WHEELING - Last Sunday, Wheeling native Donnie Bauer was inducted into the 10th class of the Annual National Wrestling Hall of Fame - West Virginia Chapter - at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.
Bauer has coached wrestling for more than 30 years in the Wheeling area. Having no boys of his own, Coach Bauer dedicated himself to teaching the mat sport to kids whose parents placed in his charge.
During his coaching tenure, Bauer developed wrestlers who later won a total of 25 West Virginia State Championships. In reference to the gigantic Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament, Coach Bauer mentored 15 matmen who finished their high school careers with a total of 18 OVAC titles.
Since 1973, Coach Bauer developed hundreds of wrestlers at the youth, middle school and high school levels. Bauer mentored mat teams at the Wheeling area YMCA for 15 years amd he also coached theMozart Hawks and the Woodsdale Takedown Kids for the Greater Wheeling Area Smallfry Wrestling League for 10 years.
Coach Bauer also served as head coach at Triadelphia Middle School and the Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central Catholic High School during a five-year stint.
Coach Bauer initiated the mat careers of four wrestlers who won both West Virginia State Championships and Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament titles. They include John Marshall's Dustin Ritchie as well as Dirk Bauer, Ronnie Green, Ronnell Green, and Kyle Bauer of Wheeling Park High School, Zach Basich of Wheeling Centraland Rich Brothers of Bridgeport.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Don Bauer with a ''Lifetime Service to Wrestling'' award, class of 2012.