Distinguished MemberWalter O'Connell
Yet Walter O'Connell
became a legendary wrestling leader and a miracle of self-development.During a year at Yale
and 40 years at Cornell
teams captured a record 12 team titles and 66 individual crowns in the Eastern Intercollegiate Championships.
...Walter Wright won a National AAU title in 1924 and Jim Miller won in '46 and '47 before succeeding O'Connell as coach.
At 25, O'Connell
was a physical weakling.Well over 6 feet tall, he
weighed 127 pounds and was so frail that he
was reluctant to appear on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut.His
doctor told him he
had less than a year to live.
But as the team gained confidence in Walter
gained confidence in himself.He
started working out with the smaller wrestlers, learning more about the sport and building his
In 1909, he
moved to Cornell
and became a different man. Over the years, he
developed amazing physical prowess and skills in wrestling, boxing, handball and swimming.He earned a degree in physical education.
And at nearly 200 pounds, he
built a perfect physique.
awesome achievement over incredible odds, Walter C. O'Connell
is honored as Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame