class of 1953
inducted in 2002
John C. McHugh
Head Wrestling Coach, University of Maryland
John McHugh, Cheltenham class of 1953, remains today, 50 years
after his last wrestling match at Cheltenham, the Panthers' greatest individual wrestler. This
lightweight on the mat is a heavyweight in the record book having earned
three district titles, three regional titles and becoming CHS's
last PIAA State Champion (1953). His high school record earned him admission
into the Southeastern Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame and the
Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Since 1978, John C. McHugh, Class of 1953, has been head wrestling coach at
the University of Maryland with an overall record of 280-171-8. In
1993 the National Wrestling Hall of Fame presented Mr. McHugh with their
Lifetime Service Award for Coaching.
Educationally, Mr. McHugh received his B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Maryland in 1959. He then earned his Master's in
Education from American University in 1968. While an undergrad at Maryland, Mr. McHugh was a NCAA Semifinalist
(1957), Co-Captain of the Wrestling Team (1957), Atlantic Coast Conference
Champion (1956-57), and NCAA Quarter finalist (1956).
Following his schooling at Maryland, Mr. McHugh served in the United States
Marine Corps as 2nd Lieutenant and served active duty from 1959-1962. After
his discharge from the Marines, McHugh moved to Washington, DC, where he became the head wrestling
coach at The Catholic University of America. In 1966 he moved cross town to American University where he coached and became an
Assistant Professor, Physical Education until 1969. In 1969 he returned to
his alma mater where he became assistant wrestling coach and an instructor in
Physical Education. In 1978 he took over as head coach from William
Mr. McHugh's coaching highlights at Maryland include seven All Americans and
twenty-three ACC champions. In 1990 and 1993 he was named the Atlantic Coach
Conference Coach of the Year. The 2002-3 wrestling season will be his last as
he retires after 40 years as a college wrestling coach.