Family of standout wrestlers receive Family Legacy award
Erie’s own Carr family was honored with the Bowlsby Family Legacy Award at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, on Saturday night.
The Carrs, part of the Gable Museum’s 2020 Hall of Fame ceremony, were honored at the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa.
A family of 16 children, including nine boys, the Carrs ascended to become one of the most successful wrestling families in the world.
“It was exciting,” Nate Carr said Tuesday of Saturday’s honor. “To think about all that we accomplished as a family, it was definitely deserving when it comes to the wrestling world.”
Five of the Carr wrestlers were Division I All-Americans, an NCAA record.
Fletcher Carr, an All-American for the University of Tampa (Florida), later became the first African-American head coach in NCAA Division I when he led the University of Kentucky.
Jimmy and Joe Carr earned All-America honors at Kentucky. Nate Carr was an All-American at Iowa State and, later, was an assistant coach at West Virginia where younger brother Michael was an All-American.
Nate Carr graduated from the former Tech Memorial High School, where he became a PIAA Class 3A gold medalist in 1979. From there, he won three NCAA individual championships while at Iowa State.
Nate, Jimmy and Joe Carr also were junior world champs.
Jimmy and Nate Carr were Summer Olympians in 1972 and 1988, respectively. Nate Carr won a bronze medal. Jimmy, who passed away in 2013, was the youngest wrestler in U.S. Olympics history.
Nate Carr served as the family spokesman during Saturday night’s dinner. In his monologue, he mentioned a quote by Peter Strople, who said, “Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.”
Nate Carr also spoke of the values that his parents, mother Luella and late father Overseer Fletcher Carr, instilled in the large family. “Faith, family, friendship and a future” were stressed inside the Carr household.
Unfortunately for the Carrs, the coronavirus pandemic limited who could attend the banquet. Joe, Michael, Nate and Solomon were present along with Jimmy’s daughter, Danielle and Nate’s wife, Linda.
Nate said that the family matriarch, Luella, watched a live stream of his speech.
Four brothers — Fletcher, Jerry, Mark and Willie Carr — were unable to attend the event.
“It was an honor to go in,” Nate said. “It was tough during this time (of COVID-19). I know my mother wanted to come. The pandemic really hampered a lot of people. It was still a great event. The Wrestling Hall of Fame was pumped to do any event. It was a great crowd.”
Today, the Carrs are still a well-known name in the current wrestling landscape.
Nate returned to Iowa State and is now an associate director of the Cyclone Regional Training Center. His son, David, wrestles for Iowa State while another son, Nate Jr., is an assistant coach at Lock Haven.
Joe Carr and his son, Joe Jr., run the Carr Wrestling Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. Solomon Carr is a high school wrestling coach in Owings Mills, Maryland.
The Bowlsby Award, which has now been awarded five times, is named after the Bowlsby family of Waterloo, Iowa.
Grapplers John and Bob wrestled for legendary coach Bob Siddens at Waterloo West High School while their parents, Bob and Pat, and sisters, Ann, Sarah and Jane, were instrumental in their careers.
Contact Josh Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ETNreilly.
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