The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is located on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The organization represents the entire United States through its State Chapters Program.
The Downstate NY Chapter has inducted 124 outstanding Long Island and New York City wrestling personalities into the Hall in the categories of Lifetime Service, Outstanding Americans, and Medal of Courage.
Anyone wishing to nominate an individual into the National Wrestling
Hall of Fame may do so by contacting the friends of long island
wrestling and requesting an official nomination ballot.
Dean Zenie has dedicated the better part of his life to the sport of wrestling. He has been an athlete, official, coach, and administrator at the youth, high school, and college levels for over 30 years.
It all began after a successful High School freshman football season. Dean was convinced by coach Tom Fauvell that he had no future playing basketball and should go out for the wrestling team. So he began his wrestling career at Long Island Lutheran High School; that first year competing as a JV wrestler. His sophomore year he became the starter at 158 lbs. and despite being overmatched that year, he grew to love what the sport stood for – rewarding dedication and hard work. He continued to develop as a wrestler and was named the team’s Most Improved Wrestler both his junior and senior years at LuHi. After winning a Private School State Championship his senior year, he continued his wrestling career at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, competing for fellow Long Islander, Philip Grebinar at 167lbs and 177lbs. As 4 year starter at WPI, he competed in the Division III NCAA Qualifier three times.
It was during this time in Massachusetts and on the advice of Coach Grebinar, that Dean began his officiating career. He started that first year as a varsity high school official and then added the title of “collegiate official” the next season by joining the New England College Wrestling Officials Association. While still competing at the Division III WPI, Dean often would officiate Division I match ups with such schools as Harvard, Brown, Boston University, UMass and Boston College.
In 1989, during Dean’s Red-shirt year while working for UPS’s engineering department in Farmingdale, NY, Dean became a member of the Long Island Wrestling Officials Association and immediately became a varsity official. Dean is currently a member of 2 NCAA Official associations (ECAC and EIWOA), the NCWA Official Association for College Club programs, 3 High School Official Associations (New York City, Nassau County, and Suffolk County), and is a Freestyle and Greco Roman official for USA Wrestling.
Dean was a youth, high school, and college coach, as well. In addition to starting the South Huntington Wildcats youth program in 2005, he was an Assistant Coach at Paul D. Schreiber HS in Port Washington. His last year at Port Washington, the 2014-15 season, he helped lead the Vikings to their most successful season finishing #10 in Nassau County with 2 County Champions and a NYPHSAA State place winner. Dean’s folkstyle coaching career was bookended by two college coaching positions. In 1993, Dean became the Head Coach of the Wagner College Seahawks where he helped build the Division I program, and most recently was the Head Coach and Assistant Athletic Director at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Dean continues to coach Freestyle and Greco Roman and was New York’s Nationals Team Head Coach in 2015. Dean was introduced to the administrative side of wrestling after winning the 86kg weight in the Suffolk County Freestyle Championships. Dean was approached by then NY-USAW Section 11 Chairperson, Amy Prenderville. Amy encouraged Dean to become Section 11’s Kids Director, and things quickly evolved from there. The next year,
Dean became NY-USAW Section 11 Chairperson and held that position for 6 years until his election as the State’s Kids Director – overseeing the expansion of kids wrestling not only on Long Island, but throughout New York. After a short tenure as New York State’s Vice Chairman and Head Freestyle and Greco Roman Coach, Dean took over as State Chairman from fellow Hall of Famer, Bill Crum.
Under Dean’s leadership, NY-USAW has thrived with top finishes in Cadet Freestyle and Women’s divisions at the National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. Additionally, Dean currently sits on several other wrestling organizations’ board of directors. He is a Board member of the Metropolitan Wrestling Association in New York, a Board member for the Charleston Olympic Regional Training Center in South Carolina, and is the Controller and Executive Board Member for the Friends of Long Island Wrestling.
Dean resides in Melville, NY with his wife Laura, their daughter Skyler and son Jared.
