Chattanooga’s Mike Craft has been named co-referee of the year by USA Wrestling
Craft began calling youth matches while still wrestling at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and he registered with the TSSAA prior to the 1974-75 season. He has officiated every year since except for two seasons when he was the wrestling coach at Jacksonville State. In that time he has called thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, individual matches.
Craft, who was talked into launching his officiating career in youth tournaments by former Notre Dame assistant Steve Hammond, since has called junior high, high school and college matches. He was a favorite among college coaches in the days of the Southeastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and the Southeastern Conference when numerous SEC schools had teams.
Some of the younger referees have taken to calling the diminutive Craft “the Little General” because of his take-charge mindset.