Hilary Becker has been devoted to the sport of wrestling for more than three decades — as a competitor, coach, mentor and benefactor. On April 25, he was recognized for his many years of service to Lynbrook youth when he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and presented its Lifetime Service award.
“What I’m so impressed about with Hilary is his body of work in the wrestling community and in his own community,” said the Hall of Fame’s executive director, Lee Roy Smith. “He really pays it forward. The youth that he oversees are stronger because of him and his mentorship.”
As president of the Lynbrook Youth Athletic Association, Becker has presided over a number of sports programs, including wrestling, lacrosse and soccer. He also created a girls’ self-defense program that encourages self-awareness and self-discipline in pre-teenage girls.
But Becker’s greatest contributions have been to wrestling. He began his own career in Lynbrook in seventh grade, and became a three-year varsity starter and an all-division wrestler for Coach Larry Glenz at Lynbrook High School. He went on to wrestle for two years at Farmingdale State University, where he was an all-conference competitor for Coach Joe Bavato. A severe back injury prematurely ended Becker’s career, but his heart was still in the sport.
It was then that he made a lifelong commitment to it by teaming up with his uncle, Bob Becker, to establish the Lynbrook Titans youth wrestling program. Through the years, the program has developed into one of the largest youth wrestling organizations on Long Island, growing from 30 wrestlers when Becker started to more than 150 today.
Many former Titans have gone on to win county championship, in not only wrestling, but football and lacrosse, and have served in the military with honor and distinction. Many have become wrestling coaches. All praise Becker for providing them with a solid foundation at a young age.