Robert “Dean” Zenie
Athlete Experience (1983 – 1992: 9 years):
Long Island Lutheran High School 1983-1987
- 3 year Varsity Wrestler
- Most Improved Wrestler 1986 – 5th place NYS Private School State Championships (177 lbs)
- Most Improved Wrestler 1987 – 1st Place NYS Private School State Championships (215 lbs), Undefeated Dual Meets
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1987-1992
- 4 year Varsity Starter (177 lbs and 167 lbs)
- 4 x NCAA Qualifier participant (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992)
- President of Freestyle Wrestling Club
Coaching Experience: (1993 – 2019: 15 years)
College of Mount Saint Vincent – Head Wrestling Coach / Asst. Athletic Director Operations 2015-2017
Wagner College, Staten Island, NY – Head Wrestling Coach 1993-1994
Paul D. Schreiber High School , Port Washington, NY – Assistant Varsity Wrestling Coach 2011 – 2015
- Coached multiple All-League, All-County, and All-State wrestlers
- 2015 Top 10 Team – Nassau County Championships
- 2014 Conf 1B runner up / Top 16 Dual Meet Playoffs
USA Wrestling – NY State Nationals Team Coach 2012 – Present
- Cadet National Duals Team Coach
- Fargo Cadet and Junior Nationals Team Coach
- Schoolboy National Duals Team Coach
Wildcats Youth Wrestling Club – Founder and Head Wrestling Coach 2005 – 2009
RaZor Wrestling Club –Wrestling Coach 2009 – 2013
Officiating Experience: (1988 – 2019: 31 years)
Massachusetts H.S / M.S Wrestling Official 1988 – 1992
NCAA New England Wrestling Officials Association 1989 – 1994
Section VIII – H.S. / M.S Wrestling Official 1989 – Present
USA Wrestling Freestyle & Greco-Roman Mat Official & Pairings Official 2010 – Present
Section XI – H.S. / M.S Wrestling Official 2013 – Present
EIWOA and ECAC College Wrestling Official 2016 – Present
NCWA College Club Official 2019 – Present
Administrative Positions: (2006 – 2019: 13 years)
NY-USA Wrestling Section XI Kids Director 2006 – 2007
NY-USA Wrestling Section XI Chairman 2007 – 2013
NY-USA Wrestling State Kids Director 2013 – 2015
NY-USA Wrestling Vice Chairman & State Coach 2015 – 2016
NY-USA Wrestling State Chairman 2016 – Present
Metropolitan Wrestling Association Board of Directors 2015 – Present
Charleston Regional Training Center Board of Directors 2019 – Present
Friends of Long Island Wrestling / Downstate Chapter of NWHOF Secretary/Treasurer 2018 – 2019
Friends of Long Island Wrestling / Downstate Chapter of NWHOF Controller 2019 – Present
Vougar Oroudjov was born on October 26, 1971, in Yeviakh, Azerbaijan. He is the son of Nariman and Ema Ibragivmoa Oroudjov. He has a sister Arkinaz, and two brothers, Elgar and Eldar. Vougar is the proud grandson of Edris Oroudjov, beloved mayor of the City of Yeviakh, who died a war hero in 1943 while fighting the Nazis in Poland during WWII.
Vougar received his bachelor degree from North Ossetian State University, Vladikavkaz University, Russia, where he studied economics from 1991 to 1996. During college, Vougar met his future wife Russian national kayak champion, Zhanna Sarnauskaya, of Masyr, Belarus, Russia. Vougar and Zhanna met at the Dinamo Athletic School dormitory in Gomel City, Belarus, Russia. They married shortly after and have three sons named Nariman (Nick), Vitali (Vito), and George. Zhanna and Vougar are now expecting their first grandchild (Nick and Elisa Flores Oroudjov) in January.
Vougar started wrestling in 1984, at age 13. He had two practices a day and never missed a practice. In 1986, at age 15, Vougar started competing at the national level and took second in the Republic of Azerbaijan. By 1987, Vougar moved up a level and took second at Cadet Nationals in the Republic of Georgia. Vougar said, “I learned from my mistakes” and, in 1988, he won Cadet Nationals in Ossetia and the European Championships in Bursa, Turkey. In 1989 he won the Junior Nationals in Kemerovo, Siberia. Also in 1989, Vougar placed second in Junior World Championships in Mongolia. One year later, in 1990, Vougar went on to win the Russian Junior National Championship and the European Championships, Helsinki, Finland.
In 1991, the champ continued his winning streak at the senior level, competing at 48 kg. That year, Vougar won Senior Nationals held in the Ukraine, but he took third in the European Championships in Stuttgar, Germany. Vougar said, “I learned from my mistakes made in Germany,” and came back to defeat the European Champion and earned the World Champion belt in his win at Senior World Championships, Bulgaria. In 1992, Vougar had a busy and another successful year, winning the Russian National Championship in Moscow, placed second at the European Championship in Hungary, and then went on to win a bronze medal representing Russia in the Olympics, Barcelona, Spain. In 1993, Vougar took second at the Senior World Championships in Toronto, Canada, losing to a Cuban wrestler. In 1994, continuing to learn from his mistakes, Vougar won the Russian National Championships in Moscow, and was also a Good Will Games Champion, held in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1995, he was again a Russian National Champion, St. Petersburg, Russia, the European Champion, Switzerland, World Cup Champion, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and again the World Champion, Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996, Vougar took third place at the European Championships, Hungary, and took fourth at the Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia. Vougar finished up his career wrestling for the German league and Russian Art Club in 1999.
