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TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

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Lifetime Achievement for Officials - PAT FITZGERALD, Edmond, Okla.



From junior high matches to NCAA Division I championship finals, Pat Fitzgerald has blown the whistle for them all.

His interest in wrestling dates back to his youth. As a high school wrestler, Fitzgerald placed a respectable fourth at the 1977 Oklahoma state tournament for Moore High School. Three short years later, his career as an official began as he helped his father referee a junior high tournament in Guthrie, Okla. In 1982, he refereed his first Oklahoma state tournament and has continued to work that event for 31 years.

Since taking up the whistle in 1980, he has packed his resume with every major college wrestling tournament and every major dual meet in the country. He has officiated the famed Bedlam dual between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma 27 times, the Oklahoma State versus Iowa dual nine times, the Oklahoma State versus Minnesota dual nine times, and hundreds of other dual meets between top 10 teams. Fitzgerald has also officiated at eight Virginia Duals and 11 National Duals.

The Edmond, Okla., resident has refereed several major tournaments as well, including six Atlantic Coast Conference tournaments, one Big Eight championship, 10 Pac-12 tournaments, 12 Big Ten tournaments, two NCAA Division II qualifiers, three NCAA Division II wrestling championships, and 22 NCAA Division I wrestling tournaments.

Of the 22 NCAA Division I wrestling tournaments that Fitzgerald has officiated, he has been selected to referee the finals 15 times. Perhaps his most prestigious finals match came at the 2013 NCAA championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where he refereed the 165-pound final as David Taylor unsuccessfully attempted to prevent Kyle Dake from becoming the first four-time NCAA champion in four different weight classes.

In addition to his duties as an official, Fitzgerald serves as the vice president of the National Wrestling Officials Association.
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