BLOOMINGTON - The National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla., will honor four Pantagraph-area men with its Lifetime Service Award.
They are Bloomington's Mike Manahan and Bill Marquardt, Normal's Robert Koehler and Lincoln's Floyd Bee.
They and fellow honoree Bob Easter of Peoria will be honored April 2 at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington with a reception that begins at 4 p.m. followed by dinner at 5. The event is open to the public at a cost of $35. Tickets are available by calling (309) 275-0215.
Also to be honored at the dinner will be Adam Lauderback, a Charleston High School wrestler who has battled cancer. He will receive the National Hall of Fame's Medal of Courage.
w Manahan, a former Olympia High School coach, was the 2002 National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Wrestling Coach of the Year. He is this year's Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Man of the Year.
The former Bloomington High School and Illinois State University wrestler was a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier. His 38-year coaching career included stints at University High and Eureka. He finished with 421 dual meet victories to rank eighth in state history.
Manahan coached four state champions, and his 2001 team finished second in the state. He has also worked 43 years as an official. He was elected to the IWCOA Hall of Fame in 1997 and earned that organization's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
w Marquardt is a member of the IWCOA Hall of Fame. The former Roanoke-Benson and El Paso high school coach spent 36 years officiating. He was named the IWCOA state official of the year in 1998. He was the Central Illinois Official of the Year in 1984-85.
Marquardt was grand marshal at the 1997 Illinois Elementary School Association state finals. He is a former BHS and EIU wrestler who won a 1965 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.
w Koehler coached at ISU from 1963 to 1975. His teams went 103-39-5 in duals and were ranked in the top 20 every year. He was among four coaches nominated as the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year in 1964. His teams won five Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles.
The native of Dubuque, Iowa, coached five NCAA All-Americans, including national champions Eric Bates and Willie Williams. Koehler also officiated at the high school level. He was the 1969 IWCOA official of the year. He was elected to the IWCOA Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Bloomington-Normal Officials Association Hall of Fame in 1996.
w Bee posted 30 consecutive winning seasons as Lincoln High School's coach to finish with a career record of 436-163-9. His win total ranks sixth in state history. He was the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Region 4 Coach of the Year in 1995. He received the IWCOA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
The graduate of Springfield Lanphier High School has been a registered IHSA wrestling official for approximately 40 years. He also has officiated at the collegiate level.