In 1999, Vougar started his coaching career in Ossetia, Russia. Shortly after he started coaching, Vougar’s wife Zhanna won the green card lottery and soon they migrated to California, but without their children. After getting settled in California, they sent for Nick and Vito, who then joined them in California. When the boys came to the United States, the Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, like was done with many immigrants through the years, gave the Oroudjov family different spellings — Oroudjov, Arujava, and Arujau.
From 2000 to 2003, Vougar coached at Lassen Junior College in Susanville, CA. After their short stay in California, Zhanna, Vougar, Nick, and Vito arrived on Long Island, where their third son, George, was born. He started Vougar’s Honors Wrestling School (VHW) in Syosset, New York, and also joined the wrestling coaching staff at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. It was time to teach his sons and the rest of the Long Island wrestling community the Russian style of wrestling.
Vougar has increased the wrestling IQ on Long Island by challenging LI wrestlers to attend his centrally located daily year-round wrestling program that has developed several multiple NYS High School Champions, National Champions, and Fargo Champions. His son Nick is a three- time NYS Champion and Vito is a four-time NYS Champion, Fargo Champion, and recently took second at Junior World Championships, Tallinn, Estonia. After Vito’s second place finish at Junior Worlds, Vougar told his son, “learn from your mistakes, Vito.”
As a man from a small city in Azerbaijan, it’s been a life journey to get to Syosset, NY, and live the American dream. Vougar is proud that the hard work by his sons Nick and Vito gave them the opportunity to attend school and wrestle at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. A proud Ivy League wrestling father, this past season Vougar was heard by many in Pittsburgh cheering for his son Vito, who became an NCAA Division I All-American.
Vougar holds at least two practices a day, camps, and is open seven days a week at his VHW School/Club. Vougar continues to inspire young wrestlers and the student athletes wrestlers who spend hours practicing during the “off” season and also learning and competing — nationally and internationally — in freestyle tournaments. Many of the VHW wrestlers continue to wrestle for Vougar at Nassau Community College, where he was recently named Head Wrestling Coach. Not only will the NCC wrestlers learn the Russian style of wrestling, but they will know the importance of learning from their mistakes not only in wrestling, but also in life.
Kerry McCoy wrestled for the Longwood junior high team from 7th through 9th grade. His first year wrestling varsity was in 10th grade. He lost his first match at the league 1 tournament. After the season, he began to have more success. After placing 2nd at the Cadet Nationals, he went on to win a silver medal at the Cadet World Championships. He finished his HS career with a record of 71-7 which included two Section XI titles, two appearances in the state finals and a State Championship for Longwood HS.
After his freshman year at Penn State, Kerry moved up to heavyweight and excelled at that weight class during arguably the greatest era of big men, consistently beating the best wrestlers in the world—both at home and abroad.
After going 19-17 at 190 pounds in his first 36 matches representing Penn State University, McCoy spent the rest of his collegiate career at heavyweight, where he would suffer only one loss in 132 matches.
As a sophomore, McCoy won the 1994 NCAA tournament with a season record of 47-0. As a junior, he rode an 88-match win streak into the semifinals of the 1995 NCAA tournament where he suffered his only defeat, eventually taking third place.
In 1996, Penn State’s standout heavyweight redshirted to focus on freestyle wrestling. During the finals of the 1996 U.S. Open, he took eventual Olympic champion Kurt Angle to the wire, but dropped a 0-0 referees’ decision. He went on to finish third at the Olympic Trials.
McCoy returned to collegiate wrestling with a vengeance. He compiled a 41-0 record and won the 1997 NCAA tournament over arguably the deepest heavyweight class in college wrestling history. His bracket included an eventual World champion, an eventual World bronze medalist, and a 1996 Greco-Roman Olympian, along with several other multi-time All-Americans. He finished his collegiate career with two NCAA championships, three Big 10 titles, and a career record of 150-18.
Internationally, McCoy was just as successful. He won five straight U.S. Open freestyle championships, competing for the New York Athletic Club from 2000 – 2004 and was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the 2003 Pan American Games. He earned a silver medal at the 2003 World Championships in New York and represented the U.S. twice at the Olympics, placing fifth in 2000 and seventh in 2004.
