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Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame

2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

Toby Tobiasson

Toby Tobiasson's wrestling pedigree began when the country boy came to town in 1962 to start high school and graduated in 1966. He realized he was ill-prepared to play basketball but recognized that throwing critters and wrestlers were similar. This set his path for the next fifty years. 

After a respectable high school wrestling career, Toby began refereeing high school wrestling in Colorado in 1975, eventually becoming an Area Director for high school officials. He continued to referee high school wrestling for approximately forty years in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. 

Toby began coaching Folkstyle, Freestyle and Greco Roman club wrestling in 1981. As time passed he began refereeing local USA Wrestling tournaments. This progressed to working regional and national events as well. Toby is most proud that he is the only official who has worked every Cadet National Duals since it started nearly thirty years ago and has not missed a Cadet or Junior National event since 1989. Toby has also worked one to three  Kids, Cadet or Junior Regional Tournament every year since 1989. In addition, he has officiated many Open level and International events. 

Toby served as the Director of Mat officials for Colorado, New Mexico and Utah from 1990 until 2012. Toby interpreted rules and mentored athletes, coaches and officials and served as Head Official or Clinician at innumerable local, regional and national events. After a contentious time in the National Leadership of the United States Wrestling Official's Association (USWOA), Toby ran for election as Secretary to the Executive Board. He served in that capacity for 14 years from 2006 until his retirement in 2019. 

Toby has received several national level accolades including the Outstanding Official at Cadet Nationals, the Outstanding Greco Official at Cadet National Duals, The Outstanding Greco Official at Junior National Duals, the Glen Blackman Award for outstanding up and coming official, the Phil Portuese Award for outstanding USWOA trainer and mentor, the USWOA Official of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Dave Smith

Dave Smith wrestled for Piute High School from 1966 -1970.  Dave then went on to wrestle for Snow College. After college Dave returned to his hometown where he created a wrestling dynasty.  Dave coached wrestling at Piute for 17 years.  Ten of those years he also coached the sport of cross country.  Dave then coached one year at Parowan and 9 years at Carbon High School.
During his coaching tenure, Dave coached 54 individual State Champions, 11 high school wrestling All-Americans, 3 four-time individual Utah State Wrestling Champions, and multiple two-time state champions. Dave was named Region Coach of the year 9 times and named state coach of the year 10 times. Dave coached three Utah State Championship Teams, and many runner-up teams.
Dave’s wins that he was most proud of was his 1993 team at Piute which defeated the other three classification team champions from Delta, Payson, and Mountain Crest during the season, making them arguably the best team in Utah.  He also coached a Carbon team that handed Delta its first home loss in many years. Dave was also proud of his sons and grandsons and their continued success in the sport of wrestling.
Dave was a mentor to many wrestlers and coaches.  He was always willing to help not only wrestlers from his team, but also wrestlers from other teams.


Jeff Holtry

Holtry started wrestling at the age of five.  By the time he was in sixth grade he had won five state titles in USA freestyle wrestling.  In high school he was a four sport athlete playing baseball, track, wrestling and football. In track, he was all-state performer three years in discus. In baseball he was a first team All-State pitcher, batted .460  and was drafted by MLB.  In wrestling he was a 3-time state champion at Heavyweight, and three time All-American, finishing with a career record of 126-8. As a sophomore he placed first in the Western Regionals freestyle tournament and fourth in the Nationals. As a junior, he was selected to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and as a senior, Holtry was a First Team Dream Team All-American and represented Utah in the Dapper Dan Classic being the first wrestler from Utah to win in that meet.  
As a football player Holtry was a three time All State selection, and two time All-American as well as a two time Mr. Football (Deseret News) and 2-time Gatorade Player of the Year. He accepted a football scholarship to the University of Michigan being the first athlete from Utah to attend Michigan on a football scholarship.  While at Michigan he played outside linebacker and long snapper as Michigan won the Big 10 title, Rose Bowl and National Championship in 1997.  Holtry got married in 1998 and transferred to BYU where he played linebacker and helped win BYU’s first ever Mountain West conference championship in 1999.

Mike Ripplinger

Mike Ripplinger was born April of 1955 in Driggs, Idaho and started wrestling in the 6th grade where he would practice for 2 weeks during the year with a small tournament at the end. In his first tournament he placed 4th in the 75 pound weight class, the following year 2nd at 80lbs and the 3rd year 1st in the 85 pound weight class. As a 9th grader Mike was in the 98 pound weight class and was 4th on the teams depth chart. As a 10th grader Mike wrestled varsity at 98 pounds and finished 2nd at the state tournament, his team had 10 of 12 weights make the state finals that year and finished 1stas a team. As an 11th grader Mike was a state champion as well as their team and as a Senior Mike finished as a state champion for his 2nd straight state title. 

