John had a very successful career at East Meadow High School, winning both the Section Eight and Nassau County Dual Meet Championships.
"Growing up in North Merrick, I had the pleasure of being a member of the first seventh grade class of a brand new junior high school. I soon found out that the Physical Education and Athletic programs there were new and exciting. In the fall I played soccer for Mr. Salvatore Achille, The man who changed my life. After the soccer season the winter season offered basketball and wrestling. Coach Achille suggested I try wrestling. Wrestling was just what I needed."
Coach Bob Bury and Sal Achille gave John inspiration, motivation, and set him on a straight line to success. Both men were coaches and physical educators. Both men provided Hamilton with the information and stimulus necessary for him to become an educator and coach himself. After wrestling at Central Connecticut, he returned to Long Island were his career took him to several communities both as a coach and an athletic administrator.
John is shown officiating at one of the many matches he has worked during his career from 1989 to 2009.
John coached for eighteen years. Beginning that tenure, he reached youngsters at his home town high school, Calhoun, assisting his Hall of Fame varsity coach, Bob Bury and learning Bury's technique. He became the head coach at Calhoun and coached there for several successful seasons. He moved on to Oceanside High School for a period, and then to East Meadow High School in the district where he worked as an athletic administrator. His East Meadow teams were very successful. Under his guidance they won both the Section Eight tournament title and the Nassau Dual Meet Tournament championship.
John is pictured in a 1968 match wrestling his lifetime friend Mike Muscara. Both John and Mike went on to become the head werestling coach at Mepham High School, two out of only six who have held that position.
After a brief break in his coaching career, he succeeded Mike Muscara as the fifth wrestling coach in the history of Mepham High School with its rich wrestling tradition.
Over the period of John's coaching career, he produced 10 Nassau County champions. Eight of John's wrestlers achieved All-State honors, and a total of eighty seven placed in the sectional championships.
John is a certified wrestling official and in that capacity has officiated numerous county and intersectional bouts. During his academic tenure he rose to an administrativ position. In that area he was able to influence other administrators about the values of wrestling in the curriculum, support the wrestling programs in the schools where he worked, and advise younger coaches about the best methods to utilize when building and managing their teams. He also worked at various wrestling camps on the "Island", and is a dedicated running enthusiast, participating in numerous marathons around the country.
In short, John Hamilton has been a lifetime advocate of physical education in general, and wrestling in particular. He is a most worthy inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.