DR. JAMES CONKLIN
2000 – WRESTLING
The first Pennsylvania high school wrestler to win four state championships, Dr. Jim Conklin was 70-0-1 in his prep career. The single draw came in his freshman year. As the senior captain of his Waynesburg squad, with the exception of one decision, he won all of his matches by falls.
1939-40, 85 pounds, undefeated, one draw, state champion
1940-41, 95 pounds, undefeated, untied, state champion
1941-42, 112 pounds, undefeated, untied, state champion
1942-43, 120 pounds, undefeated, untied, state champion
Dr. Conklin was Lieutenant Conklin as a U.S. Army Air Corps navigator in World War II. He entered the Univery of Indiana at Bloomington, IN in 1946 and resumed his wrestling career for two years, winning all but one match each year.
He moved on to the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in 1948 and the following year Pitt began its wrestling program under Rex Perry. Wrestling at 165 pounds in the 1949-50 and 1950-51 seasons, Conklin lost one dual match each year. His medical studies limited involvement in tournament wrestling, but he did enter and win the Wilks tournament. He was captain and named “Ideal Squad Member” by his teammates both years at Pitt.
In eight years of competition at the prep and collegiate levels, Dr. Conklin lost only four dual matches. He completed his wrestling career as an assistant coach to Rex Perry in 1950-51, during his senior year in medical school.
Dr. Conklin has been inducted into the Western Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame and is the first recipient of the Outstanding Pennsylvania award to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
He has treated more than 1,000 wrestlers “cauliflower ears” in the 38 years he has been a practicing plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He has been Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh for 33 years, teaching at the University Medical Center.
Now recognized as one of the world’s top hunter-conservationists, he has collected 250 different species of animals from all six continents, most of which have been donated to four museums, including the Pittsburgh Carnegie Museum, to which he has bequeathed his remaining mounted specimens.
One of the three main halls in the Internarnal Wildlife Museum, in Tuscon, AZ, is named the Dr. James E. Conklin Hall and the main lodge of the Wildlife Leadership School in Jackson Hole, WY is named the Dr. Jim Conklin Lodge.