Monday, May 18, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = SUNY-Potsdam

The Bears of SUNY-Potsdam were a respectable SUNY-Athletic Conference team that had success at an individual level at  both the NCAA Division II & Division III level.  They may have won more, but I know they were the SUNY-AC team champions in 1973.  They dropped wrestling after the 1990-1991 season.

Rich Molbury
190 lbs 
From Carey High school, Rich Molbury had an outstanding career for the Bears going 94-17, including a 28-0, with 15 falls record as a junior win he captured the 1974 NCAA Division III championship.  He ended his career as a three time SUNY-AC champion & became an engineer that also officiated and coached wrestling in Massachusetts. He passed of a heart attack earlier this year.
Bob Johnston
167 lbs 
Bob Johnston had an outstanding season for the Maroon and Gray in 1972 when he finished in fifth place at the 1972 NCAA Division II tournament with a 33-2 record.   Ironic as it may be humorous to others, post his wrestling career one of Johnston's favorite activities? Pickup basketball.
Joe Galea
167 lbs 
Galea made the NCAA Division III finals in 1975.
Tom McCue
177 lbs 
Tom McCue was unable to crack the varsity lineup as a freshman & had to bounce around the weight classes as a sophomore to find opportunities to start.  Yet he kept focus & soon found himself full time varsity as he won his first of what would be two SUNY-AC titles in 1974.  As a senior in 1975, all the hard work paid off when he made the NCAA Division III finals.  Post college McCue got into Insurance & owned his own agency before passing away in a car accident a few years later.

Tony Peraza
150 lbs 
Sporting a 3.0 GPA during his time as a Bear, Peraza had immediate success making the SUNY-AC finals as a freshman.  He'd repeat as the SUNY-AC runner-up his sophomore season, winning titles his junior and senior seasons of 1975 & 1976.   At the NCAA Division III level, Peraza finished as the runner-up in 1975 & and was crowned champion in 1976.   He finished his career with a 96-19 record & later coached at Ithaca College as well as at the high school level.

To this day Peraza still competes in wrestling.  He won a Veterans World Gold medal within recent years.


  1. Just a few corrections. Tom McCue was killed in a car accident in the early '80s. At 167, his name is Joe Galea. Rich Molbury died of a heart attack last year.

  2. What a pleasant surprise seeing something about Potsdam State wrestling! I wrestled there until 1987. Wish you could have gotten pics, and covered more of the all-time greats. If you need more material, please let me know.

    1. I wasn't able to find a whole lot of information & pictures are especially difficult to come by. It's why I do this series to begin with. There is so little information about these former programs. I'm trying to provide a home where there's at least something.

      You have pictures, send them my way. I'll use them.