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Local Sports

October 23, 2012

O-State Hall of Fame to welcome Sosa

Staff Report

Retired wrestling coach and Oneonta resident Al Sosa headlines Oneonta State’s 2012 Athletics Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at the college’s Alumni Field House.

The Red Dragons’ 14th Hall of Fame class will be honored during Homecoming and Family Weekend at the college.

Sosa be inducted with Dr. James P. Coon (Class of 1975), Billy Kapogiannis (1993), Melissa LaBarre (2003), Susan Lee-Miller (1990) and John David Pufky (1999) as O-State’s Hall membership will grow to 110.

O-State also will make Dr. Jeffrey A. Saal (1971) its sixth honorary inductee, and the 1979 field hockey team will become the college’s sixth Team of Distinction.

The following is a closer look at the Class of 2012.


Al Sosa

Sosa spent his entire professional career at O-State, where he served the Red Dragons as their wrestling coach, an administrator and an instructor in the physical education program. Sosa joined the college in 1966, retired as the head wrestling coach in 2004 and continues to teach at the college as an adjunct professor.

Sosa coached wrestling for 38 seasons, finished with winning records 17 times and guided 12 All-Americans, 12 Scholar All-Americans and 77 All-State athletes.

Sosa earned induction to the NCAA Division III Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001, the New York State Collegiate Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004, and the New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with the Lifetime Service Award in 2008. In 2010, he received the SUNY Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Award, which is the highest honor given by the conference to a retiring administrator or coach.

Also instrumental in developing the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference after the SUNYAC stopped sponsoring the sport, Sosa and his team raised more than $20,000 to benefit Oneonta’s annual Pit Run road race. He also helped develop and maintain a mountain biking trail system in the Oneonta area, organized the Oneonta Community Mountain Biking Club, and received the Otsego County Conservation Association’s Conservationist of the Year Award in 2011.

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