Club Sports News

Castro to be inducted into National Wrestling Hall of Fame

April 11, 2017  |  Lynchburg, Va. 

Flames Head Coach Jesse Castro shouts from the sidelines during a tri-match held Dec. 10 in the LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center. (Photo by Kaitlyn Becker Johnson) test test test test
Flames Head Coach Jesse Castro shouts from the sidelines during a tri-match held Dec. 10 in the LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center. (Photo by Kaitlyn Becker Johnson)

Already a member of Liberty University's Athletics Hall of Fame — as both a former student-athlete and NCAA Division I head coach — Flames Club Sports Wrestling Head Coach Jesse Castro will be inducted into the Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on April 22, when he will receive a Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award at a banquet near Richmond, Va.

Castro — who began his wrestling career with the Flames in 1976, three years after Bob Bonheim started the program, and was a four-time NCCAA national champion — is being recognized for his years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in youth through the sport. He was nominated for the award by Liberty Christian Academy wrestling coach Paul Anthony, one of 16 Virginia chapter board members.

"He was pretty much unanimously approved," said Anthony, who received the same award in 2014. "It's a big deal and he's very deserving. He has close to 40 years in wrestling and he's been very successful, too, both as an athlete and a coach. He did a great job of resurrecting the program. It's a daunting task starting and running a Division I program in any sport. I'm proud of him for keeping it at a high level as it transitioned to the club level. It is still a very well respected program and it gives kids an opportunity to continue their wrestling careers in college."

Anthony formerly coached the Flames with Castro from 2006-08, the two seasons after Castro was commissioned by Jerry Falwell Sr. to revive Liberty's wrestling program at the NCAA Division I level.

Castro has recruited a number of Anthony's LCA graduates to wrestle at Liberty, including seniors Ike Podell and Charles Hancock who helped the Flames to a runner-up team finish at the NCWA Grand National Championships in March.

Current Bulldogs senior Chad Cantrell, a 145-pound Virginia High School League (VHSL) Group 4A state champion and state runner-up the past two years, plans to wrestle at Liberty next year.

Castro will be inducted at Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel in Glen Allen, Va., with a reception at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the ceremony, expected to be attended by 250 people. His Lifetime Service plaque will be on display at the Virginia chapter location in Richmond and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.


By Ted Allen/Staff Writer

Jan 25, 8:30 PM -
Men's D1 Hockey
Stony Brook University
Men's Volleyball
vs. University of Maryland
Jan 24, 12:00 AM - Lynchburg, VA

at Lancaster Archery Classic
Jan 24, 8:00 AM - Lancaster, PA

Women's Wrestling
at NCWA National Duals
Jan 24, 9:00 AM - Lynchburg, VA

Men's Wrestling
vs. NCWA National Duals
Jan 24, 9:00 AM - LaHaye Ice Center

at MACRC Tournament #3
Jan 24, 5:00 PM - Chapel Hill, NC

Full Schedule

Jan 19
vs. USA Tri60
3rd place finish

Jan 19
Men's Wrestling
at Ship Builder Invitational
1st place finish

Jan 18
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. University of Delaware
W (10-3)

Jan 18
Men's D2 Hockey
vs. Rowan University
W (8-1)

Jan 18
Men's Wrestling
vs. Quad Meet
2-0 record