Walt Thurnau knows a little bit about wrestling and life. Just ask anyone who came in contact with him.
For 36 years, he was the coach of the Southwestern Trojans, retiring in 2002, leaving a legacy of success, always helping others to be the best they could be in both the classroom where he taught history and on the mats.
Thurnau was born in Chicago, but moved to the Philippines when he was 4. He grew to love the game basketball, where his rough-and-tumble style confounded his opponents since offensive fouls were never called. When he got back to the United States, however, that style of play didn't serve him well and he was cut from his high school team. The basketball coach sent him across the hall to the wrestling room and the rest became history.
He graduated from Lock Haven State College in 1966 and came to Chautauqua County, landing at Southwestern as an assistant coach where he honed his trade under the guidance of another coaching legend, Clarence "Flash" Olson.