The MPSSAA State Wrestling Committee will be commemorating their 12th and final State Wrestling Tournament to be held at historic Cole Field House on the University of Maryland-College Park campus. The facility is being converted into a multi-purpose facility that will primarily be used as an indoor football practice facility. "Cole" is one of the nation's fabled athletic arenas. In addition to hosting multiple NCAA Division I Final Four Basketball Championships, Cole has hosted five NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships (1960, 1972, 1978, 1987, and 1990). The 2015 MPSSAA State Wrestling Tournament will be THE last championship contest ever held at this historic venue, in any sport.
State Committee Director Duke Beattie and the State Wrestling Committee are extending an invitation to all former MPSSAA State Wrestling Champions who have won at least one of their titles at Cole Field House to be introduced on the floor just prior to the start of the State Final bouts on Monday evening, March 9th in conjunction with the "Parade of Champions".
Some of the greatest American wrestlers in history have competed at Cole, including the legendary Dan Gable and Olympic champions Ben Peterson, John Smith, Dave Schultz, Kevin Jackson, and the Brands brothers (Terry and Tom). Maryland high school greats who competed at Cole include NCAA Champions Kelly Ward, Bill "Elbows" Simpson, Rico Chiapparelli, and World Champion Lloyd Keaser. Graybeards may recall the epic 1978 showdown at Cole between local star Kelly Ward and 3-time NCAA/3-time World Champion Lee Kemp, with Kemp prevailing, 10-8.
Cole Field House has played host as well to many of the top names in the entertainment industry including Bob Hope, Queen, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and "The King" himself, Elvis. Cole has hosted the MPSSAA State Wrestling Championships since 2004. Prior to that, Cole played host to the MPSSAA Basketball Championships for 46 years, dating back to 1955.
Former MPSSAA State Champions who would like to participate in MPSSAA Wrestling's "A Farewell to Cole", please indicate your interest to Nicole Macias, Athletics Secretary, Montgomery County Public Schools, by March 1st. We need to have an idea of how many former champions will participate along with a few tidbits of information regarding your introduction. Nicole can be reached at Nicole_G_Macias@mcpsmd.org or 301-279-3144. When calling or emailing, please provide the following information:
- Your Name.
- Email Address.
- School and Classification (1A/2A or3A/4A).
- Year(s) you were champion (Include Western Maryland/McDaniel College if you won States at both sites.).
- Weight class(es).
Former Cole champions in attendance that night will receive a commemorative pin and souvenir signifying the event. We hope that many of our former champions will be able to participate, and be part of history while revisiting a moment of glory in your lives. Once your information is received, follow-up contact will be made at a later date with more specific details pertaining to the festivities.