The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum’s Georgia Chapter induction, postponed from May 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 17 at the Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta located at 1775 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.
Eight individuals will be inducted as part of the class of 2021 with one of those being former Armuchee head wrestling coach and Rome native Garvin Edwards.
Seven will be inducted as “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” recipients in recognition of contributing at least twenty years to the sport of wrestling as a coach, referee or contributor. One person will be honored as the “Outstanding American” which is presented to former wrestlers who have used the disciplines learned through wrestling to become highly successful in their professional careers.
Edwards has given 34 years of service to wrestling as he spent 16 years as head coach at Armuchee, 14 years as head coach at Cartersville High and four years as head coach at Opelika Middle School in Alabama. He retired from teaching in the state of Georgia in 2018 but has continued his career in Alabama.
Edwards is a 1981 graduate of West Rome High School and a 1988 graduate of Berry College. He founded the Armuchee Takedown Club, a kindergarten through fifth grade wrestling program, which served all of Rome and Floyd County Schools as the only youth program at the time. He later founded the Canes Takedown Club as well.
Edwards was a six-time GHSA State Tournament Director and host while at Armuchee and led Armuchee to a state championship in 1991 and state runner-up finishes in 1989 and 1995. He coached teams at Armuchee and Cartersville to 10 top-five state finishes as well as coaching 22 individuals to state championships.
He was the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association State Coach of the Year and USA Wrestling’s State Coach of the Year in 1991 as well as a five-time GACA Region Coach of the Year recipient. He served as the wrestling representative on the GHSA/GACA advisory board from 2000-2004 and regularly traveled with teams to summer camps, including the Iowa Camp of Champs, Appalachian State, Grandy School of Wrestling and N.C. State.
Edwards also served as camp directory at Armuchee for the University of Oklahoma wrestling camps for three summers from 1991-1993 and was the head coach for the GACA All-Star Classic in 1989.
Fourteen of Edwards’ former wrestlers now serve as wrestling coaches themselves, five of his former assistants were promoted to head coaching positions and 12 wrestlers from his time at Armuchee and Cartersville signed collegiate wrestling scholarships.
Edwards is married to his wife, Cathy, and has one son, Trey.
Other inductees going in under the “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” category this year are Tony Armas (Bremen), Tom Beuglas (Loganville), Tom Dursee (Lawrenceville), Tim Gilbert (Kingsland), Mike Lancaster (Lawrenceville) and Jim Morgan (Newnan). The inductee going in under the “Outstanding American” category is T. Fitz Johnson of Smyrna.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Stillwater, Okla. Its goals are to preserve the sport of wrestling’s history, recognize extraordinary individual accomplishments and inspire future generations to participate in the oldest sport known to man.
Event and ticket information is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or register online at national-wrestling-hall-of-fame-georgia-chapter.ticketleap.com/2020.