National Wrestling Hall Of Fame Upstate New York Chapter

NEW YORK STATE – The National Wrestling Hall of Fame of the Upstate New York State Chapter would like to announce the new inductees into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, this year’s recipients of the Outstanding American Award, and the Medal of Courage.

The Upstate New York Chapter is dedicated to the main goals of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame which are first, recognizing excellence in wrestling in the Upstate New York area; second, preserving the rich and colorful history of wrestling in New York and, and third, inspiring future generations of New Yorkers to participate in one of the oldest and best sports in the world.

This year the Upstate New York Chapter takes great pride in recognizing the individuals who will be honored on September 17, 2017 at the Double Tree Hotel in East Syracuse, New York.

The individuals who will be receiving the Lifetime Service Award at this occasion are: Wayne Carroll – Section IX Official; Steve Fischbein – Monroe-Woodbury High School; Robert Gately – Section V – LeRoy High School; Rick Gumble – Section IV – Chenango Forks High School; William Kays – Section III - Mexico Academy and Central School and Brad Penrith – Iowa University.

In addition, this year the Upstate New York Chapter will present Murry Dimon with the Medal of Courage Award, and Charles Palmer, a chef and hotelier, and Stefan (Steve) Banach, a retired Colonel in the United States Army with our Outstanding American Award.

Robert Koshinski will be presented with the annual Stanbro Media Award for his work promoting wrestling in the Empire State, and Carson (Cork) Armstrong will be given the Volunteer Award.

Below are the bio’s provided by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame of the Upstate New York State Chapter of each of the five Section IV individuals who will be inducted, this coming September, 2017.

• Brad Penrith

In Section IV during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, perhaps one of the names that brought trepidation to all light weight wrestlers was Penrith.

In this time, frame the Penrith brothers, Brad and Bret, caused many wrestlers and their coaches to lose a night’s sleep. Arguably one of the best brother combinations in the history of wrestling in Section IV, the Penriths won tournament after tournament. Many wrestling historians were comparing them to Mark and Randy Payne from Sidney in the 1960’s.

The Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is proud to honor one of the greatest wrestlers to represent the section, Brad Penrith.

During his four years at Windsor High School Brad finished fourth, third and first in the New York State Wrestling Tournament that was held at the Onondaga War Memorial in Syracuse, New York.

Following graduation Brad left Windsor High School and joined the legendary Iowa Hawkeye Coach Dan Gable and proceeded to accomplish much more.

In 1986, wrestling as a sophomore at Iowa, Brad won the Big Ten Championships and received the Outstanding Wrestler award at the conference meet. Then he proceeded to win the 126 pound weight class at the NCAA championship which was held in Iowa City. He defeated Dennis Semmel from the US Military Academy 9-4 and helped Iowa win yet another NCAA title for Gable.

As a junior and senior at Iowa Brad each year won the Big Ten championships and was runner-up each year in the NCAA championships. Penrith also made his mark on the international level before retiring in 1996.

He captured a silver medal at the 1991 World Championships and was the gold medalist at the Pan American Games in 1989 and 1991.

In addition, Brad was third at the 1994 Goodwill Games; was a two-time Sunkist Open champion; took the Roger Coulon title in France in 1992 and 1996; was a member of the 1989 U. S. World Team; and took third at the World Cup in 1990 and 1991. Furthermore, he placed third at the 1996 Olympic Team Trials; won the U. S. Nationals three times--1989, 1991, and 1993--and was second at the 1992 Final Olympic Wrestle-Off.

Brad also had an outstanding career as a college coach. He served as the graduate assistant coach at Iowa after graduation in 1988, assistant coach at Arizona State for two years, and then worked at Boise State for one year.

From Boise, he worked from 1992 to 1997 as the assistant coach at the University of Nebraska for Tim Neumann and moved on to be the assistant coach at the University of Northern Iowa before he was elevated to the head coach position for the Panthers.

In 2001 Brad was selected by Amateur Wrestling Magazine as the Rookie Coach of the Year. Moreover, in the summer of 1999 he was the head coach of the United States team that took the bronze medal in team competition at the Junior World Freestyle Championships in Sydney, Australia. In addition, in 2005 Brad was inducted into the Dan Gable Museum’s Hall of Fame. Brad’s success as a wrestler and coach exemplifies the very best in our sport.

After leaving coaching, Brad joined Mudd Adverting in Cedar Falls, Iowa and has embarked on a very successful career in that field. Brad and his wife, Laura live in Cedar Falls with their three children, Gabriel, Jacob and Grace. The Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is proud and privileged to induct Brad into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

• Colonel (Retired) Steve Banach

When a soldier leaves his home, his family and the safety of his country to serve in combat six times during his career, we can never pay enough recognition and honor to that individual. The Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame would like to take this opportunity to recognize and pay homage to a true U.S. Army Ranger combat hero who also has established himself as an outstanding wrestler and an integral member of a family who has excelled on the wrestling mats for their country.

It is for those reasons and many more, that we pay tribute to Steve Banach, the older brother of Olympic Gold Medal winners Lou and Ed Banach.

As retired Major General Kenneth C. Leuer stated in his letter of endorsement for Steve, “no matter the mission, Steve Banach has stayed true to his wrestling values of dedication, mission accomplishment mindset, physical toughness and leading others in the pursuit of excellence.”

Steve epitomizes what we want to teach our students, athletes, and youth in America.

Steve’s odyssey as a wrestler began in his high school days at Port Jervis High School where he wrestled under the superb leadership of Coach Mark Faller.

Following his stellar high school career, Steve headed to Clemson University, where as a freshman, he was already exhibiting the characteristics of a leader by being selected as the captain of his wrestling team. While at Clemson, Steve was the ACC Conference runner-up in the 190 pound weight class but decided to transfer to Iowa University the next year where he wrestled for legendary Coach Dan Gable and joined his brothers.

In 1984 Steve finished second at the Eastern Regional Olympic trials and qualified for the 1984 final Olympic trials. In 1984 Steve was also a member of the elite All-Army wrestling team while serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 82d Airborne Division.

After graduating from Iowa University, Steve embarked on a distinguished career in the U.S. Army attaining the rank of Colonel.

Lieutenant General and Superintendent at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Robert Caslen, proclaimed in his support letter that, “Steve is a tremendous leader who served his country with honor and distinction in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 2010. During his Army career, he served in six combat zones and participated in four invasions in support of our national policies and objectives. He is a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment. While in command of the 3rd Ranger Battalion from 2001-2003, he led U.S. Army Rangers during a historic night combat parachute assault into Afghanistan on October 19, 2001, as the “spearhead” for the Global War on Terror after the events of September 11th. During the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Steve led Army Rangers in a second combat parachute assault into Al Anbar province in western Iraq, where ISIS is fighting United States and Iraqi forces today.”

Throughout his military career Steve has received numerous military awards and decorations to include the Bronze Star Medal with “Valor Device” for heroism under fire in combat. Steve crafted many professional publications during his career.

In 2015, he and his brothers penned the book, “Uncommon Bonds: A Journey in Optimism,” an inspiring and motivating story of the three Banach brothers’ journey to success.

It is the honor and privilege of the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame that we present Colonel (Retired) Steve Banach with the Outstanding American Award for 2017.

• Rick Gumble

Every Section in New York State is blessed with those individuals who dedicate their lives to promoting and developing the great sport of wrestling.

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