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Arrangements announced for former Sun Devil wrestler Charlie Tribble

October 21, 2009

Funeral arrangements and celebrations of the life of Charlie Tribble, a former Olympic wrestler and member of the Arizona State University wrestling program, have been announced by the Tribble family for this weekend. Tribble, an avid supporter of the sport’s growth in the Valley of the Sun, passed away at the age of 67 on Saturday, October 17.

On Friday (October 23), a viewing and visitation will be held at Rehoboth Saints Center (2315 N. 35th Avenue, Phoenix) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a Service and Celebration Ceremony from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to follow at the same location. Everyone is welcome to attend.

On Saturday (October 24), everyone is welcome to meet in the auditorium of South Mountain High School (5401 S. 7th Street, Phoenix) at 9 a.m. for a pre-viewing. At 10 a.m., the funeral services and celebration of Tribble’s life will be held at Greenwood Cemetery (27th Ave. & Van Buren). Following the internment ceremony, everyone is welcome to return to SMHS’s cafeteria for a luncheon and sharing of friendship.

Tribble helped to make history for the program as he joined teammates Glenn McMinn Sr. and Buzz Hayes at the 1965 NCAA Wrestling Championships that were held at Wyoming with all three collecting All-America honors by placing in the Top 8 of the national tournament. In his lone season on the mats for the Sun Devils, Tribble competed at 177 pounds and won the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) title at his weight, making him the first African-American in program history to become a conference champion and an All-American.

Seeded third at his weight class, Tribble received a bye in the first round of the NCAA Championships before pinning Lee Hall (Pittsburgh) in the second round at 1:47. He then downed sixth-seeded Gerry Franzen (Navy), 3-0, in the quarterfinals before falling in a 6-0 decision to second-seeded and eventual champion Tom Peckham (Iowa State) in the semifinals. In the consolation rounds, Tribble bounced back with a pair of wins by fall as he stuck Chris Stowell (Michigan) in 1:01 of the consolation semifinal and then Roger Mickish (Oklahoma) in 1:40 of the medal match to take third overall. With his three pins in 4:28, Tribble was awarded the Gorrarian Award (most pins in least time).

Before his run at the national collegiate event, Tribble made history for the program as he stepped onto the international stage as an Olympian at the 1964 Tokyo Games. Competing in freestyle at 77kg (170 pounds), Tribble received a tough draw and was pinned in his first and only match at 4:11 by Ismail Ogan of Turkey. Ogan would later go on to win the gold medal.

Historically at ASU, Tribble holds a pair of records and contributed to a third as he was a member of the wrestling program’s first conference team title as the Sun Devils won the 1965 WAC, the first of two in that league and 18 overall (16 in the Pac-10). On an individual basis, he is still the only Sun Devil to have earned the Gorrarian Award at the NCAA Championships while also holding the program record for winning percentage for wrestlers with 50 or less wins in a career as he went 32-2-2 (.917) in his lone year of competition.

A one-time coach at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, Tribble was enshrined in a pair of Halls with the most recent coming in 2007 as he was inducted into the Arizona Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member. In 1993, Tribble was selected for enshrinement in the Arizona State Hall of Fame as well.

Arrangements for Charlie Tribble
Friday, October 23, 2009
Rehoboth Saints Center (2315 N. 35th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ | Map)
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Viewing and visitation with the Tribble family
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Service and Celebration Ceremony with the Tribble Family

Saturday, October 24, 2009
South Mountain High School (5401 S. 7th Street, Phoenix | Map)
9:00 a.m. - Pre-Viewing (auditorium)

Greenway Cemetery (27th Ave. & Van Buren, Phoenix | Map)
10:00 a.m. - Funeral Services and Internment

South Mountain High School (5401 S. 7th Street, Phoenix | Map)
Following the internment, everyone is welcome to return to luncheon and sharing of friendship (cafeteria)