When Dennis Stromie and Steve West took over wrestling programs at Parkview and Shiloh in the early '80s, they struggled to put together competitive teams.
By the time they left their schools, Parkview and Shiloh were two of the top programs in Gwinnett County and the state.
Their success along the mat is why the duo will be inducted into the Georgia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in September.
"I've been so impressed with how classy this banquet is and I've often daydreamed what it would be like to be inducted," Stromie said. "Now it's here and I don't know what to think. I'm flattered they saw fit to put me in."
Stromie and West will be inducted into the hall of fame in a ceremony at the Northeast Atlanta Hilton in Norcross on Sept. 20.
"It's an honor. Awards like this happen when you've worked for so long and so passionately things can occur," said West, who will join his high school and college coaches in the hall of fame. "This is not why a person goes into coaching. It's for the love of the kids and my achievement is a reflection of them over my 31 years of coaching."
Stromie and West will join Lassiter coach Steve Day and Jefferson coach Doug Thurmond. Reggie Glaze, a wrestling official for 34 years, will also be inducted along with Lumpkin County and Commerece's Darryle Ellrott for the Medal of Courage. Georgia High School Association Assistant Director Gary Phillips will be induced as the Outstanding American.
"We are really proud of the inductees for this year," said Walt Hennebaul, a member of the hall of fame and part of the selection committee.
Stromie was an assistant on Redan's 1984 state championship team and spent 22 years at Parkview. He led the Panthers to 19 top 10 finishes and state championships in 2004 and 2006. He's now the head coach at West Forsyth and has a 451-63-2 career dual record. He's coached 28 state champs at Parkview and West Forsyth.
Stromie took over the Parkview program in 1985-86, and by the early '90s it was among the tops in the state. He had 19 individual state championship, most notably four-timer Scott Hage and three-time winner Brent Shiver. Stromie was an eight-time county coach of the year selection and was named Southeast Regional Coach of the Year in 2004. He led Parkview to 11 of its 12 Gwinnett County championships, which is the most by any Gwinnett school.
Stromie left Parkview in 2007 and started the program at West Forsyth in the fall that season. In the first two years of the program, he as led the Wolverines to the state duals twice and placed seventh at the traditional meet in 2008-09.
"I just don't know if you can do anything after this," Stromie said. "We took fourth at the state duals as a second year program and that was up there with winning a state championship. A few months later I found out I was getting inducted. It's going to be hard to top that."
West has coached for 31 years, including 22 years as a head coach. He coached at Shiloh (1984-2001) and Grayson (2002-2009), compiling a 315-140-2 dual record with 15 state champions.
"This (induction) belongs to them just as much as it belongs to me," West said.
West started the Shiloh program from scratch in 1984 and by 1988 had the school's first state champion. In his 17 years at Shiloh, the Generals had eight different state champs, most notably three-time winners Chad Marley and Dustin Kawa.
West, a two-time county coach of the year, led Shiloh to county titles in 1994 and 1996. The 1996 county title is the last won by a team that wasn't Parkview or Collins Hill.
"Those mean more because of team accomplishments," West said.
West left Shiloh in 2001 and started the Grayson program. He was the head coach for the first seven years and was an assistant last season. During his tenure as head coach, West had 14 state placers, including state champions James Boatright and Nathan Swanson in 2006-07.
Stromie and West will join Walt and Bud Hennebaul, Cliff Ramos, Kyle Maynard, Steve Ranus, Brent Shiver and Paul White as members of the hall of fame with Gwinnett ties.
"There's a lot of special people that are in the hall of fame. It means a lot to be a part of that," West said.
· What: National Wrestling Hall of Fame induction ceremony
· When: Sept. 20
· Where: Northeast Atlanta Hilton, Norcross
· Noteworthy: Former Parkview and current West Forsyth coach Dennis Stromie and former Shiloh and current Grayson coach Steve West will be inducted.