BRAWLEY — Local legendary wrestling coaches Jack Gifford and David Kreider were inducted into the California Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for their many years of commitment to the sport at the annual Honors Banquet ceremony May 4.
According to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum, Gifford attended Purdue University where he earned three varsity letters in wrestling and placed in the Big 10 Championships twice before he graduated in 1955.
Gifford coached for eight years at Brawley Union High School from 1962–1970 and at Beverly Hills High in Los Angeles from 1970–1987 where he earned a combined dual match record of 235-70-3. Gifford started the wrestling program in Brawley where his teams earned five League Championships along with various individual league and tournament champions.
In 1969 and 1970, Gifford’s teams won Southern California Championships and he coached Brawley’s first individual State Champions: Roy Aguilar (1966), Robert Dowden (1967), Gilbert Mendez (1969), and Fidel Torres (1970).
Kreider began his wrestling career in 1956 at Sterling Township High in Sterling, Illinois where he wrestled for IWCOA Hall of Fame coach Homer Musgrove.
According to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Museum, Kreider attended North Western University from 1960–1964 where he was a three-year varsity letterman and co-captain. In 1964, Kreider won the Stuteville Award for scoring the most team points.
Kreider began his coaching career at the University of Arizona as an assistant for National Hall of Fame member Bill Nelson, and in 1966 Kreider moved to Brawley to be an assistant coach to Jack Gifford. Kreider’s assistant coaches at Brawley, John Talbot and Drew Williams, also went on to have National Wrestling Hall of Fame careers.
From 1971–1975 Kreider coached varsity wrestling at Brawley High where he won three league championships.
All stats and information provided by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum 2019 California Chapter Honors Banquet brochure.