WATERLOO, Iowa—Four of the most influential athletes in the history of Greco-Roman wrestling will be inducted into the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum will induct Jim Burke (posthumously), Jim Raschke, Brad Rheingans, and Jim Martinez into the Hall of Champions. Dave Curby will receive the Alan Rice Leadership Award and the Martinez Family will receive the Legacy Award.
An induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the Kennedy Center on the campus of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn. This is the fifth induction class.
Alan and Gloria Rice, namesakes of the hall of champions, have been instrumental to the success of Greco-Roman wrestling in the United States. Alan Rice was a Big Ten champion and an All-American for the University of Minnesota. In 1956 he won double national titles in Greco-Roman and freestyle. He also placed fifth at the 1956 Olympics and was coach of the 1972 Greco-Roman Olympic team.
He and his wife, Gloria, founded the Minnesota Wrestling Club. Minnesota enjoys the unique distinction of placing a wrestler on every World and Olympic team since 1964, a record unequaled in American wrestling history.
The Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions is located inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo.
“This year’s class of inductees are pioneers for Greco-Roman wrestling in the United States,” said Rice. “Each was responsible for pushing Greco-Roman wrestling to new heights. This is a special group.”
Jim Burke has the distinction of being the first American to win a medal at the Greco-Roman World Championships. He earned a bronze medal at the 1962 World Championships in the 154-pound weight class. Burke was also a member of the 1964 Olympic team at 154.5 pounds and a member of the both the Greco-Roman and freestyle World teams in 1965. He died on May 11, 2006, at the age of 70.
Jim Raschke placed third at the 1963 World Championships in the heavyweight division, becoming only the second American wrestler to win a medal in the Greco-Roman at the Worlds. After winning a state wrestling championship for Omaha North High School, Raschke went on to wrestle for Nebraska where he was a Big Eight champion in 1962. He was also a worldwide interservice wrestling champion for the United States Army in 1965.
Brad Rheingans made two Greco-Roman Olympic teams and wrestled on three World Championship teams during his international career. The highlight of Rheingans’s career came at the 1979 World championships where he placed third at 220 pounds. He also placed fourth at the 1976 Olympics. Rheingans was a Division II NCAA champion at 190 pounds for North Dakota State in 1975. He was also a Division I All-American the same year.
Jim Martinez was a two-time World and Olympic medalist. He placed third at the 1984 Olympics and third at the 1985 World Championships, both at 149.5 pounds. Martinez also made Greco-Roman World teams in 1983, 1986, and 1987. He wrestled collegiately for the University of Minnesota, where he was a two-time All-American (1979 and 1982) and a Big Ten champion (1979).
Burke, Raschke, Rheingans, and Martinez join Steve Fraser, Jeff Blatnick, Mike Houck, Dennis Hall, Joe Warren, Rulon Gardner, Matt Ghaffari, Dennis Koslowski, Brandon Paulson, and Matt Lindland in this elite Hall.
Dave Curby will be given the Alan Rice Leadership Award for his contributions to advancing the sport of wrestling. He was a four-year starter at Michigan and a Big Ten champion for the Wolverines in 1974. Curby is the founder and director of the International Network of Wrestling Researchers (INWR) and editor of their official publication.
In 2010, Dave and the Curby family formed the Jacob Curby Foundation in memory of his son who was a member of the U.S. National Greco-Roman team. The foundation conducts the Jacob Curby Cup, one of America’s premier Greco-Roman competitions.
The Martinez family from Minnesota will receive the Legacy Award. The award is given to a family, team, or organization that has excelled in wrestling. Lavonne and Manuel Martinez had eight children (two daughters and six sons) that attended Osseo High School in Osseo, Minn.
Judy and Dolores (the eldest siblings) were wrestling cheerleaders while each of the six boys wrestled competitively. Jim (the eldest son) was a state champion in 1977 as a senior after placing third as junior. He is also being inducted into the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions.
Victor was a two-time state champion (1977-78) and a three-time finalist. Steve placed second at state his junior year (1978) and fifth as a senior (1979). Ramon wrestled through his sophomore season. Jason won two freestyle and two Greco-Roman championships at the schoolboy level but was paralyzed in a gymnastics accident at the age of 16. Mark wrestled in middle school for Osseo Junior High.
Lavonne was a head pairer at the schoolboy level in the state of Minnesota and ran several tournaments. She represented Minnesota as a pairer at several national tournaments as well. Manual, who never missed a wrestling match, died in 2003.
Contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions. Banquet tickets are $50 each and can be ordered online by clicking here.
5th Annual Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Augsburg College, Christensen Center Commons, 720 22nd Avenue, South, Minneapolis, MN 55454
Hall of Champions
Alan Rice Leadership Award
Saturday, October 18, 2014
6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Honors Ceremony
Christensen Center Commons
720 22nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55454