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Longtime USA Wrestling leader Chuck Elvin passed away
BY GARY ABBOTT, USA WRESTLING | JUNE 21, 2018, 7:54 P.M. (ET)
USA Wrestling has received word that longtime leader Chuck Elvin, 80, of Lenexa, Kansas, passed away on Wednesday in Olathe, Kansas.
Elvin, who served many years on USA Wrestling’s Board of Directors with distinction and was a long-time leader within USA Wrestling-Kansas, had recently been battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“Chuck Elvin epitomized what is great about wrestling. His tireless efforts throughout his life to serve others and expose our sport to thousands of people will be his lasting legacy. We celebrate his wonderful impact on the entire sport and certainly extend our sincere condolences to Chuck’s family and the countless others that have been so positively affected by this life’s work. The sport has lost a great one,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.
Elvin was named USA Wrestling’s State Chairperson of the Year in 1994. He became a leader within Kansas wrestling, where he helped make Kansas one of the most successful state organizations in the nation. He started as a club leader, but soon took on numerous other roles within the state structure, including a decade as the state chairperson.
On the national level, he was a member of the Board of Directors for a number of terms, and served on numerous standing committees within the organization. He and his wife Cherie, who was a pairing official, were very active on the national level for many years, and had friends through wrestling all across the nation.
The Elvin family suffered a devastating tragedy in 2011, when attending the Reno Air Show. While seated in a VIP section, one of the planes crashed into that portion of the stands. Cherie was killed in the accident, and Chuck was seriously injured, losing a leg and facing other health challenges. Other family members were also injured. The wrestling community rallied behind the Elvin family during this time of need.
Chuck Elvin had a great passion for wrestling, and was highly respected for his leadership within the sport. He served as a mentor to many within USA Wrestling, helping develop others leaders who have learned from Chuck and continued his legacy into the future.
USA Wrestling has not yet received memorial information for Chuck Elvin, and will post it when available. When a full obituary is available, it will also be provided.
Chuck Elvin’s impact may have been greatest within his home state of Kansas. USA Wrestling-Kansas state chairperson Mike Juby has provided the following biography on Chuck Elvin.
Chuck began his involvement in wrestling in 1979 when he was elected the president of the Olathe Wrestling Club. He had not wrestled as a youth, in fact he was a member of the state championship basketball team at Haven High School. But, when his sons became interested in wrestling, Chuck threw himself into learning as much as he could about the sport. In his case, this meant becoming increasingly involved in the leadership of the sport, first at the club level, then statewide and finally as at the national level.
In 1983, Chuck was elected state treasurer of USAW-Kansas. Then, during a challenging time for the state association in 1988, he took the position of State Chairman for USAW-Kansas, a role he continued until 1998. During this period, he led USAW-Kansas back to financial solvency and played an essential role in turning around USA Wrestling’s financial challenges. In 1998, Chuck was elected to the USA Wrestling Board of Directors.
Chuck received multiple honors in wrestling over the years, including being named the USA Wrestling State Chairperson of the Year in 1994, voted the Kansas Kids’ Person of the Year in 1998, inducted into the State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005, and being placed in the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
Chuck and his wife Cherie were the face of USAW-Kansas for years. After the Reno Air Show accident, Chuck did not stop continuing to stay active. He made appearances in Virginia Beach (where an award was created in his name at the Senior Nationals), Fargo (watching as his grandson wrestled at the USA Wrestling Junior/Cadet Nationals) and the Kansas Kids State Championships in Topeka.