YORK, PA - York College wrestling coach Tom Kessler and former soccer star James May are among the newest members of the York Area Sports Hall of Fame. The pair will be officially inducted January 23 during York Area Sports Night held at the old Central York High School.
During his 16 year coaching career at York College, Kessler has amassed a program-record 225 dual meet victories against only 90 defeats and one tie. Since taking over in 1992 as the third head coach in the history of Spartan wrestling, he has coached 22 National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-Americans and 14 NCAA Division III All-Americans including two-time National Champion Duane Bastress. Kessler was selected as the 2005-06 NWCA Division III National Coach-of-the-Year and has been named the Metropolitan Coach-of-the-Year on three separate occasions. Already a member of the York College Hall of Fame, the Spartan mentor is in the midst of his 16th season and has led the green and white to a 4-1 dual meet mark this year.
As an undergraduate at York College, Kessler had outstanding collegiate career compiling a 75-15 individual record. A three-time NCAA Division III National Qualifier, the 126-pound Kessler captured a pair of NCAA Division III Eastern Regional titles in addition to earning All-American honors as a senior. Kessler not only put on outstanding performances on the mat but also in the classroom as he was named a NWCA Scholar All-American as a collegian. A 1985 graduate with a degree in criminal justice, Kessler is also a teacher at Northeastern Middle School where he coordinates the alternative education program from the school’s seventh and eighth grade students.
“I would have to say I have been very fortunate to have some great assistant coaches. Joe Dominick, Duane Bastress, and Mark Lentz who have been instrumental in sharing in the success we've had at York College,” Kessler said. “We have been able to build the program up over the years, bringing in quality student-athletes who have shined on and off the mats. This is really a nice honor for me as an individual but I would have to say it is a shared award with my assistant coaches and the many dedicated wrestlers who have passed through York College.”
James May is another member of the York College family being inducted into the York Area Hall of Fame this year. May was a standout soccer player for the Spartan side during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Over his four-year career, May was a goal-scoring machine notching a program-record 71 goals. May bests York’s second all-time scorer, Andrew Wheeler, by an impressive 26 goals. He also holds the single-season record for goals scored having tallied 26 times in 1969, which was good for second in the nation. Additionally, May registered 22 scores in 1970 and 18 goals in 1971 the second and fourth best marks in school history respectively.
After his incredible collegiate career, May was invited to the 1972 Olympic trials. He now resides in York and is M&T Bank’s administrative vice president and group manager of commercial banking.
"I am very honored to be selected to the York County Sports Hall
of Fame,” May said. “It is also especially
gratifying to be in the company of Tom Kessler a fantastic YCP
wrestler and highly successful coach currently. I am thoroughly
convinced that York College has given more to me athletically and
academically than I ever expected and I am fortunate to still be
receiving benefits from my York College days of 35 years ago."
(Some information gathered from Chris Otto’s article
“Five Added to the Hall” from www.ydr.com from
December 28, 2007)