Dr. Mike Reuter, University of Oregon Wrestling Coach from 1958 to 1964, will receive the Medal of Courage for his service in World War II at the Oregon Chapter, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Honors Banquet Saturday April 30, 2016. Please join us as we honor his service to our country and our sport during the celebration at the Washington Square Embassy Suites Hotel in Tigard, Oregon. A social begins at 4:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:30.
Coach Reuter holding his photo as a Lieutenant at beginning of WWII
Mike wrestled at Hill Military Academy in Portland and Washington State University. When WWII broke out, he entered the US Army in 1942 and was sent to Europe as a Second Lieutenant in the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion. He fought at Anzio Beachhead, in Italy, where Allied Forces were soon surrounded by ten German divisions. He was wounded by shrapnel in the arm, chest and head. After a month in a hospital he rejoined his unit and fought through southern France and the Battle of the Bulge. His unit took heavy losses (about 80%) in Belgium and Mike was the only remaining officer in his company. Surviving members of the battalion then became part of the 82nd Airborne Division for the advance into western Germany. His medals include the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, six Battle Stars, and France’s highest honor for soldiers, Knight of the Legion of Honor.
After WWII, he returned to WSU unable to wrestle, due to combat injuries and lingering malaria, but was selected coach of the wrestling team 1946-48 (restarting the program). Following graduation, he was assistant wrestling coach at the University of Illinois 1948-51, head coach at the University of Washington 1957-58, and then head coach at the University of Oregon from 1958 to 1964. He continued as professor of PE and taught statistics for Physical Education until retirement in 1989.
Dr. Reuter officiated wrestling from 1950 to 1982, including 1952 final Olympic trials, 1955 & 1958 NCAA Tournaments, 1955-56-57 Big Ten Tournaments, 15 State High School tournaments and numerous district tournaments and dual meets. He served as secretary of the American Wrestling Coaches Association 1949-1951, where he published the quarterly newsletter and conducted the first national survey of college coaches concerning NCAA rules.
Coach Reuter receiving the French Legion of Honor Award February, 2015