St. Petersburg City Council chairman Bill Dudley, formerly a longtime wrestling coach at Northeast High School, will be inducted into the Florida chapter of the Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort in Orlando.
Dudley is one of seven who will be inducted. The other local inductee is longtime referee John Niles, who also coached at Lakewood High.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Dudley said. “At first, I almost didn’t believe it when I got the call. I thought they were yanking my chain.”
Dudley coached at Northeast 33 years and had 340 dual-meet victories. He also started the St. Petersburg City wrestling tournament, which is going on its 21st year. Dudley’s only state champion, Phil Rizzo, will be his presenter.
“To me it’s a tremendous honor, “ said Dudley, who invited more than 200 friends and family for the event. “I mean, it’s part of the national hall of fame.