MIKE BECK
MIKE BECK

Niskayuna Silver Warriors

 

Michael Beck was a hard working Silver Warrior wrestler under coach Toby Gowin and Joe Bena of Niskayuna High where he would finish in the top 3 in the section every year. Beck made the varsity team his freshman year at 95 pounds and showed he was going to be a force in Section 2 by finishing 3rd in the Section 2 Championship of 1969.

Mike had a perfect 1970 season wrestling at 98 Lbs. for the Silver Warriors winning the Suburban Council Tournament, the Central NYS Tournament and winning his first Section 2 Championship. Beck wrestled his first NYS Championship Tournament that year where he lost to State Champion Tom Lang of Calhoun.

Moving up to 112 Lbs. for his junior year he would face a rivalry against fellow section champ Pat Popolizio of Mohonasen. He would face Pat four times during the season with the last time in the finals of the Section 2 Championship which some would call the most exciting match in Section 2 that year. Popolizio took a commanding 5-0 lead at the end of the first period but Beck was unfazed and with a reversal he nearly pinned Pat at the buzzer of the second period. When the match ended the scoreboard read 6-5 in Becks favor but when the officials added 2 points to Pat's score for riding time it gave Popolizio the championship. Beck would finish the year 23-3-1 with all three loses and the tie against Pat.

Beck would have another perfect season in 1972 going 23-0 during the season and defeating unbeaten Kim Lathers in the finals of the Section 2 Championship. Mike would make it to the semi-finals of the NY State Tournament before finally losing his first match of the year to the eventual second place finisher. Beck finished his High School career with a 78-16-1 record. At the first Section 2 banquet the coaches and the officials voted on the most outstanding wrestler in the section that year. When 95% of the ballots had Becks name on them he was named the very first Michael DeMeo Memorial Award winner in Section 2 beating out Guilderland's Dave Davenport and Tom Kryzak.

Although Beck had a desire to join the Naval Academy he opted to go to college at Boston University where he would wrestle for coach Gibney with a large contingent of Section 2 wrestlers in Popolizio, Kryzak, Davenport and Mark Jones. Beck would have a great first year and placed 3rd in the New England I.W.A tournament and just miss making a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

In 1974 Beck decided to follow his dream when he received his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He wrestled for Navy for the next four years. He was the number one ranked wrestler in the EIWA in 1975 and 1976 when he finished 3rd and 5th in the EIWA Tournament and he qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1975. Beck was ranked 3rd in the EIWA in 1977 his last year of wrestling at 126 Lbs.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Mr. Beck quickly distinguished himself as a leader among his peers. By the end of his Naval career, he had commanded the USS Pegasus, served as an advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations, led the first strategic plan for the U.S. Naval Academy, and returned to the helm to sail the historic 200-year-old USS Constitution for the first time in 116 years.

Beck completed a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.S. from the National War College, as well as graduate courses in organizational development from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. He is also currently pursuing a Doctor of Strategic Leadership degree at Regent University.

Mike is retired from the Navy and lives with his wife Maura in Los Olivos, California where he is Head of School for the prestigious Dunn School which is a college preparatory school. They have two adult children, Mathew (2008 USNA grad and NAVY wrestler and currently a NAVY SEAL officer) and Merideth (finishing her Nurse Practitioner MS degree at Old Dominion University).

 

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