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Wrestler named to MAC Hall of Fame

The Mid-American Conference announced Friday that former University of Toledo wrestler Greg Wojciechowski will be one of four new members inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame Wednesday, May 29, during the MAC Honor’s Dinner at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel.

Wojciechowski will be joined by Dee Abrahamson (Northern Illinois, softball/administration), Pauline Maurice (Kent State, softball) and Bruno Pauletto (Central Michigan, men’s track and field).

Wojciechowski

Wojciechowski is regarded as the greatest wrestler ever at The University of Toledo. Wrestling as a heavyweight, Wojciechowski won one NCAA title, earned two second-place finishes, and was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team.

As a sophomore in 1970, Wojciechowski won 18 of 19 matches, losing only in the championship round of the NCAA Championships. One year later, Wojchiechowski became Toledo’s second NCAA heavyweight champion, leading the Rockets to their highest team finish ever at the NCAAs, a 13th-place finish. He outscored his opponents 94-15 in matches that went to a decision that season and went on to win the National Amateur Athletic Union title as well.

As a senior in 1972, he won 14 of his 15 matches, with his only defeat coming in the NCAA championship title match to 415-pound Chris Taylor of Iowa State. He finished his intercollegiate career with a record of 55-2 and won three straight MAC heavyweight titles.

Wojciechowski was runner-up at the Olympic Trials and was named an alternate for the U.S. Olympic teams in Greco-Roman wrestling in 1968, 1972 and 1976, and in freestyle in 1972 and 1976, before making the team in 1980. In that year, he won the U.S. Olympic Trials in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman events, the last American to sweep both events at the trials. Unfortunately, the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics kept Wojciechowski from participating.

He graduated from Toledo in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in education and went on to earn a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Toledo in 1976.

Wojciechowski began his career as a teacher and wrestling coach at Archbold (Ohio) High School in 1972, mentoring John Cowell to a state championship at 126 pounds. He returned to Toledo in 1973 to train for the Olympics. There, he taught in the occupational work adjustment programs for drop-out prone youths at Libbey High School, a position he held for 28 years. He taught high school wrestling at Libbey for 11 years and later at Bowsher High School for five years. He also was actively involved in establishing a wrestling program in Ohio middle schools.

After his successful amateur wrestling career, Wojciechowski made the jump to professional wrestling. Known as “The Great Wojo,” he spent 12 years as a professional wrestler, winning three World Wrestling Association heavyweight championship titles. He retired from the WWA as champion in 1987.

Wojciechowski was inducted into The University of Toledo Varsity T Hall of Fame in 1978 and the George Tragos and Lou Thesz Pro National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015.

The MAC Hall of Fame was approved by the MAC Council of Presidents in 1987. The charter class was inducted in 1988, and subsequent classes were added in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994. After six induction classes, the MAC Hall of Fame maintained 52 members until it was reinstated in May 2012. This year’s class brings the number of MAC Hall of Fame inductees to 96 individuals from 14 classes.

Tickets are available for the MAC Honor’s Dinner, which will be held Wednesday, May 29, at 6 p.m. at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel. Individual tickets ($100 each) and a table of 10 ($950) are available for purchase. Contact Julie Kachner at the Mid-American Conference office at 216.566.4622.