|Title:||Class of 2000|
Mention WPI wrestling and one thinks instantly of winners-especially if you are talking about the Phil Grebinar era that began 29 years ago and is still going strong. But there were numerous winning grapplers prior to Coach Grebinar's predecessor John Vino, was Fred Snyder, the 1969 New England Intercollegiate Wrestling Association heavyweight champion.
Fred, you took a different route to WPI than most undergraduates. After high school you went directly into the Arm, where you served with distinction for three years. From there, you decided to return to school and began your college career at little Farmingdale A&T on Long Island. You almost moved on to C.W. Post, but a last-minute change of heart-and a little coaxing from coach Vino-brought you to WPI.
Your wrestling career at WPI was short but eventful. In fact, it was an event every time you stepped onto the mat before a standing-room-only crowd in Alumni Gym. You were known not only for your ability to pin your opponent, but for the speed in which you did so. Although you wrestled here for only two years and were followed by a great many champions, you are still ranked third in the WPI record book for most pins in a career under one minute, with five. You are also ranked second in best pin percentage in a season (.727), and first in most pins in one season under one minute, with four. You are well remembered for your 11-second pin over the heavyweight from Holy Cross during the 1967-68 season, and for your 24-second pin over the heavyweight from Hartford during the 1968-69 season. Your crowning achievement was the New England title you won right here in Harrington Auditorium in 1969. In that championship bout, Fred Andree of MIT, in a manner of speaking, never knew what hit him.
Your coach remembers you well. "Fred was a great physical specimen," said Vino. "He was 5-11 and weighed about 275 pounds. He was a very quiet, unassuming, self-motivated student-athlete who went about his matches in a very businesslike manner. The fans loved him! He would rock the placed. After all was said and done, I dare say that Fred was the athlete who paved the way for the outstanding wrestling tradition that is very much alive today at WPI."
You earned your B.S. in civil engineering and are now self-employed as a builder/contractor near your home in East Northport, N.Y.
Fred Snyder, for all the excitement you created in your day and for what you have meant to WPI wrestling, it is an honor to induct you into the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame.