Bloomington was the site of a celebration of outstanding achievement in wrestling on Feb. 19, as the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association welcomed the newest members of its hall of fame. Among those honored were CJ Red, a volunteer assistant coach with Indiana Wrestling, and his father, Chad Red Sr.
The news of CJ Red's induction into the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame was especially heartening after the recent health scare he faced. In November 2022, CJ was found to have two brain aneurysms, as revealed by a tweet from head wrestling coach Angel Escobedo. Following the discovery, CJ underwent brain surgery and had a speedy recovery.
The wrestling community rallied around CJ and his family during this challenging time, sending prayers and support from across the state. The outpouring of love and encouragement to the Red family was a testament to the lives they touched in and around the sport of wrestling.
Red was recognized for his remarkable record in high school, where he compiled a perfect 183-0 record and won four state championships for New Palestine. After high school, he went on to compete for the University of Nebraska, where he had an outstanding career as a three-time All-American and five-time NCAA qualifier from 2016 to 2022.
The elder Red, Chad Red Sr., was also inducted into the hall of fame for his remarkable coaching career, which included stints at New Palestine and Lawrence Central. He led New Palestine wrestling and coached his son CJ during his high school career, which was highlighted by his perfect record and four state championships.
Since high school coaching, Red Sr. started the Red Cobra Wrestling Academy in Avon, Indiana, where his youth wrestlers achieved championship success. Red’s wrestlers have won state championships, national level events and achieved multiple All-American honors. The success of these wrestlers has inspired young athletes around the state and country.
Despite the challenges he faced, CJ's commitment to the sport of wrestling remains steadfast. The younger Red, now a volunteer assistant coach for the Hoosiers, has been able to apply his experience and expertise to help mentor and train Hoosier wrestlers. His father, meanwhile, has been a role model and inspiration for countless young athletes over the years.
For both Red and his father, the induction into the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame is a fitting recognition of their contributions to the sport. Their dedication and hard work have left an indelible mark on the wrestling community in Indiana and their legacy will continue to inspire future generations of wrestlers and coaches for years to come.