WEST HARTFORD, July 6, 2020 – There was a time when the University of Hartford had a wrestling team. The University of Hartford was born in 1957 with the merging of three schools – Hillyer College, the Hartt School of Music and the Hartford Art School.
In November 1959, the school added a wrestling team. The first University of Hartford wrestler to win a medal at the New England championships passed away recently.
Arthur Curry, 76, died on March 29. His funeral will be this weekend in his hometown of Collinsville, a section of Canton.
Curry graduated from Canton High in 1961 – nearly a decade before the school would offer wrestling. But he was a three-sport athlete who played football, basketball and baseball at the small school.
When he got to the University of Hartford, he joined the wrestling team and wrestled for three seasons (1963-65) compiling a career record of 21-3 with eight pins under head coach Albert Angelone. As a junior and senior, Curry led the team in wins and points and was captain of the team.
As a junior, he went 9-0 in the regular season with 33 points. He finished third at the New England wrestling tournament in 1964 at 123 pounds, the first Hawk wrestler to win a medal at the tournament. This was a time when the event was open to schools at all levels – NCAA Div. I, II and III.
The next Hartford wrestler to win a New England medal would come in 1972.
As a senior, Curry went 7-1 for the Hawks with 31 points. Similar to his junior year, Curry was named the teams MVP at the school’s end-of-the-year athletic banquet. Curry was also named the school’s outstanding athlete of the year in 1965.
In 2005, Curry was inducted into the University of Hartford’s Athletic Hall of Fame for his ability on the mat.
After college, Curry served in the U.S. Air Force for nearly eight years with one year of service in Vietnam and Thailand. He worked 27 years for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft before retiring.
Hartford dropped the sport after the 1980 season finishing as high as tenth in the New England College Division tournament for Division II and III schools in 1973 and 1975.