Baughman Honored By Colorado Chapter Of National Wrestling Hall of Fame
USAFA, Colo. - Air Force wrestling coach Wayne Baughman was one of five national awardwinners at the eighth-annual Hall of Fame Honors Banquet, held Sunday night at the United States Air Force Academy Officers' Club. Baughman was honored with the state's Distinguished American Award, while four others were given the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award.
Baughman, who will retire as the Falcons' head coach this year, has been coaching at the Academy for 27 years and has compiled a 183-134-4 dual meet record. Baughman, who obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma and master's degrees from both the University of Denver and the University of Colorado, first served as head coach from 1975-1984 while he was on active duty in the Air Force. He took over the program as a civilian in 1988 and overall, has had 17 winning seasons. He coached 13 of the Academy's 16 WAC champions and has sent numerous qualifiers to the NCAA Championships, including a trio of All-Americans in 2002.
An NCAA champion and two-time runner-up while a wrestler at the University of Oklahoma, Baughman has been a member of three Olympic teams, eight World Championship teams and one Pan American Games team. In addition, he coached in both the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, as well as five World Championship teams and a Pan American Games team. An avid ultra-runner, triathlete and mountain climber, Baughman has finished the Ironman Triathlon, the Pikes Peak Marathon, the Leadville Trail 100-mile Run and the Hardscramble Pass 100-mile Bike Race, while also climbing all 54 mountain over 14,000 feet.
Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Awards were Lester Maddox of Abraham Lincoln, Pete Gomez of John Mall, long-time club coach Serafin 'Pino' Bachicha of Fort Lupton and the late Albert L. 'Bo' Place.
Gomez, who coached at John Mall for 17 seasons and was the school's athletic director from 1985-2002, was a member of the Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Control (1999-2002) and was the Pikes Peak League wrestling coach of the year in 1989 and 1990. But it is officiating where he has earned international acclaim. Gomez began his career as an official in 1975 and by 1985 had obtained his International License. He has since officiated at least one championship match in every International Tournament in Freestyle/Greco. He was the head official and director for the International Sports Specialists, which is based in Sydney, Australia. Gomez was named the Outstanding Official at the Cadet Nationals in 1998 and at the Junior Nationals in 2001.
Maddox began coaching in 1967 as an assistant at Platte Valley in Kersey. He was the head coach at Denver South from 1970-1975; assisted Hall of Fame coach Joe Klune at Lincoln (1976-1980) then became the head coach for his high school alma mater in 1981. While at Lincoln, Maddox has won five DPL championships, was a league runner-up eight times and has been named the DPL Coach of the Year three times (1986, 2001 and 2002). His teams also won nine District championships. Maddox, who also was the girls golf coach at Lincoln, was president of the Colorado Wrestling Coaches Association from 1999-2001, coached in the All-state Games in 2000 and 2004, and was selected as the Colorado Wrestling Man of the Year in 2000. A total of 83 of his wrestlers have qualified for the state tournaments.
Bachicha, who has been active in wrestling for 36 years, was one of the state's finest high school wrestlers at Fort Lupton. He was a three-time district champion, a state runner-up in 1957 then won back-to-back titles in 1958-1959 for the Blue Devils. Bachicha founded the Fort Lupton Metro Wrestling Club in 1970 and it has become one of the premier clubs for youth in the state. Thousands of the
state's youth have been introduced to the sport through his club. Through the years, Bachicha, who has also coached Little League Baseball and softball, has been accorded many honors for his work in the Fort Lupton community. He has been named Fort Lupton's Outstanding Citizen and was presented with the Channel 9 TV 'Those Who Care Award' in 1989.
Place, who passed away in 1969 from kidney disease at 57, coached and taught in the Denver Public School system for 33-years. He was a graduate of Denver South High School and the University of Denver. A three-time Rocky Mountain Conference Champion at Denver, he became Denver West's coach in 1933 and won the school's first state title. In 1943, he enlisted in the Navy. While in the service, he coached the 10-man naval base team at Corpus Christi to second place in the National AAU Tournament. He returned to DPS in 1946 as an administrator and official. Through his career, Place officiated many high school and college tournaments as well as the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1948 as well as hold official's clinics throughout the state. In 1966 he received the National American Educator Award from the National Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, Pa.
Several state awards were also handed out at Sunday's banquet. The college coach and wrestler of the year went to Jack Maughan od Northern Colorado, and Brian Pitts of Adams State, respectively. Gary Ramstetter of Alamosa High School was named high school coach of the year and Valley High School's Curtis Salazar was named high school wrestler of the year. The youth coach of the year was awarded to Gene Silva of the Westminster Warriors, while Jerry Huff, of the Broomfield Golden Eagles, was named youth wrestler of the year.
In addition, Brooke Sauer of Golden High School and Marcus Hernandez of Pueblo South High School, were given special merit awards, along with Ben Cherrington of Boise State and Tom Clum of the University of Wisconsin.