“I was at UPJ when I started officiating,” the 74-year-old Haselrig told Mike Mastovich of the Johnstown (Pa.) Tribune-Democrat . “When we started the wrestling program at UPJ, I figured if I became an official, I could see some of the best wrestlers for recruiting.”
By any measure, Bruce Haselrig’s wrestling referee resume is impressive. He’s been a certified NCAA and PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) wrestling official for 47 years and has served as a District 6 Wrestling Rules Interpreter for more than 30 years.
At the college level, Haselrig has worked the NCAA Division II Championships six times and officiated championship events in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference nine times, NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) championships three times, Eastern Wrestling League (10), Atlantic Coast Conference (one), Colonial Athletic Conference (two), NCAA Division I Eastern Regional Championships (five), and NCAA Division II Eastern Regional (17 times, 10 as head official).
As for high school wrestling within the Keystone State, Haselrig has officiated 18 PIAA individual wrestling championships, three PIAA team championships, and has served as assistant supervisor of officials at the PIAA Wrestling Championship event for eight years.
If that weren’t enough, Bruce Haselrig served his community beyond wrestling, as a now-retired educator at Pitt-Johnstown and a former assistant city manager/city clerk for the City of Johnstown. And he’s the uncle of Carlton Haselrig, Pitt-Johnstown’s six-time national champion wrestler and former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman who, with Kevin Emily, has penned the new book, “Giant Killer: The Carlton Haselrig Story.”
This weekend’s Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame is Bruce Haselrig’s latest honor. He previously was inducted into the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame; Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame; Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame; and the District 6 Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.
“It’s a very deserving honor,” Pat Pecora, Pitt-Johnstown wrestling coach, said of Haselrig’s latest award. “I don’t know of anybody who’s been more involved in the sport of wrestling than Bruce Haselrig in so many facets – first from wrestling to coaching to refereeing. No matter where you go to watch a wrestling match, there is Bruce.”