrestling content, consider becoming a contributor. How much you give is solely up to how much you believe it's worth to you.

    Recorded June 2022 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

    • 1 hr 45 min
    2021 Distinguished Member Bruce Burnett

    2021 Distinguished Member Bruce Burnett

    Bruce Burnett has excelled as a coach on the high school, collegiate and international levels, serving as USA Wrestling’s national freestyle coach and leading some of the most successful teams in American history.

    During his tenure, five Americans won Olympic gold medals and 11 U.S. athletes won 13 World Championships including four champions in 1993 and four in 1995.

    From 1993-2000, U.S. wrestlers won 22 World medals (11 gold, four silver and seven bronze) and placed in the Top 10 at the World Championships as a team every year. The United States won its first-ever Senior World Freestyle team title in 1993 and again in 1995, and won the medal count at the 1996 Olympic Games with three gold, a silver and a bronze.

    He led the United States to seven World Cup team titles and five Pan American Championships, including 2011 when the U.S. had six medalists, including four champions. From the national teams he coached, 14 wrestlers were inducted as Distinguished Members of the Hall of Fame.

    Burnett was the wrestling coach at the United States Naval Academy from 2000-13, leading his teams to a 113-57 overall dual meet record and six consecutive 10-win seasons from 2002-07.

    He began his coaching career at Meridian High School in Meridian, Idaho, where he led his teams to a 154-13-2 dual meet record with four state team titles, four state runner-up finishes, six district titles and nine conference titles from 1974-87.

    On the mat, Burnett was undefeated in dual meets and a two-time Big Sky Conference and Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association champion for Idaho State University in 1971-72. He was a two-time California Junior College state champion for Bakersfield College, compiling a 55-3 career record and being named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970. Burnett was a two-time league champion and three-time state place-winner for North Bakersfield (California) High School.

    He was inducted into the Idaho State Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004 and the North High School Hall of Fame in 2013. Burnett received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Idaho Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015 and was named the Myron Roderick Man of the Year by USA Wrestling in 2016.

    For continued excellence as a coach on every level of competitive wrestling, Bruce Burnett is inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

    Bio by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

    • 23 min
    2021 Distinguished Member Mark Lieberman

    2021 Distinguished Member Mark Lieberman

    When wrestlers, coaches, media and fans gather to talk about the G.O.A.T. at Lehigh University, the conversation always includes Mark Lieberman. Combining all styles, he is considered the Mountain Hawks’ greatest overall wrestler. A 1979 Sports Illustrated article described Mark as “the guttiest and the best” college wrestler that year.

    He was a two-time undefeated NCAA champion at 177 pounds in 1978 and 1979 after a runner-up finish in 1977 at 167. He is part of another special wrestling family with his brother, Mike, winning the NCAA championship for Lehigh in 1975 at 177 pounds.

    Mark was the first four-time EIWA champion in school history, pinning a tournament record 12 of 16 opponents. In his senior year, he swept the EIWA’s major awards, winning the Outstanding Wrestler Trophy, the Sheridan Trophy for most falls and the Fletcher Award for scoring the most team points in his career. He still holds Lehigh records for season falls (16), career falls (43) and most bonus points in a season (95.2% of his matches in 1979).

    Wrestling for the New York Athletic Club, he was an AAU national champion in 1977 and won the U.S. Wrestling Federation national championship in 1978, 1979 and 1980. Lieberman won a gold medal at the World Cup in 1978 and a silver medal in 1979. He won the Pan Am Wrestling Championships in 1977. He pinned his idol, 1976 Olympic gold medalist and Distinguished Member John Peterson, in the finals of the National Open in 1978 to earn the Outstanding Wrestler Award, the Most Falls Award, the U.S. Wrestling Federation Grand Champion Award and 1978 Athlete of the Year. He also defeated Distinguished Members Wade Schalles, Chris Campbell and Ed Banach in freestyle competition. The 1980 Olympic boycott cost him a chance at an Olympic medal.

    Helping launch the Blair Academy (New Jersey) freestyle program, he won the AAU Junior World national championship in 1974 and 1975 and was the U.S. Wrestling Federation Junior national champion in 1973. Three times Lieberman won the National Independent Schools championship (National Preps) from 1972-1974 and was outstanding wrestler twice. Mark was inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches' Hall of Fame in 1987, the Roger S. Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994, the EIWA Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Blair Academy Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.