On May 12, 2008, McCoy became the head wrestling coach at the University of Maryland after spending three seasons at Stanford as the Cardinals’ head coach. At Maryland Kerry has created some of the best teams Maryland has ever had winning multiple ACC titles and placing individuals as high as top 5 at the Big 10 championships. In 2009 the team finished 10th at the NCAA nationals. It is with great honor and respect that we add Kerry McCoy to the Downstate chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his commitment and dedication to the Sport.
While B.A. Schoen may be receiving recognition for “Lifetime Service to Wrestling”, he sees it differently; “Wrestling’s lifetime service to B.A. Schoen.”
“Wrestling has given me so much more than I could ever give it”, says B.A. “It has impacted positively on just about every aspect of my life and taught me a lot besides the Half Nelson and the Cross Body Ride!”
When he does his locker room meeting with Wrestlers, B.A. tells them of his evolution in Wrestling. “I explain that first I was a fan of Wrestling, then I wrestled, then I coached, along the way, I became a father of wrestlers, a referee, a journalist covering Wrestling, an agent putting together matches, an announcer at events, a school board member preserving and promoting public school Wrestling and most of all a fan of the greatest sport in the world.
My approach to life’s challenges is rooted in my experiences in Wrestling and the people I have had the pleasure of observing, knowing and working with.
When I get into something new, I find a coach or mentor, I observe others, people who are successful at what I want to succeed at. I get a “workout partner”, someone to test me, to bounce ideas off a root for me.
I check my progress, like I used to check my weight. I look at my calendar and practice Time Management like I did when I was competing.
After an inauspicious start to my career as an athlete, I had four great years as the best Wrestler in my weight class and grade. I had a great Senior year. I won the Christmas Tournament I had placed second in as a Junior. I lost one dual meet (on riding time), tied one and pinned my way into the semi final of the “South Shores”. I guess every Wrestler would like one match back, that one would be it for me. We went to Double Overtime and, with time running down, I let Calhoun’s Dave Greenburg go because I thought I’d lose the Referee’s Decision and I wanted a chance to take him down. Dave avoided me and went to the final. The red came up to me later and said I was crazy to let him go, I would have won the Referee’s Decision. I won the Consolation Match against my teammate Joe DiGarbo and I was in the Counties. If I had made it to the Final I would have had a better seed but I met Steve Comiskey, the eventual Champ in the Quarter Final and that was it. No Wrestle-backs. I was in the top 8 in the County but it’s useless to argue where in that 8.
Although I didn’t get as far as I hoped, I competed in the “Jr. Mets” and the 1964 Olympic Trials that were held at Freeport High School (the first round of regional qualifying). It was Bill Farrell’s last event as a Wrestler, he lost in the Heavyweight Final to Morgan Peters. I entered the NYAC Christmas Tournament (now the Bill Farrell) on Christmas break from Moorhead State my Freshman Year at the urging of my younger brother’s Jr. High Coach, Dick Slutzky. Bad Idea, I met a guy named Danny Direnzo who won the tournament and was the OW. He separated my sternum (unintentionally) and my career was over.
My Jr. High Coaches, Randy Gilmore and Bob Schugman, were taught by NWHOF Coach Ed Reinisch and my Varsity Coach, Joe Friedel came through Mepham HS with the help of Ken Hunte and the “Father of Long Island Wrestling”, Sprig Gardner. I went to his camp at Gettysburg College, while he was coaching there. That’s when I met Joe Bavaro.
I practiced Freestyle at Freeport High School under the aegis of Vince Zuaro and Bill Farrell. I was one of the guys who actually bought “Tiger” Wrestling Shoes out of the trunk of his Volkswagon. Both men were friends of mine for life.
In college I was on a powerhouse of a team. Moorhead State. The Dragons had Ten NAIA Champions and had won the team title in 1964. In addition, they had one NCAA DI Champ (Arthur “Bucky” Maughan 1963) and our Heavyweight, Bob Bilberg, placed second twice (1964 & ’66). Somehow, Bill Garland (NWHOF) thought there was a place for me in that lineup.
I didn’t crack the lineup but I did contribute. I helped a couple of guys get through school and I’ve been a booster ever since. I’ve known every President of the institution since my Freshman year and always have a one on one lunch with Anne Blackhurst, our current President, every time I visit my Alma Mater.
In 1982, I moved my family back to Baldwin, in part so my sons could experience wrestling like I had. I helped out with the Kid Wrestling Program for about a dozen years, taking kids upstate, to Bloomsburg and other USA Wrestling events.
