Namecheck the likes of Hans Wiedenhoefer and Bill Musick and you’ll get rave reviews from Dennis DeLiddo.
Both had a hand in helping DeLiddo develop as an athlete and future coach while they led the Fresno City College wrestling program. Now, he’ll join Musick among the select members of the college’s Legends of Wrestling Hall of Fame.
DeLiddo will be inducted at 6 p.m. Saturday in a ceremony at the East Courtyard of Fresno City’s Old Administration Building. Roy Stuckey, a 1961 state individual champion, and the Rams’ 2006 wrestling team also are among the Class of 2016.
DeLiddo, a Bullard High graduate, wrestled for Wiedenhoefer and the Rams in 1963. In the 1964-65 season, DeLiddo placed fifth in the state at 137 pounds. He went on to Fresno State and wrestled there two seasons.
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DeLiddo returned to Fresno City and was an assistant from 1969-71 under Musick. After coaching at Clovis High, DeLiddo took over at Fresno State and led the Bulldogs for 24 seasons before retiring in 2005. Since then, he has remained an advocate for wrestling in the San Joaquin Valley, including the push to restore the Fresno State program after it fell victim to budget cuts.
“I can’t really put it into words,” DeLiddo said. “He (Wiedenhoefer) basically motivated me to be a coach. I mean, I don’t know if he meant to do that, but I just fell in love with City College, and I loved Wiedenhoefer. On Sundays I would go over to Bullard High and hit golf balls and we’d shoot the breeze. He was a big influence in my life as far as coaching goes.”
During his years on Musick’s staff, DeLiddo made sure to take notes and later used them when he took the Clovis job in 1972. They also had been teammates at Fresno State.
“He was a great motivator and the guy was in great shape and everything he did was good for his student,” DeLiddo said. “He knew how to recruit kids. He was a great man. He was as valuable as anybody I ever had when I was at Fresno State. He and I worked together as athletes and it was a real good combination.”
Paul Keysaw, the current Fresno City coach, is looking forward to welcoming all of the new inductees. Musick is one of only seven currently in the Hall.
“Very excited to honor these outstanding people of the sport of wrestling,” he said. “Coach DeLiddo has been an ambassador and leading figure in wrestling in the Central Valley and California for almost five decades. His roots start at Fresno City College.”
Said DeLiddo: “It’s a nice honor, that’s for sure. All the coaches I had … all of them were influential in my life.”
Tickets are $25 and will be available at the door. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcoming new legends
FRESNO CITY COLLEGE LEGENDS WRESTLING HALL OF FAME
- Saturday: 6 p.m., East Courtyard of Fresno City’s Old Administration Building
- Tickets: $25 at the door
- Class of 2016: Ex-wrestler, coach Dennis DeLiddo; 1961 state individual champ Roy Stuckey; 2006 state championship team