inducted February 18, 2006
Columbia’s most dominant period in Ivy League wrestling extended from 1979 to 1982. The Lions won three consecutive Ivy League titles and posted records of 34-7-1 overall, 14-0-1 in the Ivy League.
Some of Columbia’s greatest wrestlers starred in that three-season stretch, none more dominant than Dave Galdi.
Wrestling at 150 pounds, the New Jersey native was third in the Easterns in 1980-81, his junior season, finishing with a 44-12 record, the best ever by a Columbia wrestler. As a senior, Galdi earned dual meet All-American honors and a spot among the East Top 50. He won the East Stroudsburg, Coast Guard and Central Jersey tournaments and the C.W. Post Christmas Tournament, where he earned Outstanding Wrestler.
A fourth-place finisher in the Easterns, he went on to finish eighth in the NCAAs, making All-American, while compiling an overall 38-7 record. He is one of only four Columbia wrestlers to achieve All-American status in the program’s storied history. Galdi ended his career with a record of 125-41-4, the Lions’ most wins ever.
“My fondest memories of Columbia revolve around the fellowship and camaraderie as a member of the wrestling team, traveling to meets and tournaments, learning from my coaches and having the opportunity to teach and lead my teammates as their captain.
“My fondest memory, though, was the week I spent at the NCAAs in Iowa, where I spent quality time with my wrestling coach and friend, Ron Russo. It all culminated in my placing eighth at 150 pounds and standing up on the NCAA All-American awards podium.”
An industrial engineering major at Columbia, Galdi worked at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas for three years before moving to the Boston area to work for Raytheon as a senior product assurance engineer/product assurance manager. In 1997, Dave moved back to his native New Jersey; he now lives in Chester with his wife, Kathleen, and their two children. Galdi works for AIG as a senior network engineer.