In 1987 I took over the Jr. High program, a seminal moment in my life. I had the pleasure of having one of my sons (Patrick) on the team while my youngest (David) was in Kid Wrestling. Their friends from those days have grown into fine young men with kids of their own.
Coaching was too difficult to manage with my work schedule so after four years at the Jr. High, I moved over to scholastic officiating. I had done some USA Wrestling tournaments while I was coaching the Kids because each team was expected to bring some officials and volunteers to the tournaments they competed in but Varsity Wrestling in Section VIII has never been that casual.
While I was getting more involved in Wrestling, after returning to Baldwin; I was on a parallel path of involvement with school issues. The Baldwin Dads & Boosters Club had folded because no one would agree to be its President and so, with a few others, I helped found the Baldwin Bruins Boosters, the name reflecting a societal sea change, the rise of Girls’ Sports and leadership roles for women. Following my tenure, most of the Presidents of the Boosters have been women.
Somehow, the Boosters lead me into several other school oriented associations, always with the concern for preserving scholastic sports, especially Wrestling, while addressing myriad other educational issues. Eventually I was elected to the Baldwin School Board (1996) where I served for 16 years, two as President and then the Board of Nassau BOCES (2009) where I currently serve.
As a school board trustee, I used my greater visibility to advocate for and explain the role of co-curricular activities, like Wrestling, to parents, other school board members and voters. I have presented, among other venues, at the NY State School Boards Association Annual Conference. The room is always packed. As we know, scholastic athletics can be a hot button issue and we need the truth, from a practitioner, to be heard.
There was another consequence to my election to the board of Nassau BOCES, I had to leave Section VIII as a referee. Since BOCES houses and supports the Office of Executive Director of Section VIII, it could be seen as an apparent conflict of interest for me to continue in that role. Therefore, I chose to transfer to the NYCWOA and officiate in the PSAL and Beat The Streets. After twenty years, I was a rookie again.
My friend Al Bevilaqua always called the PSAL the “Sleeping Giant” and his idea, Beat The Streets, is waking the giant up. For me, it has been an exciting part of my career, in particular since the introduction of the Girls’ Freestyle season, which follows the traditional Boys season.
Since the emphasis in NYC is more on Freestyle than it is on Long Island, and since I am retired from employment and an empty nester, I have gotten more involved in officiating in USA Wrestling events.
I have worked the Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo three times, with a visit to Moorhead of course.
I’ve had some interesting and rewarding roles in other events as well. For most of my employed career I was a truck driver so it would be natural that I would drive a fifteen passenger van ferrying athletes and coaches to and from area airports and venues.
In 1995 I drove down to Atlanta with “Coach Bev” in his motor home; we carried boxes upon boxes of uniforms and shoes for the former Soviet Union teams that were then just fielding their own international squads.
I had another reason for the trip, I was the Team Leader for the Guam Delegation. As such, I helped the members get their credentials; a more trying process than it sounds. The 1995 World Championships were a test event for the following year’s Atlanta Olympic Games. New security protocols were being used. Our coach, for example, went to the center and was turned away.
Ironically it seems since our coach, Dan Gable, had won that event and was one of if not the best known American Amateur Wrestler. We went back on the second day and Dan sailed through.
A few years later I traveled to the Solomon Islands to assist them in their first International sporting event of any sort. It was an exciting trip. I traveled through Australia to get there and was surprised at the scrutiny their customs gave my luggage. I was carrying 45 pair of Asics wrestling shoes, some duct tape, dry cell batteries and Hydrogen peroxide.
My brother, who lived there and was the event organizer arranged the donation of the shoes and advised me to bring the other supplies. The electrical grid was unreliable there and the locals relied upon a lot of battery powered equipment, hence boxes of AA batteries. He also said the risk of serious infect from even a minor cut or scrape was high and the other westerners all relied on Hydrogen Peroxide, applied topically on any occurrence. The duct tape was in case the overloaded, cheap suitcase split a seam or broke a lock.
To the Aussie Customs boys it all looked like a recipe for a homemade bomb and they took a good look at everything and questioned me extensively about my destination (I’d never been there before), my intentions, (to have some fun) and why I needed 45 pairs of malleable plastic soled shoes. I had much less trouble clearing customs in the Ukraine, not then an ally of the USA but I only had a token supply of Asics equipment or their Wrestling program.
As I write this the World is watching Kazakhstan and the 2019 World Championships. In October, 2014 I got a phone call from Leroy Smith, Executive Director of the NWHOF. “B.A.” he asked, “Do you know how to get to JFK Airport?”
(Spoiler alert) If someone asks you a simple question that you know they know you know the answer; Watch Out!
