When discussing the history and legacy of Western New York wrestling, the name Ed Michael will forever be included as an integral part of the conversation.
Born in Ithaca, NY, Michael graduated from Ithaca High School in 1960 completing a memorable athletic career earning varsity letters in both football and wrestling.
Co-Captain of the varsity football team as a senior, Michael became a Section IV East-West All Star game selection. His most memorable game was during his sophomore season when he lined up at middle linebacker against future Syracuse Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis.
Michael would realize great high school athletic success on the mat as well, earning a New York State Section IV wrestling championship at 175 lbs. among other honors.
Graduating Cum Laude from Ithaca College in 1965 with a BS Degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Michael served as co-captain of the wrestling team winning the prestigious 4-I championship at 177 lbs. and receiving outstanding wrestler honors at Ithaca.
After earning an MA Degree, in Physical Education and Health, from the University of Maryland, College Park, Michael moved on to Corning Community College in 1966 where he cut his teeth as the head wrestling coach, achieving a combined dual meet record of 45-5-0.
But Michael’s greatest accomplishments were yet to be realized. His move in 1970 to accept the head wrestling coach’s position at The University at Buffalo would ultimately elevate Michael to the national wrestling landscape.
Over his 21 seasons (1970-91) as head coach at UB, Michael guided the Bulls to the most wins in program history- 215 dual meets (215-107-3). He led UB to the New York State Collegiate Wrestling Championship 7 times, as well as reaching top 20 NCAA rankings an impressive 13 occasions. With 105 individual tournament champions and 27 New York State individual collegiate champions, Michael coached an impressive 39 All-Americans during his tenure and led his team to the 1977-78 NCAA Division III National Championship.
Currently eight of Michael‘s former wrestlers are recognized as honored members of the UB Athletics Hall of Fame. After coaching, he went on to serve for 18 years as the UB Director of Recreation and Intramurals. A member of six Halls of Fame, including the New York State chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Michael has authored several sports journal publications as well as co-authoring a wrestling book.
In 2011, the University at Buffalo honored their Hall of Fame coach by naming their newly renovated wrestling facility the Ed Michael Wrestling Complex.
Making Buffalo his permanent home with wife Connie, Michael‘s greatest moments are now occupied by spending quality time with friends and immediate and extended families.
Even today, Coach Michael can sometimes be spotted in the wrestling room that bears his name passing on his vast knowledge to the next generation of UB coaches and wrestlers.
To Ed Michael, this lifelong association with wrestling is an obligation he takes seriously helping to preserve the future and growth of the sport that has given him so much.