November - 22 - 2017

By Mark Palmer, InterMat

Jack Stanbro, whose diverse career in wrestling as an NCAA finalist, World competitor, successful high school mat coach and respected photographer of the sport spanned more than six decades, passed away Saturday, November 19.

Stanbro wrestled at Ithaca College in upstate New York, making it to the 191-pound title match at the 1960 NCAA Wrestling Championships at University of Maryland, where he lost to Oklahoma State's George Goobner. That same year, Stanbro was a finalist at the National AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) championships at 191.

While at Ithaca, Stanbro was a teammate of fellow NCAA finalist Bob Marella, heavyweight runner-up at the 1959 Nationals, who later became professional wrestler and announcer Gorilla Monsoon. (In fact, according to a tribute to Monsoon at a Canadian pro wrestling website, Marella tried to persuade his friend to enter the "squared circle" but Stanbro reportedly declined because it meant being away from home, and his dislike for "the showmanship aspects of pro wrestling.")

Stanbro's on-the-mat accomplishments went beyond Ithaca College, as he also competed for the New York Athletic Club. He won championships at Eastern AAU, Senior Mets, and National YMCA, and was a member of two U.S. world teams. Stanbro's overall record as a wrestler was 225-13-5, according to a 2002 tribute to the wrestler/coach/photographer in Wrestling USA magazine.

Stanbro shared his on-the-mat experience as a high school wrestling coach. As coach at Lindenhurst High School, Stanbro's teams were New York State Section XI champions for five consecutive years, compiling an overall record of 249-27-4 in both varsity and junior varsity competition. In addition, Stanbro coached wrestling for 18 years at Johnson City High School, winning many section and state honors. In addition, Stanbro was a past president of the Section XI and the Section IV Wrestling Coaches Association, and has a lifetime coaching record of 349 wins, 69 losses and 11 ties.

Stanbro is also noted for his promotion of international styles of wrestling by teaching large groups of boys in freestyle and Greco-Roman, as well as directing both junior high and junior age level wrestling tournaments. He was selected as Freestyle Coach of the United States Junior World Championship Team. He also coached United States national teams that toured Japan in 1971, Poland in 1973, and Russia in 1989.

Many wrestling fans may be most familiar with Jack Stanbro for his incredible photos that expertly captured mat action. He was a long-time contributor to Wrestling USA magazine. In addition, Stanbro was a past president of the National Wrestling Media Association.

Story reposted with permission

Categories: Photography, Writing

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