Competitors Hall of Fame: Mark Rigatuso

Hall of Fame – 1995
University of Nebraska
at Omaha

Inducted in 1994, Mark was unable to attend the banquet and opted to accept this summer. Wrestling at Omaha Central he was a two-time State Runner-up in 1978 and 1979. At that time football seemed to bring in more honors: All State Offensive Guard, All Metro, and Shrine Bowl to mention a few. Winning a football scholarship to UNO he began to wonder about wrestling at UNO. He debated all summer and finally the answer came to him: he told Coach Buda he was going to wrestle. Coach Denney had advised him to do what he thought was best for him and it turned out that it was, indeed, wrestling. He was two-time Division II National Champ, two-time Division II All American, first Omaha area athlete to be a Division I Champ, North Central Champ (“more than once”), and won the USA East West All Star Classic in 1983 which was televised in North Carolina on ESPN. Add to this being a Post-graduate Scholarship Winner in 1983 and you can see that the decision to wrestle was the right one. Mark remembers how close-knit the team was. He like wrestling because you rely on yourself, it’s individual recognition. Workouts were good for fun and anytime you could get a partner like Greg Wilcox or Ryan Kaufman (Hall 1989) they were sure to keep you challenged and focused. Counting as his biggest thrill the fact that when you get the honors and recognition you realized it was the work ethic that got you there – the two-a-days, the Gregory Wilcoxes, the Ryan Kaufmans, and the time and dedication to the sport that earned you that top spot. Mark is introduced by his former coach, Mike Denney, UNO (Hall 1986).

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