The world championships had been held in Uzbekistan that year and out Hall of Fame, administrators for the FILA Hall of Fame, had sent the trophy plaques for that year’s inductees to Uzbekistan, for presentation at the championship. The problem was, they didn’t get there until the championship was over and anyone who could have taken possession of the plaques and forwarded them to the proper people had already dispersed. The freight company sent them back to the United States, in this case, JFK and informed the NWHOF that they should be picked up right away or storage charges would begin to accrue.
Like Ghostbusters, “Who you gonna call?”
B.A. Schoen obviously. I got the trophies through Customs, out of the freight company, visiting parts of JFK, visitors never see and re-packed and forwarded some of them.
Several I presented to the representatives from countries that were attending the Bill Farrell tourney at the NYAC. Two of them I delivered to the US Consulate of Kazakhstan in NYC, It was covered by the Kazakh press.
My undergraduate major was Mass Communications, I was simply following my instincts, I’ve been chronicling, opining and arranging events since grade school so covering Wrestling and assisting in event management was just a natural progression.
I’ve been to many events and recorded video interviews with many Wrestling VIPs. Many of them posted on the Friends of Long Island Wrestling Facebook page. I’m looking forward to having the tables turned on myself for a little bit, being interviewed about my upcoming induction to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for Lifetime Service to Wrestling
Ray Hanley Sr.’s earliest memories of wrestling include Wantagh’s First Long Island Wrestling Champion, Pete Venier and Long Island Champion, John Codignotto. His High School coaches, Joe Marcino and Steve Babyak, could never have guessed the far-reaching impact this introduction would have on the future of Wantagh Wrestling.
Ray looked up to John Kelly, Bob Murphy, John Sterling and Wally Roll. At Wantagh High School, from 1962-1966, his teammates and friends, Pete Henning, Billy Germann, Steve Comiskey, Jimmy Baron, Mike Junod, Bob Werner, Ted Levin, Bob Goslin and Hall of Famer Terry Phelan, began a tradition of teamwork, friendship and success that continues in Wantagh Wrestling to this day.
In 1966, Ray was a member of the Conference Champion Wantagh Warriors. After graduating from Drake College in Florida, Ray proudly served in the US Army from 1970 to 1972.
Together with his wife, Veronica, they settled in his beloved Wantagh and raised Raymond and Colleen. Ray would only allow Colleen to marry another Wantagh native, Doug Buckley, and they’ve recently made Ray a very happy grandfather to Jack Gregory.
From 1993 to 1996, Ray became involved coaching Little League Baseball, winning two World Series titles and cheering loudly for his kids, their friends and anyone who was out there trying.
In 1996, Ray voluntarily began the Wantagh Wrestling Youth Program. He has been the Head Coach of this program for over 23 years. Ray is also the Assistant Varsity Coach since 2011, Head Middle School Coach since 2012 and Volunteer JV and Varsity Coach since 2002. Ray also founded Wantagh Wrestling Alumni & Friends with Jerry Liguori, Tony DeGregorio and Chris Hooker.
Under the leadership and mentoring of Ray Hanley, Sr., Jerry Liguori, Nick Grassi and Mark Grillo, the success of the Wantagh Youth Program speaks for itself: New York State Dual Meet Champions in 2012, 2013 and 2018, NY State Individual State Champions in 2009, 2013 and 2018 and Nassau County Champions in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Always willing to give his time, energy and infinite patience to kids of all ages, Ray has become synonymous with Wantagh Wrestling. With the talents of current coaches Paul Gillespie, Reggie Jones, Jr., Ray Hanley, Jr., Todd Bloom and Brian Hooker, the legacy of Wantagh Wrestling lives on for the next and future generations.
NWHOF, Downstate New York Chapter
Ray Hanley: Addendum to Nomination Form, Candidate for Life Time Achievement.
1995-present on the fundraising committee for Wantagh wrestling
Founder and head coach Wantagh Youth Prestling 1996 to present.
1998-1999 wrestling team score keeper
2001- 2005 varsity/ jv volunteer assistant coach
2008-present assistant varsity coach
2014-present middle school head coach
Bob Panariello was introduced to wrestling at an early age by his biggest influence; his father, Al Panariello. When Bob was six years old, he began wrestling at Bay Shore Kid Wrestling under Hall of Famer Bill Knapp (2011) and Hall of Fame Coaches Jumper Leggio (1997) and Ed Hubbard (2003). Bob continued his career under Mike Joyce and at Bay Shore High School under Dick Rosener and Jumper Leggio from 1980 -1982. His accomplishments included: 3X league/conference finalist, 2X league champion, 1981 League MOW and Most Pins in Least Time, 3X All-Suffolk County-Section XI (3rd-1st-1st), 2X Suffolk County-Section XI Champion, 2X All-New York State (4th, 2nd), Freestyle and Greco Roman New York State Champion and Most Outstanding Wrestler, National Freestyle 3rd Place as a junior, and National runner-up as a his senior.
