BENSON — Coach Fred Comaduran’s career has come “full circle” with recent induction to National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Following a 30-year career as Benson High School wrestling coach — where he too was a standout wrestler under his mentor John “Mr. Mac” McGlumphy — Comaduran was among seven recipients honored in Phoenix earlier this month at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Arizona Chapter 2019 Awards Banquet at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino.
To be inducted into such elite company is humbling, Coach indicated, especially to be included among the prior Benson selectees who Comaduran holds in such high esteem.
“It’s a great honor to be nominated and inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame,” he said. “It’s being a part of a group of coaches that I have looked up to. It is taking my love of the sport of wrestling full circle. First, as a Benson Bobcat wrestler under Coach McGlumphy, then as the coach myself and also as a father and coach to my two sons who wrestled.”
Comaduran was honored for “Lifetime Service to Wrestling.” And that the Nov. 3 induction class also included Walter Edge, a longtime wrestling coach in Bisbee and a fellow “Mr. Mac” disciple, is all the more gratifying, said Comaduran.
The award is presented to individuals “... in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in the youth through the sport of wrestling, according to the Arizona Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame website.
“It was meaningful,” said Comaduran “The coaches in southern Arizona strove to create a competitive atmosphere with a strong camaraderie. Back in the day the entire Bisbee wrestling team spent the night at our house because it snowed during the Benson Invitational and they couldn’t go home. The Douglas wrestling team spent the same night next door to us at the McGlumphy house.”
In the ’70s and ’80s the big three county wrestling tournaments were the Douglas, Benson and Bisbee invitationals, in that order.
The late “Mr. Mac,” has long been considered the Dean of Cochise County wrestling, and is credited with creating what now has become a vibrant and competitive wrestling fraternity. But Coach also gives much credit to his life partner, Barbara Comaduran.
“Oh, God, yes,” the coach exclaimed, when discussing her support. “This doesn’t happen without that support.” And it’s equally satisfying for Barbara. “I’m proud of him,” she said. “It was well earned and long overdue.”
For Comaduran, mentoring and coaching young athletes — he also coached girls volleyball — became his life calling, and for him it has always been about the kids.
“The achievements of the BHS wrestlers throughout the years has been a joy to watch,” he said. “Witnessing many of their successes as they became adults reinforces the pride I had in them, both now and when they were wrestlers. To quote my coach Mr. Mac, ‘mat burns build character!’ ”