    For excelling in collegiate and international wrestling during his record-setting career, Mark Lieberman is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

    Bio by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

    • 21 min
    2021 Distinguished Member Dremiel Byers

    2021 Distinguished Member Dremiel Byers

    One of only two Americans to win three medals at the Greco-Roman World Championships, Dremiel Byers is considered one of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers in U.S. history.

    Byers won a gold medal at the 2002 World Championships and is one of just five Americans to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. He added a bronze medal in 2007 and a silver medal in 2009 joining Distinguished Member Matt Ghaffari as the only Americans to medal three times. His 2007 bronze medal helped the United States win its first and only Greco-Roman World team title, by a single point over Russia.

    Between 1999 and 2011, Byers made eight World Greco-Roman and two Olympic teams, finishing seventh in 2008 and ninth in 2012. He is the winningest wrestler, in any style, in Dave Schultz Memorial International history with six gold medals and 11 total medals. He was named USA Wrestling’s Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year in 1999, 2002 and 2009.

    Byers attended Kings Mountain High School in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, where he was an All-State wrestler and won the North Carolina state high school heavyweight championship in 1993. He attended North Carolina A&T on a football scholarship, but was forced to leave college to take care of family matters.

    He enlisted in the U.S. Army and joined the Army’s World Class Athletes Program in 1996. He retired from the Army as a Sergeant First Class and currently serves as an assistant coach for the WCAP team.

    Byers was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum’s Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions in 2015.

    For his record-setting performances during his storied Greco-Roman wrestling career, Dremiel Byers is named as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

    • 19 min
    2021 Distinguished Member Bill Zadick

    2021 Distinguished Member Bill Zadick

    As a competitor and coach, Bill Zadick has forever written his name in the U.S. wrestling record book.

    He won a gold medal at the World Championships in Guangzhou, China in 2006. His younger brother, Mike, brought home a silver medal from the same tournament, making them the first set of brothers since Terry and Tom Brands in 1995 to both make the same World or Olympic team.

    For a 10-year period, he was one of the most competitive wrestlers on the U.S. national freestyle team. Beginning in 1999 with a runner-up finish in the U.S. World Team Trials, Zadick won back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 2001 and 2002 and finished seventh in the 2001 World Championship. He added second-place finishes in 2003, 2006 and 2008 national tournaments. He was runner-up at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2000 and 2008, as well as notching a runner-up finish in the U.S. World Team Trials in 2002.

    After a fifth-place finish in the 1995 NCAA Championships, Zadick earned an NCAA championship as a senior in 1996, helping the University of Iowa win back-to-back NCAA team titles. He wrestled at Great Falls (Montana) High School from 1988 to 1991 and is one of only 17 wrestlers to win four Montana state high school championships, which he accomplished in four different weight classes: 98, 112, 119 and 135.

    After retiring from competition in 2008, Bill joined USA Wrestling to work with the developmental program. From 2011-14, the U.S. won eight Cadet World medals, nine Junior World medals and 10 medals at the University Worlds or University World Games. In 2014, the U.S. age group World teams reached new levels of success in freestyle as the Cadets placed third in the world, the Juniors placed second in the world and the University team won the world title.

    Zadick was named national freestyle coach in 2016. In 2017, the U.S. won its first World team title in 22 years led by gold medalists Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder, silver medalists Thomas Gilman and James Green, and bronze medalists J’den Cox and Nick Gwiazdowski. Zadick and his staff also produced one of the greatest years in USA Wrestling age-group history, including winning the Junior World team title for the first time in over 30 years. Zadick was named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Coach of the Year from among all of its governing bodies.

    At the 2018 Senior World Championships, the Americans finished second and had seven medalists, including World champions Cox, Kyle Dake and David Taylor. In 2019, Zadick led the United States to another successful season, including becoming the first team to win all 10 gold medals at the Senior Pan American Championships.

    For his stellar wrestling and coaching career, Bill Zadick is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

    Bio via the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

    • 25 min

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