Hinegardner, Mauck honored for wrestling work

OVAC Wrestling Coaches Association Lifetime Service Awards

WHEELING — Bill Hinegardner and Ron Mauck are synonymous with the word wrestling in the Ohio Valley. It was no surprise that the dynamic duo were honored for their work over the years.

For the first time in approximately 35 years, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Coaches Association welcomed both Hinegardner and Mauck with their Wrestling Lifetime Achievement Awards during a small ceremony Sunday afternoon inside WesBanco Arena.

“This is probably one of the best kept secrets in the Ohio Valley,” OVAC Treasurer Tom Rataiczak said about the awards. “This is something that only individuals who promote the sport of wrestling can enter.”

With the enshrinements of Hinegardner and Mauck, that doubles the number of honorees as George Kovalick and Bill VanHorne were both previously honored.

“About two years ago we started talking about getting something together for Bill and Ron,” Rataiczak added. “We wanted to get this done before something would happen and they wouldn’t be able to attend. Nobody has spent their lives doing as much for the sport as these two guys. It’s no coincidence that we’ve named two of the OVACs wrestling meets in their honor.”

Hinegardner graduated from Meadow Bridge High School and Concord College before matriculating to the Ohio Valley. He spent his entire career at John Marshall High School where he turned the Monarchs into a state powerhouse. His teams won four W.Va. Class AAA state titles along with being state runnerups an equal amount of times. He coached 20 state champions and his teams dominated the OVAC.

Because of his love for dual meets, the OVAC named the Dual Meet Championships in his honor in 2013.

“This is very nice. I don’t know what to say,” Hinegardner mentioned. “We worked together on a lot of stuff. We coached against each other, but there was never any animosity between us. It was always what was best for the kids.”

Hinegardner was joined by his wife, Shirley, daughter Tammy Crites; and good friends Ed and Mary Jean Dugas; and Larry and Susan Chambers.

Mauck got his beginning in wrestling when he served as a student manager for Kovalick at Bridgeport High School and then West Liberty State College (now West Liberty University). He entered the coaching ranks in 1965 when he started the program at Follansbee High School. He was then selected to begin the varsity wrestling program at Brooke High School when it consolidated in 1968.

Mauck also created the dual meet standings in 1971 and directed five W.Va. state tournaments at the then-Wheeling Civic Center (now WesBanco Arena). In addition he served on the staff of the NAIA and NCAA Division II championships when they were staged in Wheeling. An integral part of the OVAC, Mauck also served as the all-star football game director, has been on numerous committees and boards; was instrumental in creating the Hall of Fame and Sports Museum. He continues to hold schools and coaches accountable to the standards that he was taught by Kovalick, the master of wrestling.

Known for his Ronisms, Mauck always refers to the OVAC wrestling tournament, which is named after him, as the combination of spokes. He can be heard saying “if all the spokes aren’t taut, then the wheel won’t go round and round.” Another one of his famous sayings is “‘I’ as an island stands alone. ‘We’ together can accomplish amazing things.”

Mauck was joined by his three children, Eric, Missy and Jay. His wife, Mary Lou, passed away nearly one year ago.

“There’s no words that can describe what has happened today. I feel very, very humble,” Mauck said. “The OVAC on several occasions has made me feel that way.”


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