Kevin Bauers
If you had told Kevin Bauers in 1997 that he would be recognized 25 years later with an excellence in wrestling officiating award, you probably would have received a laugh or confused look in response.
It was in October of that year that he first heard about a newspaper ad looking for officials. His first thought? “Why would I want to do that?”
Luckily for Bauers and thousands of coaches and athletes over the last 25 years, he decided to give it a try anyway. Although he’ll openly admit that it was a rough go in the beginning, as he encountered a coach who “feasted on new officials like a wolf on a lamb. The coach had me so confused that I couldn’t even have told you my name without being 100 percent sure.”
That experience gave him a strong dose of humility, and Bauers readily states that he is “still learning on a daily basis.”
Bauers’ learning process has included 10 WIAA regional tournaments, two WIAA state tournaments, six college men’s regional tournaments, three college women’s regional tournaments, and four college women’s national tournaments. But that’s not all. He’s also officiated 25 Washington USA wrestling state tournaments (for freestyle, Greco, and folkstyle wrestling), 12 USA national dual team tournaments, 16 USA wrestling regional tournaments, 4 Fargo USA high school national tournaments, 14 high school top-10 folkstyle tournaments, and many more.
Born in Leoti, Kansas, on April 19, 1963, Bauers competed in wrestling (he was a two-time state placer), baseball, and football in high school and college and coached junior high wrestling for two years in Kansas. He made his way to Washington in 1994 and returned to the state in 2005 after serving in the military. Excluding his time away from the mat for his military service, Bauers has officiated nearly 20 years, during which he has served to encourage and develop countless others to participate in wrestling as athletes, coaches, and officials.
2022 Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients