JOE SOLOMON, Pittsburgh ’55 was the nation’s top seed as sophomore and senior, placing NCAA first and fourth his last two years. He became an unseeded national champion in 1954 (Pitt’s second ever) in his first year in the EIWA by avenging his conference finals loss to Navy’s Joe Gattuso (NCAA 3,3) and placing ahead of Fred Davis (Oklahoma State, 4,1,2). A senior top seed, Joe lost in the semi-finals to Larry TenPas (Illinois, 3,2,1). As the #1 seed in 1953, Joe lost in the semis to the runner-up, but under the old rules didn’t place. Wrestling four years, Solomon lost in Rd 1 of the 1952 NCAAs to UNI’s 2-time NCAA champ, Bill Weick and eliminated in the Rd of 6 by Emil Perona, Rutgers, by referee’s decision. Joe’s one EIWA title in two years in the league featured a finals win over PSU’s Joe Krufka (NCAA 3,2)
Solomon, a Pittsburgh resident, became a referee from 1956-85, handling 15 EIWA tournaments and four Nationals. He’s a member of the halls of fame of PA Wrestling Coaches; Western PA Hall and the Golden Panthers.