The Moore American

Sports

October 10, 2012

Hall of Fame pays Finn a house call

Longtime Westmoore coach gets wrestling's top honor

MOORE — John Finn was asked to keep his remarks to a few minutes. But just like the other six honorees who were inducted into the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Sunday, that turned out to be impossible.

It wasn’t that Finn had a long speech. It was the emotions that came out as he looked back on his 27-year coaching career that slowed him down.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” Finn said. “You do something for 30 years, you really wonder if you made a difference in people’s lives and if it’s really worth all the stuff you did. Then you get a phone call and you find out you’re being inducted. And it just kind of validates that everything you did is worth the reason why you did it.”

All seven of this year’s honorees were inducted with Lifetime Service to Wrestling Awards, an honor given annually to those coaches, officials and contributors who have given a minimum of 20 years of service to the sport of wrestling, to their communities, and to the young people they have coached, taught and inspired. That defines Finn’s entire career at Westmoore and beyond.

“It’s pretty awesome having a hall of fame dad,” John Finn Jr. said of his father. “Considering we are a wrestling family I can now say my dad is a hall of famer. He taught me everything in wrestling. It’s really a great honor. I’m proud to say he’s my dad and wouldn’t trade him for anybody else.”

The elder Finn was joined by Dr. Tom Allen, Wilton Conine, Stan Deardeuff, Danny Kendle, Mike Kirk and Eddie Sullivan at a banquet and induction ceremony in Oklahoma City at the Jim Thorpe Museum. Each received a plaque and a green jacket to commemorate their special honor.

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