Former coach and Farmingdale State Athletics Hall of Famer, Robert "Bob" Hartman, is being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Friday, April 29th at the Melville Marriott in Melville, Long Island.
As a teenager, Bob attended Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School in Kingston, PA. It was a decision that changed his life, for it was here that he zeroed in on his two loves, Nancy Jackson, his future wife, and wrestling. In 1948, Bob's senior year, he was captain of the wrestling team and won the National Prep School Wrestling Championship in the 128 weight class. He was on his way to a collegiate wrestling career at Columbia University.
Under the tutelage of Coach Dick Waite, Bob Hartman amassed an impressive record of 28-0-1 in his three years of varsity wrestling at Columbia, including 23 consecutive victories. In 1951, he placed 2nd in the Eastern Intercollegiate Championships at 137 and went on to finish 4th at the NCAA Championships that year. He became Columbia's very first All-American wrestler. After graduation, Bob coached the freshmen grapplers at Columbia, before serving in the US Army in Korea. He coached the Far East Army wrestling team while overseas.
From 1957-1978, Bob was a professor of physical education and the wrestling coach at SUNY Farmingdale, a junior college on Long Island, NY. He was instrumental in the creation of the first NJCAA Wrestling National Championship in 1966. He was proud of the national champions that he coached and of the team that went on to win the national championship in 1972. Bob was twice voted the NJCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year by his peers in 1969 and 1972. He was inducted into the NJCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1979.
In 1973, Bob was selected to be the coach of the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team at the World University Games in Moscow. He was also the wrestling team leader in the junior Pan-American Games in Caracas, Venezuela in 1978, the year he retired from SUNY.
Columbia University's wrestling coach, Dick Waite, once stated that, "Men like Hartman can't really be replaced, because you find them only once in a great while."