Former New Martinsville School Wrestling Coach and referee John Holliday was honored at the West Virginia Chapter National Wrestling Hall of Fame with the Lifetime Service Award for his dedication to wrestling and his commitment to young people.
The award is not about win/loss records. It is about the recipient's dedicated efforts to help young people to not only succeed in wrestling, but also in life.
Holliday's award will be permanently recognized in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame at Stillwater, Okla., with an embossed name plaque and he will receive a plaque and jacket to commemorate this very special occasion.
In the photo, John Holliday, left, receives the Lifetime of Service to Wrestling Award from Mike Clair, State Chapter Executive Director, National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Holliday follows Dr. Vincent Monseau, one of the first inductees in 2003. Monseau is currently Magnolia High School's wrestling head coach. He has also been River High School's Wrestling Coach and principal.
Holliday began wrestling in the Washington, D.C., area where he grew up. He moved to southern West Virginia when he was a sophomore in high school and graduated from Greenbrier East High School in 1976. He then attended Concord College and West Liberty State College, where he graduated in 1981 with a B.A. Degree in Education in 1981.
While at West Liberty, he competed and lettered in the sports of cross country, wrestling and track and field, gaining valuable knowledge to use as a coach in all of those sports.
He began a 33-year career in coaching and officiating wrestling and other sports at Valley High School. He also coached at Magnolia and Paden City high schools.
During his service in Wetzel County, Valley had the first and only wrestling team to place at the state level in wrestling, the team included state finalist Pete Shaw. He coached the last state champion in wrestling at Magnolia High School, Greg Funari. In addition, he took part in three team Region 1A-AA and three state championships in girls' track and field at Magnolia.
During this time, he also developed a Region 1A-AA Championship boys team in track at Paden City High School, then spent 17 years officiating wrestling at the high school and collegiate levels.
Returning to coaching wrestling in 2005, Holliday started the first middle school program in Wetzel County history at New Martinsville Middle School and laid the ground work for the Eagle Wrestling Club.
For eight years, his squads developed wrestlers to compete in the Mason Dixon and Ohio Valley Conferences. The 2013 squad garnered a fourth place finish at the giant Ohio Valley Championships.
During this time, he also took over the reins of the boys' and girls' cross country programs at Magnolia, qualifying the boys' team to the first state championships in many years by virtue of winning the Region 1A-AA runner-up and a state top six finish.
Presently, Holliday is the K-8 counselor at NMS, after completing three Master Degrees from West Virginia University.
John and his wife Sonya have two daughters together, Shaela Grace and Alina Summer. Their family includes John's daughter, Amy Ann Holliday, a teacher at Lincoln High School in Harrison County.
Sonya's son is Josh Bartrug. John's hobbies include farming, running, watching wrestling competitions whenever possible, and spending time with his daughters.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame honors John "Doc" Holliday with the "Lifetime of Service to Wrestling" award, class of 2013.