JOHN ENGEL, Lehigh ’31, learned wrestling as a freshman from his legendary coach, Billy Sheridan. His sophomore record was 1-0, wrestling behind an EIWA 2nd and AAU champion. John then went 9-4 and finished 2nd at Easterns. As senior, Engel was 7-0 in duals but went 1-2 to place third at 126 in the EIWA. Cutting to 118 for the first time since ’29, Johnny beat the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from Oklahoma State and Northern Iowa to win Lehigh’s first national title (the EIWA’s second), using a “crucifix” to earn his fall.
Engel became a HS teacher, coach and referee, officiating for 40 years including Easterns, NCAAs and the ’64 Olympics. He served 10 years as the EIWA’s first president and promoted HS wrestling in Connecticut, retiring as a school principal in his hometown Stamford. His totals involvement with wrestling spanned 58 years. John is a member of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame.