The first wrestling tournament held at GCHS was in 1971 and was sponsored by the Grove City Education Association. No additional tournaments were held until 1979, when Marty Ruley became head wrestling coach. It was a 12 team tournament and was simply called the Grove City Wrestling Tournament.
In the fall of 1981 Fred Bell, a longtime supporter of Grove City wrestling, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. Fred and his wife Betty had 5 sons, 4 of which wrestled for GCHS. All four went on to wrestle in college. Fred and Betty were great supporters of the wrestling program and helped out in any way they could. At the time of Fred’s passing, his son Jeff was an assistant coach at GCHS, Bob a PIAA wrestling official, Tom an administrator at GCHS, and their youngest son Mike a wrestler at Clemson University. At the request of Coach Ruley the name of the annual wrestling tournament was changed to the Fred Bell Memorial Wrestling Tournament.
Anyone who knew Fred would tell you that his involvement in the wrestling program was not done for personal recognition. He would be very proud of what the tournament has become today, one of the best tournaments in the nation.