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Two former Plymouth State Wrestlers earn Hall of Fame Honor

Tirone, DeForest inducted into New England Wrestling Hall of Fame

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Two former Plymouth State University wrestlers were honored Sunday when they were inducted into the New England Wrestling Hall of Fame as part of the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Division III Dual Meet Championships at Bridgewater State University.

            Former Panther wrestlers William Tirone and Kyle DeForest were two of the four individuals inducted as part of the Class of 2014, which included Craig Buckley of Bridgewater State and Ken Shull of MIT. Mel Graff of Johnson and Wales was honored as the Administrator of the Year while head coach of Coast Guard Steve Eldridge earned Man of the Year accolades.

            Both of Plymouth State's inductees have local ties. A long-time elementary school administrator, Tirone retired in 2012 after 40 years in the Ashland (N.H.) School system, while DeForest is formerly from Warren, N.H., and attended Plymouth Regional High School. 

William J. Tirone '72

A four-time New England Champion, Bill Tirone still ranks as one of the top all-time wrestlers in Plymouth State and New England history. Tirone captured New England wrestling titles in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972, all at 177 pounds. A two-year captain of the Panthers, Tirone earned All-America honors his junior and senior year and posted a career record of 54-6. He helped the Panthers to top-three finishes at the New England Championships all four years. Tirone competed in the 1972 Olympic Wrestling Trials, and was inducted into the Plymouth State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996. After receiving his Bachelor's degree from Plymouth State in 1972, Tirone served as a New Hampshire high school wrestling official for 25 years, and was the recipient of NH Parade of Champions Officials Award in 2000. A long-time elementary school administrator, Tirone retired in 2012 as Principal of Ashland (N.H.) Schools after 40 years in the Ashland School system. He was the recipient of the National Principal of the Year Award in 2008. Tirone and his wife Gwen Blair have five children and seven grandchildren. 

Kyle DeForest 

Kyle DeForest made his mark on Plymouth State and New England Wrestling in the mid-1990s.  A 118-pounder, DeForest was a three-time All-New England wrestler (1994-96). He captured New England championships in both 1994 and 1996, and was named Tournament's Outstanding Wrestler in 1996. He helped Plymouth State capture the 1996 New England Championship with his performance.  DeForest advanced to a pair of NCAA Tournaments, placing 10th in 1994 and earning All-America honors in 1996 with a sixth place finish. DeForest posted a 59-16 record over his final two seasons, including 33-8 as a senior in 1995-96. DeForest currently lives in Goodyear, Arizona, and works as a trooper for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. 

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