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Former NIACC wrestling coach Young dies at 78

MASON CITY - The man who started the wrestling program at NIACC died Tuesday.

Kaye Young, who started the wrestling program in the 1968-69 season and coached the Trojans until the program was dropped after the 1975-76 season, was 78.

"He was very supportive," NIACC wrestling coach Steve Kelly said. "He wasn't the type of guy that said 'we won the national title, why haven't you?'

"He was always willing to help. He always told me 'win or tie, I have your back.'"

Young's Trojans won the NJCAA national title in 1973 as the Trojans claimed five all-Americans and Young was named the NJCAA coach of the year.

NIACC placed second in 1970, 1971 and 1972 before winning the national title in 1973.

Young coached 28 all-Americans in his time as the NIACC wrestling coach, including two-time national champion Joe Hatchett.

"Coach Young was a valued member of both the college community and our athletic department family for a long time," NIACC athletic director Dan Mason said. "One of my most enjoyable days as the athletic director was the day I was able to share with him that the college had decided to bring the wrestling program back."

After a 32-year hiatus, NIACC brought wrestling back in the 2007 season and the Trojans' annual early-season tournament was named the Kaye Young Open.

Young, who was inducted into the NIACC Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2010, was pleased when NIACC decided to bring wrestling back.

"I'm tickled to death," Young told The Predicament in 2007 at the initial Kaye Young Open. "It's sure fun to see a gym full of wrestling.

"I told (Dan) Gable when they dropped the program that we would be back. I just didn't think it would take 32 years. I heard last all that we were going to go for it and I've been on a high ever since."
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