With many college options, Bob chose to continue his wrestling career and education at Ithaca College (1983-1987) under Hall of Fame Head Coach John Murray (2016) and Olympian – Hall of Famer Dave Auble (2010). At Ithaca, the honors Bob accumulated included a Career record of 130 Wins and 13 losses (45-1 record in dual meets- Inj. default), Team Captain, 2X Team MOW, 3X Conference Champion and 3X All-American (4th, 2nd, 3rd). Only a season ending injury in his junior year prevented him from being a four timer. Bob also won 13 of 21 College Tournaments. Upon graduation, Bob was the winningest wrestler in school history and was inducted into the Ithaca College Hall of Fame in 1994. In Freestyle competition following his college career Bob competed internationally and captured a Silver Medal in the 1992 Eastern Regional Olympic Trials and qualified for the final US Olympic Trials.
After graduation, Bob joined the coaching ranks at Bellport High School before returning to Ithaca College as an Assistant Coach for the 1990 NCAA Champions. In 1992 he took over the reigns as Head Coach of Brentwood High School following fellow Hall of Fame Coach Joe ”Gov” Campo (1996). From 1993-2002 Bob’s Brentwood teams accumulated a Dual Meet Record of 79 wins -31 losses and 2 ties for a winning percentage of .714. The “Brentwood Boys” captured three League I Championships, finished in the Top Ten in the Suffolk County-Section XI Tournament 5X, and captured 3 Class A County Championships. In 1999, the Brentwood team was Ranked #1 on Long Island. Bob had 7 teams ranked in the top 10 on Long Island.
His wrestlers captured 22 individual League Championships, 39 Section XI Place winners, 19 Suffolk County Finalists, 9 Suffolk County Champions, 5 All State Place Winners and 1 State Champion.
Bob was voted League Coach of the Year three times and was the Suffolk County Wrestling Officials Coach of the Year.
After only ten years as a Head Coach, Bob became the Athletic Director at Islip High School. For the next 15 years he worked with another Hall of Famer, Joe Patrovich (2012). During his tenure at Islip, Bob became the Section XI-Suffolk County High School Wrestling Chairman. From 2007-2015, under his guidance, Section XI began the official Section XI Dual Meet Championships. Bob currently serves on the New York State Wrestling Committee and received the SCWCA “Man of the Year” Award in 2010 and the “Grand Master” Award in 2015 as well as being recognized as “Administrator of the Year” multiple times.
In 2017 Bob returned home to his Alma Mata becoming the Athletic Director at Bay Shore High School. In 2019, Bob became the first Administrator on Long Island to add Girls wrestling as an official Varsity sport.
I began my wrestling career as an 8th grader at Brentwood West Junior High in 1969 under Coach Richard Cooney. After what most would consider an above average Jr. High wrestling career, I entered Brentwood High School and wrestled for Hall of Fame Coach Joe “GOV” Campo. Coach Campo’s encouraging influence and positive impact took hold of me immediately and to this day still holds strong. In addition to Coach Campo, I had great role models to emulate. I looked up to the likes of a Carl Adams, Mike Campo, Larry Goodfellow, Pete Galea, and Bobby Antonacci just to name a few. In the process of chasing my dream to become a Brentwood Wrestling Champion, I gained priceless experience and humility down in the Bay Shore 5th Avenue School’s wrestling room. It was on that old canvas mat where I was further challenged to develop my techniques and skills especially under the supervision and tutelage of Hall of Fame Coach “Jumper” Leggio. As a Brentwood grappler, I competed at 101 pounds earning two League I Titles, 1 Suffolk County Championship, and earned Runner up Honors at the New York State Wrestling Tournament. In addition, in the off-season, I found myself competing in several Free Style wrestling tournaments. My most memorable Free Style experience occurred in 1972 when I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio for the Senior Free Style Nationals with Coach “Jumper” Leggio. I was proud and honored to represent the Town Of Islip, Suffolk County, and Long Island. I was entered into the Brentwood Wrestling Hall of Fame class of 1973 and in 2008 I was inducted as a Distinguished Brentwood Alumni Hall of Fame member.
