Shawn Crosier made his name in wrestling as both a coach and an official. He excelled in both capacities, moreso as an official where he was inducted into the Ohio Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame in 2008.
Now, the Steubenville native has received another prestigious honor associated with the mat sport.
He was recently inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Ohio Chapter during ceremonies inside the Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center in Columbus. Crosier was one of eight honorees to receive the coveted green jacket and plaque.
“This (award) means everything to me. When i start thinking of some of the people that have been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Ohio Chapter over the years, I can’t help but get chills,” Crosier said of the honor. “To think that I am being recognized for something that I truly love, was never imaginable.
“Coaches like Harry Houska, Chris Ford, Howard Ferguson, George Kovalick, Mel peters, Dave Riggs, Brett Powell, John Craig and Andy DiSabato, and officials like Vince Matteucci, Larry Deaton, Steve Kish, Tony Campolo and Ray Anthony,” he continued. “I am honored to be in such company.”
Crosier started his coaching career in 1978 as an assistant coach under John Grinch at Wintersville High School and two years later, he became the Warriors head coach. He also served as an assistant coach at West Liberty in the early 1980s under legendary Hall of Fame coach Dr. Vince Monseau.
Upon graduating from West Liberty in 1984, Crosier began teaching and coaching at Harding Junior High in Steubenville for the next five years. He also served as head coach at Steubvenville High School for two years before stepping away from the sport.
While his coaching career may have ended, his officiating career took off in both Ohio and West Virginia where he officiated several state tournaments in both states. He also officiated 26 OVAC Tournaments, the Medina Invitational, Walsh Ironman, Top Gun, Austintown-Hepner, Barnesville and ECOL tournaments, along with numerous OHSWCA Team Dual Meet Tournaments. He has been awarded the Larry Deaton Officials of the Year three times.
At the junior high level, Crosier officiated at the inaugural Junior High State Tournmament in Ohio, as well as the next five state tournaments. He has also officiated at the OVAC Junior High Tournament. Overall, he was an official for more than 30 years, making many contributions to Ohio high school wrestling.
“Like many others, I would not be here today without the help and guidance of some role models who are no longer living,” he noted. “I would like to thank my mom and dad (Betty and Bill) who would have been so proud to be sharing this moment, and my two high school coaches who went on to become long-time school administrators, Jene Watkins and Gene Miltko. I probably patterned my coaching style after them. They both are the reason I learned to love the sport.”
The Crosier family name has long been associated with wrestling. Brothers Jim and Jeff are members of the distinguished Mr. Mat family, while brother Rick is a long-time official. The family also had two sisters, Cheryle – the oldest — and Patti — the youngest.
“Our parents introduced me to the sport of wrestling in the mid 1960s as a spectator. Little did I know I would become Jim’s wrestling dummy on the living room floor. Mat burns were nothing compared to the rug burns,” he recalled. “It wasn’t enjoyable but it didn’t take long for me to practice what I learned on Jeff, my younger brother who in turn passed it on to our youngest brother, Rick. Cheryle kept Jim in check after he beat up on me and Patti grew up defending herself in a house with four older brothers who wrestled. If there had been girls wrestling back in the day, no doubt they both would have been state champs.
“It’s awesome to be able to share the sport of wrestling with my wife (Kim), two kids (Thad and Kelly) and all my siblings. Without them I wouldn’t be receiving this amazing honor,” he added. “Wrestling has always been at the center of the Crosier family and it continues today. Like most other wrestling families, it seems to flow in our blood as the tradition is passed from one generation to generation. There is nothing like sitting in the stands and watching a son, nephew or grandson carrying on with the sport that gave us all so much.”