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|Iowa State legend and Hall of Fame inductee Les Anderson, 74, passes away in Iowa
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has reported that Les Anderson, 74, a legendary athlete, coach and administrator for Iowa State wrestling, passed away in Ames, Iowa on Friday.
Anderson was an NCAA champion for Iowa State, then served many years as an assistant coach for the Cyclones, working with Hall of Fame coach Harold Nichols and later with Jim Gibbons. He was also a head coach at Washington.
Anderson also served in many leadership roles within wrestling.
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier article about Anderson
Les Anderson, Hall of Fame biography
Distinguished Member, Class of 2004
Les Anderson, champion competitor, coach, and leader has left an indelible mark on the sport of wrestling.
A native of Clarion, Iowa, Anderson had an impressive prep career. As a defending state champion, his single loss came in his senior year in the final match of the state tournament. Battling polio, the doctors advised him not to continue wrestling in college. However, Anderson and his parents chose a different path.
Determined to beat the odds, he enrolled at Iowa State University. During his career, he was a three time All American, won two NCAA championships (1958 and 1960 -- in two undefeated seasons), was runner-up once (1959), won the Big 8 Conference Championship two times and was an alternate for the Olympic team in 1960. Not only did he continue in the sport, he excelled in it!
After beginning his coaching career at the high school level, he moved into the collegiate ranks at Iowa State University. As the assistant to Harold Nichols and later Jim Gibbons, Anderson dedicated his life to the building of champions. In his 25 total years at ISU, (Anderson was the head wrestling coach at the University of Washington from 1974-77), 36 individual champions and 145 All Americans wore the Cyclone red and gold.
Anderson was also a cutting edge leader in the sport. He created and directed Iowa State's summer camp program, a concept that spread nationally. He was instrumental in organizing the first annual coaches' convention and in implementing computerized tournament pairings. He served in the National Wrestling Coaches Association and received the 25-year participation award. He has served on the Board of Directors of USA Wrestling, on an NCAA committee on recruiting, and in the British Amateur Wrestling Association. He is a member of the State of Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Helm's Foundation Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame.
For his inspiration as a competitor, excellence as a coach and visionary leadership, Leslie A. Anderson is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.