Subsequently, I attended Nassau Community College and Wrestled for Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Henke. As Co-Captain of the 1976 Team, I competed in the 118-pound weight class and earned a Regional Championship. Coach Henke took over where Coach Campo left off and guided me toward earning successes both on the mat and in the classroom. I graduated from Nassau with an Associate in Science Degree and headed to SUNY Brockport. Once again was coached by yet another Legendary Hall of Famer, Coach Don Murray who led me to attain a few more milestones in an already successful wrestling career. At Brockport, I competed at the 118-pound weight class for my junior and senior seasons. I was the runner up at the SUNY Championships in 1976. In 1977 as a Co-Captain, I placed 1st at the SUNY Championships and fourth in the NCAA Division III Nationals. I helped lead the Golden Eagles win their very first NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championship. In 2012, I was inducted into the SUNY Brockport Hall of Fame.
In the fall of 1977, I moved back home to Brentwood and began my Student Teaching and Coaching career. My Student Teaching assignment was with none other than Hall of Fame Coach Lou Gianni at the Jefferson Elementary School in Huntington. Coach Gianni took me under his wing and mentored me to the completion of my Student Teaching back here on Long Island which afforded me the opportunity to attain my Bachelor of Science Degree. With my Degree in hand, I started teaching and coaching for the Brentwood School District. Reunited with Coach Campo as his Assistant, I spent the next five years mentored by the greatest High School teacher/coach in the country, The “Gov.” The Brentwood dynasty continued with more League and County Titles, and a New York State Cup Championship. Tremendous thanks go out to our many outstanding individuals and wrestlers including our three Joe’s…Joe Petrucci–State Champ, Joe Plante-State Champ, and Joe Iannuzzi-3rd in the State. In 1980-81 I competed in the New York State Empire Games and also was the Long Island High School Wrestling Chairperson.
My next opportunity brought me to LIU C.W. Post as the Head Wrestling Coach from1983-86. In addition I entered the Graduate Program and earned my Master in School Counseling. LIU C.W. Post Wrestlers Sean O’Malley and John Kroez became NCAA Division II All Americans and in 1985 the Team finished as NCAA Division II Conference Runner Up.
Employed by the Hauppauge School District from 1986-2011 I spent 25 Years as the Hauppauge High School Junior Varsity and Varsity Assistant Wrestling Coach. Having been voted as the Leagues Junior Varsity Coach of the year twenty times. Along with Hall of Fame coach Chris Messina, three Hauppauge wrestlers earned High School All American honors, five became New York State Champs, four became State place winners, and sixteen Suffolk County Champs. Hauppauge Teams won 18 League Titles, 15 Dual Meet Tittles, 2 Suffolk County Tittles, and 2 Runner up performances. In 2011 I was honored by the Suffolk County Coaches Association and received the Joe Campo Grand Master Award.
In 2012, after a brief retirement from coaching, I found myself back where it all started, in the Wrestling room at Brentwood High School. Going back to give back has been pure pleasure and a complete joy for me. Coach Ralph Napolitano and his staff have more than welcomed me back and the student/athletes fill my heart with the memories of years gone by.
Lastly, I would like to thank and acknowledge my wife Ana, my family D’Ana her husband Jay, my grandsons Haden and Asher, Victoria, JeriLynn her husband Harry, and Catherine for their complete support and love over the many years of my dedication to the great sport of Wrestling.
Biography Coming Soon.
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- Darren Goldstein, 2018
- Dave Foxen, 2018
- Carl DeStefanis, 2018
- Bill Crum, 2018
- Rich Appelbaum, 2018
- Hooman Tavakolian, 2017
- Tom Riccio, 2017
- James Regan, 2017
- Tony Nordland, 2017
- Jim Nordland, 2017
- Arno Niemand, 2017
- Nick Nanos, 2017
- Tom Magnani, 2017
- Don Jantzen, 2017
- Doug Axman, 2017
- Scott Arnel, 2017
- William Zagarino, 2016
- Tony Melosci, 2016
- Steve Meehan, 2016
- Tom Maddock, 2016
- Laura Maddock, 2016
- Bob Hartman, 2016
- Jerry Harrell, 2016
- Bill Davey, Jr., 2016
- Bob Attonito, 2016
- Ron Abatelli, 2016
- Jon Tush, 2015
- Paul Schmidt, 2015
- Ron Russo, 2015
- Jim Rooney, 2015
- David Ironman, 2015
- Robert Emmons, 2015
- Frank Carrozza, 2015
- Paul Bass, 2015
- Noel Thompson, 2014
- Isaac Ramaswamy, 2014
- Guy Leggio, 2014
- Marcia Haise, 2014
- Cliff Forziat, 2014
- Hilary Becker, 2014