Blair Academy and Lehigh University wrestling legend Mark Lieberman ’74 will be recognized for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the sport when he is inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member this spring. A former Blair Trustee, Mr. Lieberman is a member of the Blair Academy Athletic Hall of Fame’s inaugural class of 2016. His National Wrestling Hall of Fame selection marks the latest achievement in his celebrated wrestling career.
As a Buccaneer, Mr. Lieberman earned national prep championships in 1972, 1973 and 1974 and two-time honors as the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. He helped launch Blair’s freestyle program and won the USA Wrestling Junior National Freestyle championship in 1973 and the AAU Junior World Freestyle championship in 1974. At his Blair graduation, Mr. Lieberman received the Headmaster’s Prize, the Jamieson Wrestling Prize and the Robert Dalling Prize, an award named for his first Blair wrestling coach and given to the male athlete who best represents the School in athletic competition.
“Mark Lieberman is acclaimed as Lehigh University’s greatest overall wrestler, if combining all styles,” lauds his National Wrestling Hall of Fame citation. His achievements at Lehigh include two undefeated seasons, winning the NCAA championships in 1978 and 1979 at 177 lbs., and a runner-up finish in 1977 at 167 lbs. He was the first wrestler in Lehigh’s history to win four Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) championships. Mr. Lieberman was the first NCAA champion produced by Blair Athletic Hall of Fame member and legendary USA Wrestling Coach of the Year Tom Hutchinson. His wrestling achievements also include World Cup gold and silver medals, a Pan Am Championships gold medal and three USA Wrestling National Freestyle Open Championships, including winning the Outstanding Wrestler and Most Falls awards. In 1978 he was named the USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year.
Distinguished Members of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame are those who have achieved extraordinary success in national and/or international competition; coaches who have demonstrated great leadership in the profession and who have compiled outstanding records; or contributors whose long-term activities have substantially enhanced the development and advancement of the sport.
During the weekend of June 4-5, 2021, Mr. Lieberman will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame along with fellow Distinguished Members Bruce Burnett, Dremiel Byers and Bill Zadick. The inductees will also include Meritorious Official Tim Shiels, Order of Merit recipient Gary Abbott, Medal of Courage recipient Gary Chopp and Outstanding American Carl Eschenbach.
“This group has accomplished and done so much for wrestling, and they continue to give back to our great sport,” said Lee Roy Smith, National Wrestling Hall of Fame executive director. “We are proud to honor these remarkable individuals.”
A proud and deeply loyal Blair alumnus, Mr. Lieberman is part of a Blair legacy that includes many family members who share his dedication to the School. His brother, fellow Lehigh alumnus and renowned wrestler Michael Lieberman ’71, was Blair’s first NCAA champion. He was inducted into Blair’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. Their sister, Marianne Lieberman ’79, P’17 ’19, served two terms on Blair’s Board of Trustees. In addition, Mr. Lieberman and his wife, Deborah, are the parents of Trustee Maria Lieberman Smalley ’01, Thomas Lieberman ’02, Nicholas Lieberman ’03 and Kevin Lieberman ’07.
Read the full National Wrestling Hall of Fame announcement here.
(In the photo above, Blair freshman Mark Lieberman ’74 (right) and his brother, fellow Lehigh NCAA champion Michael Lieberman ’71, show their Buccaneer pride.)