Ask any, ahem, older graduates of Washington High School who the “Father of Wrestling in Western Pennsylvania,” was and they should be able to tell you his name.
Dr. William A. Harris.
Doc Harris, as he was fondly called, started the wrestling program at Washington High School and it grew into one of the great powerhouses over the coming decades, producing 13 state champions, before a recent decline.
Harris took his knowledge of the sport and made it his mission to help other programs in the area grow and eventually find success. That’s how he got his moniker.
Most wrestling fans from this area probably didn’t know it, but another man emerged from Washington High School who also earned a similar title that Harris so cherished.
His name was John McGlumphy.
The name might not ring a bell because McGlumphy’s accomplishments, while taking root at the same time as Doc Harris’, came in another state on the opposite side of the country.
McGlumphy, the seventh of seven children born to Elzie Lee McGlumphy and Alice Margaret Meighen McGlumphy, lettered in football and track at Wash High, but had an innocuous stab at wrestling before graduation.
Before his death in 2012, he would become a force in Arizona wrestling, helping small-town wrestling programs succeed and being rewarded with one of the sport’s high honors.
McGlumphy was inducted into the Arizona Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011.
After military service, McGlumphy landed in Tempe, Ariz. He coached the sport, starting at Benson High School in 1959. He started the program at that school and was instrumental in helping many Tucson and other southern Arizona schools start their programs.
After retiring from the head position in Benson in 1972, McGlumphy stayed on as the assistant until 1976. He was the head coach at St. David High School in 1992-93. His teams won the Class A-B-C State Championships in 1971, a state runner-up trophy in 1963 and third place in 1962, ‘66, ‘72 and ‘73. He coached 22 state champions, and more than 68 state placewinners.
Benson’s athletic director at the time, James Driggers, praised McGlumphy in a 2006 story in the San Pedro Valley News-Sun newspaper.
“He is the founding father of wrestling for all of southern Arizona,” Driggers said. “He was always dedicated to the kids and the school.”
If not for his friend James Crawford, then the St. David baseball coach and a fellow hall of fame inductee, McGlumphy said he wouldn’t be getting the recognition from the Arizona Coaches Hall of Fame.
“I had to get the induction process going for him; he never would have done it,” Crawford said in the article. “He did so much for wrestling and for the coaching profession, I kept telling him he deserved this.”
Assistant sports editor Joe Tuscano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org