A Big Weekend for UCF Wrestling
UCF Wrestling fans celebrate an important weekend as two individuals will be honored for a lifetime of service to the sport of wrestling. John Hauser and Russ Schenk will be inducted in to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Florida Chapter under the title “Lifetime Service Award.” The ceremony will be held on August 10 in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Coach Hauser and Coach Schenk will join four other Florida coaches as the Florida induction class of 2013; their names will forever be displayed at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame headquarters in Stillwater, OK.
Coach John Hauser is a longtime Metro Conference coach in Central Florida. He began his coaching career in 1972, after wrestling and earning a degree from the University of Florida. Hauser coached at Colonial High School before accepting the job as Stetson University’s head coach from 1983-1986. After leaving Stetson University, Hauser returned to Colonial High School until 1995 when he transferred to Edgewater High School. All three of his sons wrestled for him at Edgewater High School. Two of Coach Hauser’s sons, Todd and CJ, wrestled at UCF after each earning a wrestling state title. While Todd was wrestling at UCF, Coach Hauser did double duty and helped coach his son at UCF and also continued as head coach at Edgewater High School. UCF earned back to back NCWA National Championships in 2004 and 2005. Todd Hauser was a four-time All-American for UCF and a two-time national champion. His younger brother followed similar fashion also becoming a two-time All-American for UCF. After retiring from Edgewater High School, John Hauser now works as an assistant coach to his son, Todd, at Apopka High School.
Russ Schenk’s 30 years of service to wrestling is also worthy of this distinguished honor. Like Hauser, Schenk was a high school wrestler in Florida and attended college in Florida to wrestle at the NCAA level. Schenk was a state champion for Tarpon Springs High School in 1982 and was recruited to wrestle at UCF by Johnny Rouse. In 1984, just two years before UCF dropped its NCAA program, Schenk was a regional champion and All-American for the Knights. Schenk went on to compete in the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Trials. Throughout the next fifteen years, Schenk continued competing in the veterans division, earning a national title and medal at the world level of the division. After graduating from UCF, Schenk was the head coach at Oviedo High School in Orlando, FL. After coaching at several other programs in Florida and Indiana, Schenk is a now the assistant coach and athletic director at Sunlake High School in Land O’ Lakes, FL.
Hauser and Schenk will join other former UCF coaches and wrestlers in the most prestigious club of wrestling coaches in the United States. Former head coach, Johnny Rouse, was inducted in 2001, former UCF assistant coaches, Randy Jessee and Scott Sherman were inducted in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Rouse, Sherman, and Jessee were also former UCF wrestlers. Russ Schenk will join a growing group of other former UCF wrestlers, including Rick Tribit (2008), Doug Peters (2010), Bill Combs (2010), Robert Wimberley (2012). These men wrestled for UCF’s NCAA program before the program was dropped in 1986. Rouse, Sherman, Jessee, and Hauser were key individuals in the program’s NCWA (National Collegiate Wrestling Association) rebirth in 2001. Rouse was part of the inaugural 1972 UCF team (then called Florida Technological University) and eventually began the head coach in 1982 and again the head coach in 2001.
Earning a lifetime service recognition by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is the highest accolade in the sport of wrestling, a fitting honor for the dedication of these men.