George Munnich

Wrestler - Champion - Coach

George Munnich was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008. Here was the nomination on his behalf:

George Munnich
A Lifetime of Service to Wrestling and Wrestlers

Those eight words describe George Munnich as well as any. Beginning his long wrestling career under the tutelage if Frank "Sprig" Gardner, he capped an exceptional win-loss record with the 1953 106 lb. SSAL Title.

During the 1954 season, 2 serious leg injury ended his high school career.

He went on to compete for the United States Merchant Academy at Kings Point, and was subsequently named to their Athletic Hall of Fame. Service in the United States Merchant service and the United States Navy during the Viet Nam War did not interrupt his commitment to wrestling; it just made it more global as he found wrestling in every port of call.

Upon his return to his home town, of Bellmore, George embarked on a coaching career, training entry level kids for the two high schools in the community and continued his relationship with Coach Gardner by working at Sprig's wrestling clinics at Gettysburg College. For over 35 years, George has volunteered at every free-style and scholastic tournament in the area. Coaching, supervising weigh-ins, producing bracket sheets-- George is always there to contribute any way he can.

Perhaps the parents of the wrestlers he coached can sum up his most lasting contributions. They write, "His great enthusiasm and love for the sport of wrestling is always apparent. From the first encounter with Coach Munnich and for a 10ˇyear period, we observed the same commitment from Coach Munnich. He always recognized the potential in every individual who came out for wrestling and took special pride in helping the beginners. While Coach Munnich's knowledge of the wrestling is immense, he did more for our children than just teach them how to wrestle. He shaped them into men eager to overcome any obstacles they would have to face in life. The lessons they have learned on the mat have been applied to real life situations."

Honored by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

George Munich was a four-year letter winner in wrestling and was probably the most outstanding wrestler in Academy history. He was a three-time Metropolitan Conference and AAU Champion and lost in the finals his senior year at the NCAA Championships. Munich captained the undefeated 1957-58 team and was also a US-Canadian Champion and served as an alternate for the Pan-Am games

The Athletic Hall of Fame at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy was formed to honor and recognize graduates of the Academy who distinguished themselves and brought credit to the Academy through outstanding achievement in intercollegiate competition. George Munnich was inducted into the USMMA Hall of Fame in 1990.

The Admiral Stedman Trophy is presented to a graduating first class male athlete for demonstrated athletic excellence throughout their career at USMMA. The trophy signifies the highest in achievement, sportsmanship and general excellence in athletics. Munnich was the recipient of the 1958 Adm. Stedman Trophy.