John Mecham Athlete Profile

John Mecham

John Mecham
Roster Years: 1975-1978 Hometown: Seeley Lake, MT Hall of Fame: 1991

1991 Hall of Fame Inductee

Twice in his college wrestling career John Mecham was advised by doctors to quit. Both times the Seeley Lake, Montana, native ignored their advice, and both times he went on to win Western Athletic Conference championships and All-America honors in 1977 and 1978.

Before the WAC Championships his sophomore year, he hurt his knee but managed to compete with the injury.

As a junior in 1977, he had a 35-7-1 record, winning the titles in the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and the WAC. Hopes were high for John as he finished fourth in the NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Then that summer, he broke his leg in a construction accident when the rope he was using to hoist plywood snapped, sending him backwards from a 24-foot wall onto a concrete floor. Doctors who saw the femur in his right leg broken in two places below the hip said it would be a year before he would be able to wrestle again. After they placed a metal plate with eight screws on both sides of the broken leg, he proved them wrong.

"I had heard the success stories where doctors said one thing and it turned out another. So I just put those thoughts into my mind," said John.

Following doctor's advice to "let pain be your guide," one month later he started hiking from one to two miles a day. Then he began jogging, swimming, and weight lifting.

As a senior, when he returned late in the season, John lost his first match 8-3 to New Mexico junior Gary Hines, who had a 17-1 record. John had defeated Hines 3-1 in 1977 as a junior to win the WAC crown, and he came back to beat him again 6-3 in 1978 to win the WAC title, ending his abbreviated senior season with a 23-8-2 record.

John was a three-time Montana state high school champion and a high school All-American.

Personal

  • Native of Seeley Lake, Montana

Career Highlights

  • Two-time All-American 1977-78
  • Two-time WAC Champion 1977-78
  • Won the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association title 1977
  • Placed fourth at the NCAA Championships 1977

Before BYU

  • Was a three-time Montana state high school champion
  • High school All-American

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Inducted into the BYU hall of fame in 1991

1976 | Sophomore Year

  • Competed in the WAC Championships with an injury

1977 | Junior Year

  • Earned All-American honors
  • Won the titles in the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and the WAC
  • Finished fourth in the NCAA Wrestling Championships
  • Finished the season with a 35-7-1 record
  • Broke his leg in the summer during a construction accident and had a metal plate and eight screws placed on both sides of his broken leg

 

 

1978 | Senior Year

  • Earned All-American honors
  • Returned late in the season, due to his injury
  • Lost his first match 8-3 to New Mexico junior Gary Hines, who had a 17-1 record
  • He came back to beat Gary 6-3 later in the season to win the WAC title
  • Ended the season with a 23-8-2 record