After High School Mike went to Ricks College and then on a 2 year LDS mission to Seoul Korea and then the Pusan Korea mission. Upon his return from his mission Mike wrestled at Ricks College and placed 3rdat Regionals and 4that the Junior College Nationals. Upon graduating from Ricks College Mike married Tracey and have been happily married every since. 

Mike’s next wrestling venture placed him at Weber State wrestling for their team, he wrestled 2 years for the Division 1 program and then worked as a student trainer and coach at Weber State as a graduate assistant. Mike then landed an assistant coaching job at Alta High School in Utah for one year and then was offered the head coaching job at Box Elder High School. In his first year at Box Elder they finished 7th in the state which was the 1984-1985 year. In 1987 and 1988 Box Elder finished 2nd in state and in 1989 Box Elder won their first state title under Coach Mike Ripplinger stopping Brighton’s string of 10 consecutive state titles. Again in 1999, 2000 and 2001 Box Elder won 3 more state titles and finished runner ups 3 more years preceding that. Mike added another 2 state titles and 6 more runner up finishes after 2002 to his resume. 

Over Mike’s coaching year’s Box Elder won 25 region titles, 6 state titles, and 13 runner up finishes. Mike has coached 58 state champions, 64 second place winners and overall 298 placers which is an average of 8.7 placers per year and 19 All Americans. He was also voted coach of the year 7 times and National Coach of the Year in 2005. Mike is one of Utah’s finest coaches and has built Box Elder to be a state power in his time. 

Russ Paulsen

Russ has been an educator and coach for 40 years and retired in 2018.  He coached at Bingham High School for 25 years, West Jordan High School for 2 years, Intermountain Indian School for 1 year and Utah State University for 3 years. ​​​​​​ As the coach for Bingham High School he had 11 state champions and 89 state placers. 

Russ wrestled at Utah State University from 1972-1975 and overall had 95 wins and 20 losses. He represented the West in the 1975 ninth annual East vs. West All-Star meet in Clarion, PA. Russ became the first USU wrestler to win the Arizona Invitational.  During his time at USU, Russ was presented the Wayne Estes Memorial award (given to the senior athlete in any sport), and the "HY" Hunsaker Award presented to the outstanding University Freshman student-athlete.  Paulsen was a 3 year team captain at USU and won the George "Doc" Nelson award (Team Outstanding Wrestler). 

Russ wrestled at Clarion High School in Clarion, Iowa and was a state champion in 1971. 



Tom Foster

Tom attended Pleasant Hill High School in Pleasant Hill, California where he played football and wrestled compiling a 3-year record of 78 wins and 1 loss, winning three Northern California State Championships at 161lbs, 178lbs and 191lbs.

Upon graduating from high school, Tom garnered several football athletic scholarships, however, none would allow him to also wrestle so he chose to attend Utah State University.  There he played football and became one of the most decorated wrestlers in school history, he was a four-year letterman from 1963-1966 and finished his career at USU with a 48-11-1 dual record including a 17-2 mark as a senior. During his senior year, he won the 191 pound weight class at Mountain Intercollegiate Tournament advancing to the NCAA Tournament, placed third earning All American honors, the third place finish at the 1966 NCAA is the best finish in Utah State University history.

Upon graduating Tom moved to California to coach wrestling and football for 4 years before he and his wife moved to Oregon where he started an insurance investment company.


Dick Hill

Dick Hill graduated from Carbon High School in Price, Utah where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball and earned All-State honors in football. Dick attended BYU and lettered in football for 3 years, baseball for 3 years and wrestling for 1 year. He placed 4th in the conference while in college in the heavyweight division. After college, Dick turned to officiating, and was the meet director for several state wrestling tournaments and finished his officiating career after 25 years of service. He officiated in 22 consecutive state tournaments as well. Dick was one of the top officials in the state of Utah and will be remembered for his many years of service to the sport of wrestling. 


Gene Kawa

Gene Kawa wrestled for the University of Utah under Coach Marv Hess from 1970-1974. He started officiating in 1974 and officiated his first state tournament in 1975. During his officiating career from 1974-2017, Gene has been an officer in, and President of the Utah High School Wrestling Official's Association, has served on the National Federation Rules Committee and was named Male Official of the Year. 

