Wade Schalles

Wade Schalles past wrestler and coach

Wade Schalles: A Wrestling Legend

Wade Schalles is a name that would only be known to the most hard-core of wrestling fans. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee first came to world attention as a wrestler for Clarion University of Pennsylvania, becoming an NCAA Division I champion in 1972 and 73. 

Wade also won the Outstanding Wrestler at Nationals Award in 1972. His claim to fame was creating wrestling maneuvers that were unique and highly effective, allowing him to pin numerous opponents. He is important in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for his creativity and innovation, as well as being named All-American in five different martial arts – Folkstyle and Freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, Judo, and Sombo. Wade also holds black belts in both Judo and Sombo.

Career and Highlights

First coming to notice in his college years, Wade wrapped up a collegiate career of 153-5-1 overall with an NCAA record of 106 pins.

  • First Pennsylvania athlete to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • NCAA Division I champion for 1972 and 1973.
  • Entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most pins, as the all-time leader in falls, and a record busting 821 victories to his name.
  • Credited as the inventor of the Spladle and the Cement Mixer moves.
  • Selected by amateur wrestling news as the best American middleweight of the 20th century. 
  • Assistant coach at Arizona State in 1976, head coach at South Dakota State in 1977, head coach at Clemson from 1978 to 1983 and had coach at Old Dominion from 1983 to 1985.
  • Profiled by Sports Illustrated in 1976 and christened with the sobriquet “Plastic Man.”
  • Named to the NCAA and an WCA 75th anniversary all-time team in 2005.

Many of Wade’s collegiate records remain unbroken almost half a century later. He has written two best-selling books on the sport of wrestling, coached multiple teams across the full spectrum of wrestling, and is also a qualified referee. He currently teaches wrestling in Maryland as his Eaglehawk Academy – which bills itself as “The Beltway’s Premier Wrestling Academy.” Posting regular classes and even a summer camp in Urbana, Maryland.

He can also be found in teaching internationally at Scientific Wrestling, following the death of legend Billy Robinson. Wade stated that being a part of the organization was a dream realized, following in the footsteps of his idols Frank Gottsch and Billy Robinson. As he travels and teaches, he works with professionals in collegiate, youth, and professional sports.

Keeping up with Wade is tough, even though he is now in his 60s. He maintains a Facebook page for Eaglehawk Academy, writes a regular blog, travels, teaches, and tours extensively. Even younger men might be worn out by the pace, yet Wade Schalles seems to thrive on bringing a love of wrestling and martial arts to a new generation and helping current practitioners of their game to championship levels. We look forward to hearing more from this wrestling legend in the years to come.