As an athlete, coach, mentor and administrator, he spent more than 30 years amerced in the sport.
For all of his contributions, Eddy was bestowed the highest honor given in the wrestling community Sunday when he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The former coach was honored at the Georgia chapter’s annual banquet with the “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” award. Eddy’s name will appear on the state chapter wall in the John Vaughan Hall of Honors at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.
Eddy never anticipated such an honor.
“I was pretty excited when I was notified,” said Eddy. “It is really just a culmination of years of being involved in the sport. When I started 30 years ago at Cherokee County as the coach, I just loved coaching and the young men our came out. I certainly didn’t have this anywhere on my radar.”
Creekview athletic director Kevin Higgins, a renowned wrestling coach himself, got his coach start thanks to Eddy. The two have remaining friends. Eddy recently introduced Higgins when he was inducted into the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame.
“The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is a pretty big deal in the wrestling community,” said Higgins. “That is where all the Olympians are enshrined and Bob is in the Georgia Chapter. For the time and effort he has put in over the years, it’s an outstanding effort. We are very proud of him.”
Eddy was a member of the Spencer-Van Etten Jr-Sr High School (N.Y.) team from 1969 to 1976 posting a varsity record of 88-8.
He continued his wrestling career at State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland, where he was a four-year letterman and All-American in 1981. Eddy’s 95 career victories currently rank fifth all-time for the program. He remained at the college for two years as an assistant coach.
In 1983 he signed on as an assistant wrestling coach at Cherokee High School and would take over the head coaching position at Etowah in 1985.
Eddy remained there until 1990. During this period at Etowah, he coached the wrestling team to the first region title of any male sport in school history. The team finished sixth in the state in Class AAAA 1990. Four wrestlers won individual state titles under his coaching.
When Sequoyah High School opened in 1990, Eddy took up the challenge of building another program. The Chiefs won region titles in 1993, 1996, 1998 and 1999. In 1996—just six years after the school opened— Sequoyah went on to win the Class AAAA state title by snapping a seven-year streak by McEachern. The Chiefs won the state title again in 1999, Eddy’s final year with the program.
He retired with a career dual record of 186-41-1.
Higgins said that Eddy’s passion was what made him great.
“He is passionate about everything he does,” said Higgins. “From working with parents to recruiting the kids, the coaching technique wise, he is just passionate. He has had a very successful career because of it.”
Eddy said it was that passion that led him into coaching.
“I loved the sport and I wanted to stay involved when I was finished competitively myself,” he said. “I just really think that the sport itself and provide so much to young men and I wanted to share my passion.”
While not supervising the mat at a high school, Eddy found other ways to remain involved. He served on the wrestling venue sports information staff during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 1995 Fila World Freestyle Wrestling Championships. Eddy was also the wrestling chairman and tournament director for the Georgia State Games from 1990-1996.
Among his many coaching awards, Eddy was named the Class AAAA Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1999. He was inducted into the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the SUNY Cortland “C Club” Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.