UVU wrestling: Assistant coach Justin Ruiz inducted into Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 5:30 p.m. MDT

Justin Ruiz (left) and Aaron Holker (right) pose for a photo after being inducted into the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame at UVU on Oct. 20.

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OREM, Utah - Utah Valley University assistant wrestling coach Justin Ruiz was inducted into the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 20. The 2012 Hall of Fame banquet was held at UVU's Grande Ballroom and was sponsored by the Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation.

"Getting inducted into the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame is a great honor to me," Ruiz said. "There are a lot of people that have spent time with me and supported me to help me achieve my wrestling goals. I'm just grateful to be a person considered worthy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame."

Ruiz was a three-time Utah State Champion at Taylorsville High School (Taylorsville, Utah) and recently joined UVU's coaching staff after a long and decorated wrestling career that featured a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships.

Ruiz was also a three-time ASICS Junior National Champion, a three-time Fila Junior Nationals Champion and a High School National Champion. He was a two-time member of the Fila Junior World Team and the recipient of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award in 1998. He then went on to wrestle at the University of Nebraksa where he became a two-time All-American wrestler.

Ruiz then made the transition to the international ranks, where he went on to become a seven-time U.S. Open National Champion, six-time U.S. World Team member, 10-time U.S. National Team member, two-time Olympic alternate, two-time U.S. Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year, four-time Pan American Champion, a World Cup Silver Medalist and a member of the first and only U.S. Greco-Roman Team to win a World Championship (2007).

In all, the 2012 Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame class featured four inductees. Reed Fehlburg, Laron Hansen and Aaron Holker were also inducted.

Past hall members include Cael Sanderson (2002), former UVU wrestling head coach Cody Sanderson (2007) and many others. For a complete list of the members in the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame visit WrestleUtah.com.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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