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Meet the 2016 Grand Marshal

Two Grand Marshals will lead the annual Parade of Champions Saturday night (March 12) before the championship bouts of the 37th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Final Wrestling Tournament.

Named Grand Marshals for 2016 are: Joe Cliffe, Member of the IWCOA Hall of Fame and current coach at Forrest Prairie Central Jr. High School and Dwayne Love, former head coach at Plano Middle School.

The IESA started having Grand Marshals in 1996. The Grand Marshals are honored for their contributions to interscholastic wrestling and the young men who participate in the sport. They are nominated by the IESA Wrestling Advisory Committee and approved by the IESA Board of Directors. The marshals will play an integral role of the Parade of Champions as they will lead the 38 individual finalists and their coaches into the Convocation Center, amidst music, applause and cheers from teammates, parents, family, and fans.

Here is a closer look at the 2016 Grand Marshals:

Joe Cliffe One would be hard pressed to find an individual who has accumulated more wrestling honors in the state of Illinois than Joe Cliffe. A member of the IWCOA Hall of Fame since 1993, Joe has received numerous honors in the sport of wrestling since his days as a member of the DeKalb High School state championship team in 1968. He was a two time IHSA place winner at 95 lbs. and after graduating from DeKalb High School he wrestled for four years as a member of the Northern Illinois University wrestling team. He was a two time USA Wrestling Greco-Roman National Champion; a five time USA Wrestling Freestyle National Tournament place winner; he placed 3rd in the United States Olympic Freestyle team trials and was a member of the 1973 World University Games held in Moscow, Russia as he represented the United States finishing in 6th place in his weight class. After graduating from NIU, Joe started his teaching and coaching career at Georgetown High School in 1978. After four years, he moved to Plano where he served as the head wrestling coach for 11 years. In 1996, Joe took the reins of the wrestling program at Prairie Central High School. As a high school head coach, Joe had a career record of 509-238-11 with 11 state champions and 33 other place winners. After his retirement from Prairie Central High School in 2011, Joe started coaching at the jr. high in Prairie Central, a position he still holds today. He has received numerous local, state, and national awards including the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the IWCOA; the 2003 and 2010 IWCOA Coach of the Year award and NFHS Coach of the Year award. Married to his wife Laurie for 43 years, they have two daughters, and six grandchildren. Joe has been a true ambassador for the sport of wrestling and served the IESA as a member of the wrestling advisory committee from 2012-2014.

Dwayne Love Dwayne Love retired as the wrestling coach at Plano Middle School in 2012 but his involvement in the sport goes back to when he started wrestling for the 'Lil Reaper Wrestling Club at age 10 and then later returned to the club to serve as its head coach. He was a four year letterman in wrestling for Plano High School and filled a vacancy at Plano High School during the 1990-91 season serving as an assistant to fellow Grand Marshal Joe Cliffe. During that season, they had three state qualifiers and two state champions. However, it was in 2002 when he returned to his true calling when he served as the Head Coach for Plano Middle School. During his tenure as the head coach, Dwayne had 42 state qualifiers and four state champions. He started the Tiger Invitational at Plano Middle School and also was instrumental in getting 5th graders to start participating in his program. He still serves as the announcer for Plano High School Tournaments and was inducted into the Plano High School Hall of Fame in 2015. He continues to coach as he serves as the varsity head softball coach for Plano High School. Dwayne and his wife Susan have been married for 26 years and they have three children. He has been a strong advocate for the sport of wrestling and believes that wrestling teaches hard work, dedication, and team work which are all traits that his athletes will use throughout their life.

Former Grand Marshals

Past Grand Marshals
1996 Robert Gatrell, Bloomington, Former Executive Director of the IESA
1997 Bill Marquardt, Bloomington, Official & Arch Richoz, DeKalb, Coach
1998 Mike Manahan, Bloomington, Coach & Mike Pastiak, Burr Ridge, Coach
1999 Ron Karnopp, Quincy, Coach & Dave Ulstad, New Lenox, Coach
2000 Joe Pedersen, Darien, Official, Principal, & Coach
2001 Dan Farinosi, Hoffman Estates, Official & Jim Moxley, Mahomet-Seymour,Coach
2002 Jim Rankin, Clifton, Administrator and Coach & Dave Brost, New Lenox, Official
2003 John Pine, Clinton, Coach; Tony Zens, Ingleside Taveirne, Coach; Mike Wilkey, Oak Park, Official
2004 Ray Cummings, Pesotum, Official & Mike Golimowski, Morris Shabbona, Coach
2005 Bob Jahn, Bolingbrook Humphrey Coach & Dan Fulscher, Lincoln, Official
2006 Terry Milton, Clinton, Coach & Rob Porter, Mahomet-Seymour, Former IESA Champion
2007 Wayne Mooney, Joliet Gompers, Coach & Rob Russell, Sandwich, Coach
2008 Scot Kody, Inverness, Official
2009 John Welter, Fox Lake, Coach; Matt Grimm, Chatham Glenwood, Coach, Dave Mathews, Official
2010 Joe Spiezio, Braidwood Reed-Custer, Administrator; Basil Bakakos, Johnsburg, Coach; Bill Honeycutt, Official
2011 Tom Norquist, Niles Gemini, Coach; Renny Garshelis, Charleston, Official
2012 Steve Lee, Prospect Heights MacArthur, Principal; Roger Taylor, Lake Zurich, Coach
2013 Bill Stonitsch, Channahon, Coach & Frank Filippi, Jr., Glen Ellyn, Official
2014 Arch Richoz, IESA Wrestling State Tournament Manager
2015 Anthony Clarke, Zion, Official; Terry Kivisto, Lake Zurich North, Coach; Ray Winesburg, Elgin, Official


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