Wrestling Coach Named to Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Wrestling Coach Joe Bakewell who was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's Maryland Chapter on Sunday, October 1. Bakewell, who has coached at McDonogh for the past 23 years, was honored for a “Lifetime of Service to Wrestling.” Dozens of family members, friends, and former wrestlers attended the event at the Lowes Hotel in Annapolis.

Bakewell joined McDonogh’s coaching staff in 1994 and has had a hand in building the school’s program into a nationally recognized powerhouse. His teams have placed among the top five in National Preps nine times and have broken the top 50 national ranking on numerous other occasions. They have won six MIS State Championships, eight MIAA Tournament Championships, 10 MIAA Dual Meet Championships, and produced 79 MIAA, 57 State, and 13 National Prep Champions.

“Joe is the epitome of the teacher-coach who impacts the lives of his players,” says McDonogh’s Co-Athletic Director Mickey Deegan. “His tough-guy ‘nose to nose’ conversation with a wrestler after a match is genuine and caring; and his hand on the shoulder of a defeated wrestler who just suffered a heartbreaking loss always catches my eye.“

Pete Welch, who worked with Bakewell to build McDonogh’s program, echoes Deegan’s sentiment saying, “His years of unselfish commitment have helped put our program on the map both statewide and nationally. He is an intense competitor with an even bigger heart. His care for our wrestlers has extended way beyond the mats.”

Bakewell’s devotion to the sport precedes his time at McDonogh. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania where his father was a coach, he spent many hours and days at practices and games. He fell in love with sports, started wrestling at age five, and continued through college. At McDaniel College, Bakewell was a two- year captain and voted Outstanding Wrestler in 1990. He was awarded the prestigious Charles Havens Award, given to one intercollegiate athlete exhibiting charity, altruism, benevolence, and a humane and compassionate concern for his fellow man.

In 1991, Bakewell began his coaching career at Loch Raven High School and three years later he joined McDonogh’s coaching staff. His passion for coaching and connecting with kids through wrestling extends to the McDonogh Wrestling Club where, for the past 17 years, he has trained students from all programs and coached Maryland's National Freestyle/Greco teams.

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McDonogh School | 410.363.0600 |
8600 McDonogh Road | Owings Mills | Maryland | 21117