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Benford Named to Div. II Hall of Fame


Booker Benford
Booker Benford

Division II Wrestling
Hall of Fame Members

1996
Tracy Borah, Coach, Western State of Colorado
Jack Hancock, Coach, Colorado School of Mines
Chuck Patten, Coach, University of Northern Iowa
Warren Williamson, Coach, South Dakota State University
Larry Kristoff, Coach and Athlete, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Rick Sanders, Athlete, Portland State University
Chuck Seal, Athlete, Portland State University
Masaru Yatabe, Athlete, Portland State University

1997
Arthur "Bucky" Maughan, Coach, North Dakota State University
Doug Parker, Coach, Springfield College
Jeff Blatnick, Athlete, Springfield College
Koln Knight, Athlete, Agustana College
Bill Demeray, Athlete, North Dakota State University
Brad Rheingans, Athlete, North Dakota State University

1998
Vaughan Hitchcock, Coach, Cal Poly University
Tom Beeson, Athlete, Western State of Colorado
John Woods, Athlete, Cal Poly University
Ken Bos, Athlete, Cal Poly University
Larry Morgan, Athlete, Cal Poly University
Glenn Anderson, Athlete, Cal Poly University

1999
Rummy Macias, Coach, Mankato State University
Mike Denny, Coach, University of Nebraska at Omaha
R. J. Nebe, Wrestler, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Mark Manning, Wrestler University of Nebraska at Omaha
Mark Rigatuso, Wrestler, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Jim Miller, Wrestler, University of Northern Iowa
Ken Snyder, Wrestler, University of Northern Iowa
Mike McCready, Wrestler, University of Northern Iowa

2000
Jim Koch, Coach, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Paul Kendle, Coach, Augustana College
Brian Parlet, Wrestler, Augustana College
Tom Kline, Wrestler, Cal Poly University
Don Parker, Wrestler, University of Northern Iowa
Kent Osboe, Wrestler, University of Northern Iowa
Rick Jensen, Wrestler, South Dakota State University
Jeff Hohertz, Wrestler, South Dakota State University

2001
Jim Fallis, Meritorious Service, University of Northern Colorado
Mike Pantoya, Wrestler, University of Northern Colorado
Al Rozman, Wrestler, Western State College of Colorado
Dale Stryker, Wrestler, Western State College of Colorado
Glen Younger, Wrestler, Western State College of Colorado

2002
Ed Aliverti, Meritorious Service, Edmonds, Washington
Ted Price, Wrestler, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Mark Burrell, Wrestler, Central Missouri State University
Mike Hahesy, Wrestler, Edinboro University of PA

2003
Vince Monseau, Coach, West Liberty State College
Pat Pecora, Coach, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Stan Dziedzic, Wrestler, Slippery Rock University
Jeff Esmont, Wrestler, Ashland University
Ken Hackman, Wrestler, California University of Pennsylvania

2004
Lee Petersen, Wrestler, North Dakota State University
Mike Langlais, Wrestler, North Dakota State University
Bob Soulek, Wrestler, Minnesota State University-Mankato
Jack Eustice, Wrestler, Minnesota State University -Mankato
Jim Gale, Wrestler, Minnesota State University -Mankato
Booker Benford, Wrestler, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Chad Lamer, Wrestler, South Dakota State University

February 27, 2004


         The Hall of Fame Committee for the NCAA II Wrestling Coaches Association has announced that on March 11, 2004, seven individuals will be inducted into the Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame. The induction will take place in Mankato, Minn., at the Holiday Inn Civic Center at 7:00 pm. A social hour will precede the banquet at 6:00 pm. The Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame Ceremony will be held in conjunction with a banquet for coaches and dignitaries on the Thursday evening preceding the start of the 42nd Annual NCAA II National Wrestling Championships hosted by the Minnesota State University-Mankato in Mankato, Minn.. Tickets for the banquet can be reserved at a cost of $20.00 by emailing Cheryl Regan at cheryl.regan@mnsu.edu no later than Wednesday, March 10.
         The ninth class of inductees includes seven individuals being inducted into the Athletes category. The Hall of Famers that are being inducted into the Athletes category include: Lee Peterson, wrestler at North Dakota State University from 1972 to 1975; Mike Langlais, wrestler at North Dakota State University from1980 to 1984; Jack Eustice, wrestler at Minnesota State University-Mankato from 1973 to 1977; Bob Soulek, wrestler at Minnesota State University-Mankato from 1964 to 1967; Jim Gale, wrestler at Minnesota State University-Mankato from 1990 to 1994; Chad Lamer, wrestler at South Dakota State University from 1992 to 1996; and Booker Benford, wrestler at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville from 1981 to 1985.
         The NCAA II National Wrestling Championships were first held in 1963. For the first eleven years it was called the NCAA College Division Tournament. In 1974, when the NCAA started the divisional concept, approximately half of the College Division schools continued competing in the NCAA II Wrestling Championships and about half went into the NCAA III. Since 1963, forty-one teams have been crowned National Champions and four-hundred and fourteen individual National Championships have been awarded. The NCAA II Wrestling Coaches Association feels that it is important to honor the NCAA II coaches and wrestlers that have achieved greatness. These seven inductees will join the fifty inductees from the first eight induction classes as Division II Wrestling Hall of Famers.
         Below is the biography of Booker Benford.
        
2004 Division II Hall of Fame Inductee

Athlete

Booker Benford
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, Illinois

         Booker Benford started his wrestling career in Providence, Rhode Island. He wrestled at Central High School and was a State Champion both his junior and senior years. He was also the New England Champion and Outstanding Wrestler his senior year. His overall high school record was 125-10.
         Booker enrolled at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the fall of 1981 to wrestle for Coach Larry Kristoff. Kristoff is a charter member of the Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame. During the four years that Booker wrestled at SIUE, the Cougars became the most dominate team in the NCAA II, and he was their most dominant wrestler.
         As a freshman, wrestling at 167 pounds he posted a 29-15 record and earned All-American honors by placing fifth in the 1982 NCAA II Nationals. He helped his team win the third place trophy. The following year Benford moved up to 177 pounds, put together a season record of 34-9-1 and earned his second All-American honors by placing second in the NCAA II Nationals. This time SIUE finished in fourth place. The next two years, Benford was one of the top 177 pounders in the country regardless of the division. Both years he won the NCAA II Nationals and finished third in the NCAA I Nationals giving him a total of six All-American awards. His overall record as a junior was 45-8 and as a senior it was 53-4.
         His SIU-E team won their first ever NCAA II National Wrestling Championship during Benford's junior season and then repeated again during his senior season. His career record of 161-34-1 makes him the winingest wrestler in the illustrious history of Cougar wrestling. His 53 wins as a senior during the 1984-85 season is also the single season record for this school.
         Following his collegiate wrestling career, Benford made quite a name for himself in freestyle wrestling. Nine times he earned USA Freestyle All-American honors. In 1988 and 1992 he was the alternate on the USA Olympic Freestyle Team.
         Benford graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a B.S. degree in Business Administration, but much of his time has been spent in the coaching profession. He was an assistant coach at Southwestern Illinois Junior College in Belleville for three years before returning to SIU Edwardsville and serving as an assistant under his former coach Larry Kristoff for several years. In 1999, Benford was named the head coach at his alma mater SIU Edwardsville. In 1999-2000 he was selected as the NCAA II Midwest Regional Coach of the year. In 2000 he coached his first NCAA II National Champion Titus Taylor to the 165 pound title.
         Benford and his daughter Jade, 11, live in Edwardsville, Illinois.
        
                  -siue cougars-