Lehigh's "Terrific Trio" is reunited once again with Joe Peritore's induction into the Penske Hall of Fame. Peritore helped the Engineers win over 90% of their dual meets during his time at Lehigh.
"I'm delighted that Joe Peritore is now in the Hall of Fame," said former teammate Billy Stuart '66. "It's good that there's a stabilizing influence in the trio in the Hall of Fame because we're all together in the same room forever now. [Head coach Gerry] Leeman would be driven nuts if he weren't in here alongside us. This honor is well deserved and we're all so thrilled that he's now here with us."
The third member of the "Terrific Trio" to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Joe Peritore joins an elite company of past Lehigh wrestlers in the Hall. A two time NCAA runner-up and third place finisher at 130 Ibs., Peri-tore, along with Hall of Famers Billy Stuart and Mike Caruso, made up the "Terrific Trio" that was featured in Sports Illustrated and Newsweek in 1965.
"Every mother wanted to have a son like Joe," quipped teammate and roommate, Hall of Famer Mike Caruso '67. "He was known as Gentleman Joe because he was such a great dresser, and he was so mild-mannered and soft spoken. To this day he's a great family man."
"On the mat he was probably the quickest wrestler on his feet," Caruso continued. "He was one of the best takedown wrestlers I've ever seen. We had three top ten teams, and Joe was an integral part of each one."
Peritore was a two-time EIWA champion at 130 lbs., en route to posting a career record of 56-5-1. His career winning percentage of 91.1% ranks sixth all-time at Lehigh. In dual meets, his numbers were even more impressive, as Peritore won 31 of 33 bouts. Of his five career defeats, three came at the hands of NCAA champions.
Peritore's individual successes were paralleled by victories posted by the Lehigh team. The Engi-neers won two EIWA titles and boasted third and fourth place finishes at Nationals during his time. As a senior, Peritore co-captained the team along with Caruso.
Joe Peritore's success on the mat at Lehigh should come as no surprise. At Maple Heights High School, he was a two-time Ohio state champion.
"I am so humbled and thrilled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame," said Peritore. "I am humbled to be among the legends of Lehigh wrestling, and thrilled to join my teammates and friends Mike Caruso and Billy Stuart."
Peritore earned his bachelor's in industrial engineering from Lehigh in 1967, and followed that up with a master's in industrial engineering in 1969. He spent his entire 29 year business career with The Boeing Co. in Seattle. During his last 12 years at Boeing, Peritore served as an executive of the cor-poration holding various positions including Vice President of Human Resources and Vice President of Operations Development. He retired in 1998.
Peritore now spends his time in Christian and community service. He is an elder at John Knox Pres-byterian Church, a director of Pacific Assoc. for Theological Studies, and manages a non-profit corporation, Amigos de Honduras, which provides aid to the poor in Honduras. He is also a member of the park board in his hometown of Normandy Park, Washington.
Peritore currently resides in Seattle, Washing-ton, with his wife Linda. They have three children: Ross, Jeffrey, and Ann.