Two longtime Carroll County wrestling coaches were recognized for their decades-long dedication to the sport Sunday in Annapolis.
Bill Hyson, wrestling coach at Francis Scott Key High School, and Dean Johnson, longtime regional wrestling tournament director and former assistant coach at Westminster High School, were inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, receiving the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award.
Hyson and Johnson were two of seven wrestlers or coaches to receive the award "given in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in young people through the sport of wrestling," according to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame website.
The recipients were recognized at a ceremony Sunday night.
Hyson, who has coached wrestling and taught physical education at Francis Scott Key for the past 34 years, said he was humbled to be inducted into the hall of fame that includes people he had looked up to throughout his career.
"It was very humbling to see my name now included with some of those names," he said.
Johnson, an assistant coach at Westminster from 1974 to 1979, said he too was "truly humbled" by the recognition.
"It was a tremendous honor," he said.
Hyson and Johnson are the third and fourth Carroll County wrestling coaches to receive the recognition following Winters Mill's John Lowe in 2012 and North Carroll's Dick Bauerlein in 2003.
Hyson, who has also coached football, baseball, and girls lacrosse at his alma mater, was inducted into the state wrestling hall of fame earlier this year.
A 1973 graduate a Francis Scott Key, Hyson was a three sport athlete in high school, participating in football, baseball, and wrestling before attending Frostburg State College where he lettered in football and wrestling.
The longtime coach said he's not sure when he will step down, but added that he has been very fortunate to work with the staff at Francis Scott Key and to be able to interact with students whether its on the athletic field or in the classroom.
"All of our athletic programs have value," he said. "The lessons we learn on the court, on the field or on the mat all go hand in hand with what we gain in the classroom."
Johnson, a native of Doylestown, Pa., organized state and regional wrestling tournaments from 1975 through 2010. He retired from Carroll County Public Schools in 2005.
He added that the award was not so much about him, but a reflection of the people who helped him throughout his career.
"I enjoyed every minute of it," he said of his involvement with wrestling.