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Muncy native receives outstanding award

By Staff | Apr 29, 2015

Earl L. Poust (right) was awarded the Penn State Wrestling Club's Outstanding Alumnus Award on Sunday, April 19. He is with Cael Sanderson, head wrestling coach at Penn State.

STATE COLLEGE – On April 19, 2015 the Penn State Wrestling club held its annual awards banquet at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. In addition to the individual Penn State wrestler awards, Muncy native and former standout Muncy High School wrestler and high school coach, Earl Poust, was awarded the Penn State Wrestling Club’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Earl was born and raised in the Muncy, PA area and attended Muncy High School. Upon graduation, he enrolled at PSU in 1954 to study Ag Education and to wrestle for the Nittany Lions. After his wrestling career at PSU, he had a long and accomplished coaching and officiating career in the sport. His dedication to the sport of wrestling touched the many Muncy and Penn State fans as well as the Indian matmen he guided and coached for 13 years.

Earl lettered at Muncy High School all four years he participated in wrestling. As a freshman, his record was 10-4; 7-4 as a sophomore; 14-1 as a junior; and 15-0 as a senior in dual meets. He was Co-captain and West Branch champ in his senior year, and finished as the District IV runner-up in his freshman, junior and senior years.

At Penn State, Earl lettered as a sophomore, junior and senior during the 1956-58 seasons. Earl finished 3rd in the E.I.W.A. championships in 1957 and was a member of the championship team the same year. His record at Penn State was 13-9-2 and had a .571 winning percentage. In addition to wrestling he was the Vice-President of the Student Athletic Association his senior year, and a member of Parmi Nous, Druids, Alpha Tau Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Earl received his BS degree in Agricultural Science.

After graduating from PSU, Earl returned to Muncy High School to teach and coach the wrestling team. Highlights of his Muncy coaching career included a 119-52-3 win-loss-tie record; six West Branch Team Championships; one District IV Championship; and two undefeated teams, in 1962-63 (12-0) and 1966-67 (14-0).

During his coaching career, his teams had a 26 dual meet win streak. He coached 34 sectional champs, 10 district champs, four regional champs and two state runner-ups. Earl was the wrestling coach of the year in 1967 and served as president of the District IV wrestling coaches. He also served as vice-president of the Pennsylvania State Wrestling Coaches Association. In addition, one of his wrestlers, Dana Balum, wrestled for Penn State from 1969-71, and another, Ed Ott, was a catcher for the 1979 World Series Pittsburgh Pirates. Ott was also the Pirates’ unofficial “team grappler” having famously body-slammed the New York Mets Felix Milan at second based in an MLB game in 1977.

Earl was inducted into the District IV Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame and West Branch Valley Sports Hall of Fame. He is a charter member of the Muncy Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and was inducted in 1981.

Earl presently lives in Muncy with his wife of 54 years, Vonnie. He is still a staunch Nittany Lion fan and a wrestling season ticket holder for many years. His daughter, Amy Leddy, husband Kevin, and granddaughters Megan and Kelly (both Penn State students), live in State College. His son Daniel Poust and his wife, Melissa, live in Muncy with his grandsons D.J and Matthew.