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John Orr '85 To Be Inducted Into PA Wrestling Coaches Assoc. Hall of Fame

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 04/25/2011
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John Orr '85 is being inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications

John Orr '85, a former Roper Cup recipient and a two-time NCAA finalist, will be one of 10 inductees into the Class of 2011 of the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Orr went 89-9 during a brilliant career at Princeton, where he graduated in 1985 with a degree in Ancient History. A three-time EIWA placewinner, Orr entered the 1984 championships as the top seed at 142 pounds and left as the Eastern champion. His 11-8 win over Lehigh's Pete Yozzo helped Orr earn "Outstanding Wrestler" honors. He entered the NCAA Championships as the sixth seed that year, but upset both the No. 3 and No. 2 seeds to become the fourth Princeton wrestler to ever reach an NCAA final. He lost to top-seeded Jesse Reyes of Cal State-Bakersfield.

Orr, a two-year Princeton captain, had another strong season as a senior. One of only three four-time first-team All-Ivy League selections in Princeton wrestling history, Orr again upset the No. 2 seed in the NCAA semifinal to get to his second straight championship match. Though he lost a 4-3 final to top-seeded Joe Gibbons of Iowa State, Orr remains the only Princeton wrestler to ever make multiple NCAA finals.

Though Orr went on to compete beyond Princeton and spent time coaching at Penn State, he has never stopped contributing to the growth of Princeton wrestling.

"While Johnny is being inducted into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame for his outstanding accomplishments as a wrestler, his impact off the mats as a supporter of our program is second to none," head coach Chris Ayres said. "Johnny's efforts have truly impacted the Princeton wrestling program in my five years as a coach and I am extremely thankful to have him as a supporter and friend. I am extremely pleased that Johnny is being inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame as I can think of no individual who is more deserving, both in relation to what he has accomplished on the mats and also for his continuing commitment to the development of wrestling on the collegiate level."

A 1980 graduate of Altoona High School Orr had a record of 86-6-1. He was undefeated in dual meets in 8th through 12th grade and was a three-time District VI champion, a three-time Northwest Region place finisher (including one championship title) and a two-­time PIAA Class AAA medalist including a state runner-up finish in 1979. He was also a runner-up in the Cadet National Freestyle championships in 1979.

From 1986-1989, John served as an assistant coach at Penn State University. While on staff, the team had a 66-10-5 record including three victories over Iowa. He also competed in open competition with a 3rd and 2nd place finishes in the Midlands in 1987 and 1988. He also finished fifth in the 1988 final U.S. Olympic Freestyle trials. John resides in Flemington, NJ, where he is vice-president for global sourcing for Corvatec. He also volunteers as the coach of the Flemington Elks wrestling team comprised of K-8th grade wrestlers.

Also being inducted into the Class of 2011 is former Princeton assistant coach Troy Letters, who was part of Ayres' staff for the 2006-07 season. A Lehigh graduate, he compiled a 115-8 record with a 65-2 dual meet record. A three-time EIWA champion, Letters captured the 165-pound NCAA championship and placed in the top three two other years.

The Hall of Fame inductions will be held on Sunday afternoon, May 22, at the Ramada Inn in State College, Pennsylvania. A hospitality hour will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by a buffet luncheon and the formal ceremonies with brief acceptance and recognition speeches by each of the inductees.

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