Hall of Fame - Myron Roderick 2002 Inductee

Myron Roderick Racquetball Hall of Fame Biography

Myron Roderick – Racquetball Highlights
• Executive Director of the National Racquetball Association 1974-76
• Won 10 Doubles National Championships (Age Group) with Dr. Bud Muehleisen
• Won two Single National Championships (Age Group)

Myron Roderick has “worn many hats” in his career – as an athlete, as a coach, as an administrator-with championship results in all three roles.

In his three years as a wrestler at Oklahoma State University, 1954-56, he won 42 of 44 matches and three National Collegiate championships, one at 137 pounds, then two more at 130 pounds. He placed fourth in the 1956 Olympic Games at Melbourne, losing a split decision to the eventual champion.

But it was as coach of the Cowboys that he attained his greatest stature, and there was not an interlude between those two careers. From national champion athlete to the new torch-bearer of the great Oklahoma State coaching tradition was an abrupt but highly successful transition.

In 1958, at the age of 23, he became the youngest coach to take a team to an NCAA Championship in any sport. His career in athletics continued to escalate in the three decades since, and he now is both a Distinguished Member and president of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Roderick was one of the most successful coaches in collegiate sports history. His Oklahoma State teams dominated wrestling for 13 years, 1957-69, posting a dual meet record of 140 victories against 10 losses and seven draws. They captured nine of 13 Big Eight Conference titles and seven NCAA championships. His Cowboys were undefeated over one record stretch of 84 consecutive dual meets, including two draws.

His wrestlers won 20 individual NCAA championships and four gold medals in the Olympic Games. Roderick also coached the Cowboys to a National AAU team title in freestyle and another in Greco-Roman style. He was USA coach in the 1963 World Championships and assistant coach in the 1964 Olympics. He was elected national Coach of the Year three times.

Roderick departed from tradition in one respect, he carried his personal intensity into a search for quality wrestlers and, more than anyone else, introduced recruiting on a major scale into the sport of wrestling.

At the conclusion of his coaching career, he became the first executive director of the United States Wrestling Federation, establishing the foundation of USA Wrestling, the national governing body for the Olympic sport. During his five-year tenure, he originated the concept of a Hall of Fame for wrestling and launched a successful campaign to create the national museum.

Because of his outstanding career as an athlete, coach, and contributor to the sport of wrestling, Roderick was named its Man of the Year in 1971 and was elected to the charter class of the Hall of Fame in 1976.

He left wrestling in 1974 to become executive director of the International Racquetball Association, the governing body of a sport in which he has won a dozen national singles and doubles championships.

Roderick then founded and operated a courts construction firm. He returned to Oklahoma State University in 1983 as Director of Athletics and served seven years at the helm of one of the nation’s outstanding all-sports programs.

Roderick rejoined the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990 as president of the museum which had been his dream two decades earlier. As president of the Hall of Fame he has taken the Hall to new heights. He has developed programs to recognize Outstanding Americans, Order of Merit, Medal of Courage, Outstanding Officials, Dave Schultz High School Excellence Awards, Lifetime Service Awards, and the State Chapter Programs.

Under his leadership construction of the 5,000 square foot John T. Vaughan addition to the Hall of Fame was completed in May, 1998.

Roderick and his wife JoAnn live in Stillwater, also the home of their daughter Tara, their son Ty, and four grandchildren.