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Flanked by his sons, Gable, left, and Cael, Lycoming wrestling coach Roger Crebs poses Sunday at the Pa. Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame induction in Hershey.

The Daily Item

HERSHEY — Four hundred and nineteen dual meet victories, five conference titles, and five national champions over 27 years of coaching wrestling surely gets attention in the wrestling world.

That’s just what Lycoming coach Roger Crebs has done.

Crebs, a Lewisburg High graduate, was inducted Sunday into the Pennsylvania Chapter of National Wrestling Hall of Fame. The honor is for a Lifetime Service to Wrestling.

The coach was one of eight inducted during ceremonies at the Hershey Lodge. About 375 attended the chapter’s annual event which was postponed four times because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Warriors under Crebs have 419 dual meet wins.

During his video presentation Crebs said he started wrestling as a youth on the family farm.

“It was a family thing. We did barn wrestling,” he said.

He comes from a family of nine, six boys and three girls.

Crebs progressed through the Lewisburg system, and finished third in the PIAA tournament his senior year. He even got better in college at Lycoming, posting a record of 52-13, during which he was a three-time MAC champion and three-time NCAA Division III tournament qualifier.

He said in the video presentation that no one event stands out, but he was proud of the development of his wrestlers not only on the mat, but in actions and success after graduation from the Williamsport school.

“I could say that having five national champions was great, but really what these people did after is especially gratifying,” Crebs said.

After graduating from Lycoming, Crebs spent five years as wrestling coach at William Tennent High in the Philadelphia area and was then an assistant coach at Ursinus College in 1992.

Then-Lycoming coach Budd Whitehill handpicked Crebs to take over the Warrior program. Whitehill, who coached 37 years at Lycoming, had 376 dual wins and his teams won 10 conference titles.

Filling Whitehill’s shoes was a big order but Crebs has surely accomplished it. He’s had 51 conference champs, 29 All-Americans and five national champs.

Whitehill and Crebs, in 2010, became the first coaches in NCAA Division III to win 300 duals at the same school.

The Hall inductee has passed the love of the sport to his two sons — Gable and Cael, who were named after wrestling legends Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson.

The Crebs brothers have continued the tradition of excellence on the mat. In 2019, Gable finished seventh at 195 pounds for Montoursville in the Class 2A PIAA championships.

Cael matched his father with a third-place finish at 170 pounds in 2020 in the PIAA championships, and then carried off the gold at 189 pounds in 2021.

Both are wrestling at the next level, Gable for his father at Lycoming, and Cael at the Naval Academy where he is coached by Pennsylvania legend Cary Kolat.

Crebs and wife Tara live in Montoursville.

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