hall-of-fame-coach

Whether it was chewing the padding off the turnbuckle before smashing his opponents face into it off showing off his green tongue to the audience, George “The Animal” Steele was a consummate performer in world of rasslin’ entertainment.

Born William James Myers in Detroit in 1937, George went on to  a master’s degree from Central Michigan University and became a teacher, amateur wrestling coach, and football coach at Madison High School in Madison Heights, Michigan. His work in High School sport would eventually make him a member of the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame.

He began wrestling in the 1960s in the Detroit circuit under the stage name “The Student.” He wore a mask to protect his identity due to his day gig. After being scouted by Bruno Sammartino, he became part of the World Wrestling Federation line up in 1967. Sammartino liked George’s style and persona as a wild man with incredible strength but wasn’t into the mask or the name he was using. His new name would be taken from a rival high school’s wresting coach.

While George had many rivals in the ring, his most famous adversary was probably “Macho Man” Randy Savage during the mid 80′s when the Animal became smitten with Savage’s valet, Miss Elizabeth.

Following a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease he retired from the ring in 1988 but continued to make an occasional appearance on WWF cards into the 2000′s. Those who didn’t know George from wresting may also recognize him for his role in Tim Burton’s 1994 film Ed Wood where he played the role of another old school wrestler Tor Johnson. Coincidentally, George was often mistaken for Tor early in his career. 

George “The Animal” Steel died in hospice care due to kidney failure on February 16, 2017 . He was 79 years old. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Pat, and two sons and a daughter. 

Last Man Standing: Vince Carter is the only player from the 2001 All-Star game still playing.

Anthony Mason passed away in 2015. Gary Payton, Karl Malone and Iverson are in the hall of fame. Jason Kidd is a NBA coach. Jerry Stackhouse is a D-League coach. Vlade Divac is a VP with the Kings. Duncan is shopping at Old Navy. Stephon Marbury is a basketball God in China. Sprewell is….?  

Bill Sharman moves the ball against Chuck Noble during the Boston Celtics game against the Fort Wayne Pistons on Nov. 19, 1955 at Boston Garden. An eight-time All-Star, Sharman won four NBA championships playing with Boston and was named Coach of the Year when he led the Lakers to an NBA title in 1972. The Hall of Fame player and coach, who died at the age of 87 in 2013, was born 90 years ago on May 25, 1926. (Hy Peskin)

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Dad’s Induction into the PVILCA (Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association) Hall of Fame.

My dad is a humble guy with a dry sense of humor. Went to Carver High School in Amarillo. All-District in Football. Won state in track in 1964 and 1965. He was the first Scholastic Magazine High School All-American from Amarillo. In college, he was drafted into the Army. Served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. Owned his own trucking business for 35 years and is now retired.

My dad is a bad man. I am proud to be his son and namesake.

New York Islanders head coach Al Arbour looks on with players from the bench during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks on May 11, 1982 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. The Hockey Hall of Fame coach passed away on Aug. 28, 2015 at the age of 82. Arbour was best known for leading the Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cups and an NHL record 19 consecutive playoff series wins. (John Iacono for SI)