Two-time SUNY Athletic Conference Champion Nick Nanos ’69 was selected for induction into the Downstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his lifetime service to the sport. He will be inducted April 28 during a ceremony at the Melville Marriott in Melville, N.Y.
Wrestling under the tutelage of emeritus Coach Jim “Legs” Howard at Oswego, Nanos developed quickly and became a two-time SUNY Athletic Conference Champion at 115 pounds, winning the title in 1967 and 1968.
After graduation, he began his coaching career at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School. He established a year-end tournament that gave all of the junior high student wrestlers in Valley Stream an opportunity to gain valuable experience. From 1969-1981, Nick’s wrestlers fed into Hall of Fame coach Harold Earl’s Valley Stream High School’s championship teams.
While Nanos was coaching, he also developed tremendous martial arts skills and became a black belt instructor. He was instrumental in the incorporation and integration of wrestling, both standing and on the ground, into traditional standup Korean, Japanese, Filipino and Okinawan martial arts. He was a trailblazer in what we now know as mixed martial arts.