ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — Niskayuna graduate Frank Popolizio has made it his mission to grow the sport of wrestling. The Shenendehowa head coach and Journeymen Wrestling founder is receiving huge recognition for those efforts, while also taking another step in his mission.

Popolizio is this year’s recipient of the Order of Merit from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. It’s an honor that recognizes contributions to the sport off the mat. Popolizio has orchestrated countless camps, and brought wrestling to the center stage, especially in the 518. “Once I found out about the Order of Merit I realized what goes into receiving the award and I took it serious in my vocation and I tried to be the best that I could be off the mat,” said Popolizio. “It feels good to be recognized.”

He’s continuing his mission with events like with the Arm Bar at the Armory on November 18th. Eight of the top college teams in the country will flock to the Washington Avenue Armory, including #2 Iowa and #9 NC State, coached by Frank’s brother Pat. Events like this one are crucial to the growth of the sport. “To be creative and innovative, you know you’re benefiting the sport as a whole,” said Popolizio. “It’s important. We’ve got keep growing or we’re stale and irrelevant, so for me it’s a huge task at hand to keep expanding and growing.”

You can get tickets for the Arm Bar at the Armory here.