Fozzard to Be Inducted Into Wrestling Hall of FameJune 1, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla. – Former Oklahoma State wrestling standout Fred Fozzard will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a distinguished member this weekend in Stillwater.
Fozzard wrestled at OSU from 1966-68 and played a crucial role in the Cowboys’ wrestling dynasty. He finished second at the NCAA Tournament as a sophomore at 177 pounds as he helped his team to the 1966 national title. He won the individual title a year later in 1967 as a junior behind a 10-3 win in the finals and came back to finish third in 1968 as senior, with his bonus point wins giving the Cowboys the vital points they needed for another team national title.
After finishing with a final collegiate record of 55-4-3, Fozzard went on to become one of the first two Americans to win a freestyle World title as he won gold at the 1969 freestyle World Championships in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. He followed that up with a fifth-place finish at the 1970 World Championships.
Fozzard's story is made even more remarkable because he overcame a signifigant disability to reach his high level of success on the mat. He contracted polio at age two and the disease left him with a shrunken right arm with no grip or working thumb. The Oregon native was forced to develop a unique wrestling style to overcome this disability, leading to numerous championship victories.
Outside of his career as a wrestler, Fozzard served as an assistant coach at OSU from 1968 through 1972, the head coach at Kansas State from 1973 through 1975 and an assistant coach at Portland State from 1975 to 1977.
The induction festivities will take place June 1-2 at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and will honor the Class of 2012, which includes Fozzard, Stephen Neal, Greg Strobel and Chris Taylor.