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Five inducted in New England Wrestling Association Hall of Fame

For WPI head coach Steve Hall was inducted into the New England Wrestling Association’s Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy WPI wrestling)

PROVIDENCE, R.I., January 20, 2019 — Former WPI wrestler and head coach Steve Hall was inducted Sunday into the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Hall of Fame. 

Hall, who began coaching as an assistant coach under fellow Hall of Fame member Phil Grebinar, concluded an eight-year run (2011-18) as head coach last winter and is back on the WPI bench as an assistant under Matt Oney. 

The 2019 induction class also includes former Johnson & Wales wrestlers Bryan Lendhardt and Jerome Owens, Springfield College wrestler Elliott Smith, and Roger Williams athletic trainer Josh King.

Hall, an upstate New York native, has been involved in New England college wrestling for 35 years as a competitor, coach, and contributor. 

A member of WPI’s Hall of Fame, Hall was a standout wrestler in the mid 1980’s. A four-time All-New England wrestler, he was also a key part of WPI’s first two New England championship teams in 1985 and 1987, and was named an Academic All-Scholar following the 1986-87 season.

After graduation, Hall served as an assistant coach for four years. He remained connected to the sport at the youth and high school level while coordinating the WPI wrestling alumni group for over 25 years.

He graduated from WPI with a degree in mechanical engineering design and had a successful professional career focusing on electronics manufacturing automation. During his career he became known globally as an expert in surface mount technology process development. He is the owner of two US patents, was President of the international association for SMT equipment development, and finished his technology career as the President of EKRA America, Inc.

Hall returned to WPI for the 2010-11 season as the head coach and restored the program’s competitiveness. He amassed 83 victories in his eight years. The 2017-18 campaign was his most successful one as he was named the New England Wrestling Association and the National Wrestling Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year.

Bolstered by seven regional place winners, WPI (18-4) finished second at the 2018 NCAA Division III Northeast regional tournament and a program-best third place showing at the NEWA Dual Meet Championships. Tyler Marsh (2018), Zach Hartzell (2013), and Brian Amato (2015 All-American) were national tournament participants during the Hall era.

Lendhardt, who grew up in Glouchester, Virginia, was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American finishing sixth at 184 in 2008 and 2009. Owens (Kettering, MD) earned All-American honors at 174 pounds in 2008, finishing eighth.

Smith was a NCAA Division III All-American for Springfield in 2008, taking seventh nationally at 184 pounds.

King joined the Roger Williams University athletic training staff in 2003 and was promoted to Head Athletic Trainer in 2010.

He is responsible for providing athletic training services for varsity participants including evaluation and assessment of athletic injuries and illness; treatment, rehabilitation and reconditioning of athletic injuries and illness; acute medical care and referral; preventative strategies for athletic injuries and illness; administration and organization of the athletic training room; and direct coverage for home athletic contests.

Prior to his full-time position at Roger Williams, he was the head athletic trainer at East Greenwich High School. King also served as an adjunct athletic trainer with the Roger Williams. King has worked with the Newport Gulls Baseball Team, Rogers High School Athletics, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Connecticut Wrestling Online has been covering the sport of wrestling in Connecticut and New England since 2001.

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