Tech wrestling coach Gary Siler to be honored for service to sport

Among the honorees at the Maryland chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremony Sunday will be long-time Harford Tech head coach Gary Siler.

Siler, who has more than 350 career wins and guided Tech to a state title in 2006, is one of four members the chapter is inducting to its Lifetime Service to Wrestling category, for which an inductee must have spent at least 20 years in service of the sport.

"During my 24 years as head coach, the wrestling team brought the first ever county, conference, regional and state titles to Harford Technical High School. More than that, I can say that I am proud of the young men that have stepped off the mat," Siler said earlier this week. "It has been a pleasure coaching and guiding them as they grow into men. I have forged some incredible lifelong friendships with refs, coaches, wrestlers and parents."

Siler was named The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Coach of the Year in 2006.

"One thing that wrestling teaches you, is that it is not about winning and losing, even though winning is great. It's about going above and beyond, doing things you never thought you could do. Wrestling is determination, leadership, discipline and sportsmanship," Siler said. "It has always been my goal to help our student athletes become outstanding members of society and if I never won a championship or award in my entire career, I would be proud to say that I accomplished that."

Joining Siler as honorees are Claude Darr, who coached Franklin High School from 1966 to 1984; John Lowe, former coach of Western Maryland College and current coach of Winters Mill High School; and Rob Smoot, long-time coach and MSA champion at the McDonogh School and team captain at Duke University.

Sunday's ceremony will be headlined by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, a former state champion amateur wrestler, who will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame through the Maryland Chapter.

Lewis will be honored with the organization's Outstanding American award. The 13-time All-Pro won the 189-pound state championship in high school, completing an undefeated senior year, while wrestling for Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fla. The MVP of Superbowl XXXV, Lewis supports many charitable organizations through his Ray Lewis Family Foundation.

The induction ceremony will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Loews Annapolis Hotel.

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