R. CLOSSER, JR.
2002 - WRESTLING -
Ernest R. Closser, Jr. attended
Waynesburg Central High School in 1940 and 1941. During this time he was
a member of the Wrestling Team under Coach Ace Wiley. He was WPIAL
champion in 1941.
After graduating from high school, he attended Waynesburg College and
wrestled for one year. His career was interrupted when he enlisted in
the Navy and saw military action in the South Pacific during World War
II. From the Battle of Leyte Gulf, he was appointed to Officer's
Candidate School at Pennsylvania State University.
At Penn State University, he resumed his career by wrestling for three
years under Coach Charlie Speidel. He was captain of the team in 1949,
his senior year.
In 1953, he obtained his Master's Degree from West Virginia University
in Vocational Agriculture Education. After graduating, he became a
teacher at his alma mater, Waynesburg Central High School and assumed
the responsibilities of assistant wrestling coach under Frank Bonifield
and Dave Clelland until 1959. In 1960, Coach Closser became the head
coach for the high school wrestling team and remained in that position
Under his coaching, Waynesburg High School celebrated six consecutive
undefeated season. Also, Waynesburg had fourteen WPIAL champions and the
team won the WPIAL team championship five times. Further, Waynesburg
produced four state champions including Terry Wilson, Bob Shriver,
Mickey Boudreau, and Bill Brunofsky. Overall Coach Closser's record
stands at 137 matches won and 35 matches lost.
Coach Closser died in 1976 leaving his wife, Sarah, four sons-Doug, Jay,
Ernest III, and Arleigh and three daughters-Marlys, Dianne, and Sally.
In 1977, Coach Closser was inducted into the Western Chapter
Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.