Ohio Valley wrestling icon, Ron Mauck, passes away
The Ohio Valley wrestling world lost one of its giants Wednesday morning.
Ron Mauck — the man for whom the OVAC Wrestling Tournament held each January is named — died at the age of 81 after a lengthy illness.
“A pillar of the OVAC, not only the wrestling community, but the whole conference,” OVAC Wrestling Commissioner and current tournament director Dr. Dan Doyle said. “He was first a colleague, then my mentor and became one of my best friends that I loved and will miss. But, I’ll always remember the many things he taught me.”
Mauck, who was inducted to the OVAC and National Wrestling (West Virginia Chapter) Halls of Fame in 2006, was a graduate of Bridgeport High School and West Liberty State College.
Prior to stepping down from the role in 2009, Doyle had spent the 30 previous years as the director of the OVAC Wrestling Tournament.
“Ron will be greatly missed,” Doyle continued. “When I informed the (OVAC) wrestling committee of Ron’s passing, the common threads were the positive influence Ron had on them and their programs.”
Dr. Bill Welker, also an OVAC Hall of Famer as a wrestling official, remembered Mauck as one of the first people he and his wife Peggy met when they moved to the Ohio Valley in the 1970s.
“Ron and his wife, Mary Lou, made us feel at home,” Welker said. “Ron was my second father. At times when I got emotional about something, regarding sports and life, Ron sat me down and said, ‘Bill, relax. There are matters in which you have no control over, so just let it go and work hard things you can control and make them better.”
Along with his love and passion for wrestling, Mauck was also instrumental in the growth of the OVAC All-Star Football Game. He was a long-time member of the game committee and served as its director from 1993-98 when he turned it over to Bob Koch, who was the director of athletics at Cameron High School at the time.
Actually, Koch first got to know Mauck through the sport of wrestling and his work at the OVAC Tournament.
“I started working with Ron in 1989, helping to keep team scores at the tournament,” Koch recalled. “Ron always put the athlete first and taught me to make decisions based on that. Ron is testimony to ‘Good guys finish first.'”
Mauck, who was named Mr. Mat in 1985. founded the OVAC Dual Championship in 1971. He did so to promote wrestling. He also directed three West Virginia State Wrestling Championships, which were held in Wheeling
Along with his work with the OVAC, Mauck spent most of his professional career working for the Brooke County Schools. He was the Bruins Director of Athletics at the time of his retirement.
Prior to that, however, he began his career at Follansbee High School where he started the wrestling program and coached the school’s only state mat champion.
Mauck was hired as the first wrestling coach at Brooke High School in 1968. He retired from coaching much earlier, but was with the Brooke County Schools for 34 years. On top of his role as AD, he oversaw driver’s education and was physical plant director.
During the course of his career, Mauck was the recipient of numerous honors. In addition to the aforementioned honors, Mauck was part of the Brooke High School Wall of Fame (2006), West Virginia’s Wrestling Man of the Year in 2013 and OVAC Wresting Coaches Association Lifetime Service Award in 2020 just to name a few.
Along with his involvement in wrestling, Mauck also served on the OVAC Hall of Fame Committee, Museum Committee, Mr. Mat Committee, Coach of the Year Committee, and McDonald’s All-Star Band Committee.
Mauck, who would have turned 82 in November, was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou. She died in August of 2019. Surviving are their three children Eric, Jay and Missy Zink. The Maucks had four grandchildren.