While attending Mepham High School from 1958-1960 Mark wrestled for Sprig Gardner and Ken Hunte and was a three time League and Division Champion. He won the Counties in 1958 and 1960 and the Long island Championships in 1960. Wrestling for Charlie Speidel at Penn State from 1960-1964 he finished his career with a third place in the NCAA Div. I Championships at 130 lbs. becoming an All-American and qualified for the Olympic Trials.
In 1968 after winning all the local and regional tournaments Mark placed third at the final Olympic trials in Aimes, Iowa at 125.5 lbs. After coaching high school teams at Floral Park and Farmingdale, college teams at Adelphi and NY Maritime he refereed at the scholastic and collegiate levels for 27 years representing the Long Island Referees Association and the Eastern Intercollegiate Officials Association and was a charter member of the National Wrestling Officials Association. Mark refereed high school Divisions, Leagues, Counties and State Championships and was the rules interpreter for Nassau County. On the college level he refereed the Eastern Intercollegiate Championships for 23 years and represented the EIWOA at 19 NCAA Division I Championships. Mark was selected to referee the NCAA East/West Meet in 1982 and 1983 and the NCAA All- Star Meet in 1992. During his career he refereed the Big Tens, NCAA Division II and III Championships, Virginia Duals, National Duals and many other college duals and championships. In 1997 Mark was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma and in March of 2000 will be inducted into the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame.
Mark taught Industrial Arts at Farmingdale High School for 31 years retiring in 1997 and also taught at SUNY Farmingdale. He was the co-editor and publisher of Empire Coach Wrestling Journal from 1971 - 1977 (named the Best Wrestling Magazine by Scholastic Wrestling News in 1974) and was the designer and producer of Tournament-Pak wrestling tournament kits which helped many tournament directors run their competitions. Retiring from refereeing in 1998, mark moved to Savannah, Georgia with his wife Alison.
Long Island Wrestling 2000
It takes a very special person to become an outstanding wrestling official. Great Coaches and/or wrestling champions do not necessarily make the grade. During more than 70 years in wrestling, I have seen great officials, and I can state with complete confidence-that there has never been a better one than Mark Piven.
Mark is a Long Island native. He was an out-standing high school wrestler coached by wrestling legends, Sprig Gardner and Ken Hume at Mepham High School. During his high school career he won numerous titles including the prestigious Long Island Championship.
At Penn State he was coached by another wrestling legend, Charlie Spidel. Mark was a mainstay for three years on a very strong P.S.U. team. He topped off his college career with a 3rd place finish at 130 pounds in the 1964 NCAA Division 1 Championships at Cornell. After graduation, he won several AAU championships and in 1968 he took 3rd place in the Final Olympic trials in Ames, Iowa at 125.5 pounds when he was forced to default in the final round robin due to an injury.
After graduation Mark spent several years coaching at the high school and college levels. All of his wrestling activities prepared him for the next step in his wrestling career. He was now ready to buy a whistle and stripped shirt and step onto the mats as a "Rookie" Referee. Mark had learned his trade well. In a very few years he built a reputation as one of the most outstanding mat officials in the nation. It was not long before he was invited to officiate many of the "spotlight" duals and championships. By the end of his officiating career, he had refereed 19 NCAA Division 1 National Championships, 24 EIWA Conference finals, The Big 10 Championships, the National Duals, the Virginia Duals, the NWCA East/West Meet, the NWCA All Star Meet, and many more college, open, and high school championships.
In 1997, Mark Piven was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma as an outstanding official. This was a fitting tribute to one of wrestling's greatest officials.
Long Island Wrestling 2013