The Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is a direct extension of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Chapter and Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The Connecticut chapter provides outreach and support for the National Hall. Our chapter was formed to honor committed coaches, officials, contributors and other deserving individuals. We honor individuals in three ways:
The Lifetime Service Award Program, coordinated by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, is designed to honor and recognize dedicated wrestling people for their years of commitment to young people. The award is not about win/loss records. It is about a person’s dedicated efforts to help young people to not only succeed in wrestling, but also in life.
The Medal of Courage Award is given to a wrestler who has overcome overwhelming adversity to be successful on the mats and in his own life.
The Outstanding American Award is presented to an individual who was a former wrestler and has received state or national acclaim in his/her chosen profession.
Each award recipient is permanently recognized in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Stillwater, Oklahoma) with an embossed name plaque, and each receives a plaque and jacket to commemorate this very special occasion.
For the past 20 years, Mark has helped young wrestlers in Danbury and Connecticut participate in youth wrestling tournaments across the state and around the nation. He has coached the Danbury Middle School wrestling team and served as a Danbury wrestling youth travel coach. He has served as president of the Danbury Youth Wrestling Association. Since joining USA Wrestling in 2000, he has served a number of leadership positions including state chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and coordinator of officials. He has coordinated Team Connecticut’s participation in the summer national tournaments in North Dakota. He is a certified USA Wrestling official in folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman and is an experienced youth wrestling tournament coordinator.
Mike had distinguished career in the U.S. Army, serving as a combat veteran in Operation Desert Storm (1990-91) in Iraq during the Gulf War. He is now serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. At home, he was director of national operations at Durable Roofing, which expanded along the East Coast. He is currently chief operating officer of Prairie State Gaming (Illinois) and Louisiana Gaming Operations, which develop and support multiple companies supporting 350 gaming locations in Illinois and Louisiana. In wrestling, he has served as a youth wrestling coach in Danbury, New Milford, Hebron and Colchester. He has been a certified official since 2002. Mike was an assistant coach at Bacon Academy from 2006-13 and in that time, the Bobcats won two Class M state titles (2010, 2011) and captured the State Open title in 2011. Twice, he has been named the state assistant coach of the year in Class M.
Daryl won a State Open championship wrestling for Jonathan Law in Milford and went onto wrestle at Central Connecticut State where he earned NCAA Division II All-American honors in 1984. He coached at Springfield College from 1990 through 2011 where he won 303 matches, led Springfield to 10 New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) titles, led the Pride to five top 10 finishes at the NCAA Division III national championships, coached 27 All-American wrestlers and 45 conference champions. He was president of the NCAA Division III national wrestling coaches association from 2004-07. Arroyo was a five-time NEWA Coach of the Year and is a member of the NCAA Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame and the NEWA Hall of Fame.
A State Open champion in high school at Hall High in West Hartford, John wrestled at Southern Connecticut State. He began the wrestling program at Nonnewaug High in Woodbury in 1975 and coached through 1999. He led the Chiefs to 302 wins, four Class S state championships and 12 Berkshire League titles. He has served on the CIAC wrestling committee for many years. He started the girls volleyball program at Nonnewaug and won more than 200 wins. He has also served as athletic director at Nonnewaug along with coaching track and field, tennis and gymnastics.
2016 National Wrestling Hall of Fame induction
Connecticut men inducted into National Hall of Fame
Four outstanding individuals from the state’s wrestling community were recently inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame by the Connecticut chapter.
The Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame held an induction dinner on Saturday, April 16, at Aria’s in Prospect to honor these men for their contribution to the sport of wrestling and our communities. The four men were:
n Daryl Arroyo, a Milford native and former head coach at Springfield College
n Mark Cammisa, a youth wrestling coach and coordinator in Danbury and with USA Connecticut Wrestling
n John Lawless, the former head coach and athletic director at Nonnewaug in Woodbury
n Lieutenant Colonel Michael P. Morris, Jr., a former youth wrestling coach and coordinator in New Milford, Colchester, Hebron and Danbury and an assistant coach at Bacon Academy
Arroyo, Cammisa and Lawless received a Lifetime Achievement award for coaches, officials, or contributors with at least 20 years of service. Morris was recognized as an Outstanding American, a former wrestler who is highly successful in his/her profession.
All four men will be permanently recognized in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Stillwater, Oklahoma) with an embossed name plaque, and each receives a plaque and jacket to commemorate the very special occasion. These four will join 34 other inductees from Connecticut in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
From left, Mark Cammisa, Michael P. Morris, Jr., Daryl Arroyo and John Lawless