The best award Gene received during his 40 plus years of officiating are the friendships built with coaches, wrestlers and fellow officials. The memories are always in his heart.


Travis Gittins

Travis was a 1987 graduate of Mountain Crest High School. During the 1987-88 school year, Travis wrestled at 190 lbs for BYU and finished 2nd in the WAC. After the conclusion of the year he left BYU to serve an LDS mission. He served in Ventura California.

Upon returning home from his mission, Travis transferred from BYU to Oklahoma State University where he redshirted his first year and then started for the following three years. His sophomore year he took 3rd in the Big 12 Conference tournament. His senior year he placed 2nd in the conference tournament. He graduated from Oklahoma State in 1994 with a Pre-Med/Biology degree. Travis then went on to attend Northeastern State University’s College of Optometry from 1994-1998.

Travis married his wife, Angela Shelton, in August 1994. He currently lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and daughter, Taylor, where he owns a private Optometry practice. He helps out with local youth and high school programs during the wrestling season. When he can make it work, Travis tries to return to Mountain Crest High School to help with their camps.

Robert Steele

Robert Steele was first introduced to wrestling when his older brother came home from high school and said he wanted to join the wrestling team.  Robert's first match was at BYU at a freestyle tournament in 7th grade where he placed third and loved the sport ever since.

In high school he placed third in State his Junior year for Orem High school under coach Fred Rowland.  The summer between his Junior and Senior year he traveled with the USA Utah wrestling team as they went to Mexico City for the Jr Olympics where he placed third.  During his senior year he won the 4A state championship at 167 lbs with a 51-0 record. 

Robert loved playing football and wrestling. He was offered a football scholarship to Snow College after being an All-State linebacker. He accepted the opportunity and competed in both football and wrestling. While a Freshman, he placed third in the Western Regionals in Phoenix which qualified him for Nationals where he also finished third. Robert finished his Sophomore year 35-1 losing in the Championship match.  After Snow College Robert went to BYU where he was a two-time WAC champion.  His Senior year he was the Western Region Champion.

Robert started his coaching career at Payson High school. He was there for 5 years and coached 3 individual state champions.  In 1987 Robert accepted a coaching position at Orem High school, his alma mater. He coached for 15 more years and coached three State Team championships (1994, 1995, 1996) and 11 individual champions.

Wrestling has been a huge part of Robert's life. Along the way he married his high school sweet heart Laurel Carlile.  They have seven children and 12 grandchildren.  Robert would like to thank his high school sweetheart for allowing him to spend so much time with wrestling.

Jeff Winderlin

As a child, Jeff found happiness in sports and became a great gymnast. During the off-season he looked for a sport that helped him keep in shape for gymnastics. Wrestling was that sport. He soon found that, in fact, he was a better wrestler than he was gymnast.

While attending Yuma High School in Arizona, Jeff was a 4-time letterman in gymnastics and 2-time letterman in wrestling. He won two state championships in Arizona and was recognized as the top athlete at Yuma High for his accomplishments in gymnastics and wrestling. His athletic accomplishments earned him a scholarship to the University of Utah where he wrestled.

In 1967, Jeff won the Western Regional Olympic Trials in San Diego, CA. He was the first wrestler from Utah to do so. During the Preliminary Olympic Trails, he broke his collarbone and separated his sternum in a match against Richard Sophman who was the 1960 and 1964 Olympic bronze medalist. The injury ended his run at the 1968 Olympics.

In 1975, Jeff began working to organize the Sundance Wrestling Club. He donated a tremendous amount of time and money to kids from all over in order to promote and support the sport of wrestling. With Bill Killpack by his side, the two grew the club into a successful organization. Bill and his son eventually took over the club with Jeff’s vision for the future in mind. Many high schools have an affiliation with Sundance Wrestling Club and the legacy of Jeff Winderlin.


Ross Brunson

Sports were a very big part of Ross’ High School experience.  Ross played football for 3 of his four years and was voted a captain of the football team his senior year.  However, Ross’ true love was the sport of wrestling where he excelled placing high in the California CIF sports program and received a scholarship offer to Brigham Young University.

With three young boys in the home, Ross would love to wrestle with his sons on the living room floor.  As the boys began to grow up Ross would volunteer to coach their Pee-Wee and Middle School wrestling teams.  As his sons began to enter their high School years he would volunteer his time to assist their High School wrestling coaches.   Ross spent time coaching in the Hillcrest High School wrestling program from 1994 through 2004. For two of those years he served as the head wrestling coach.  After leaving Hillcrest, Ross spent a year coaching at Mountain View High School in Orem and is how beginning his 8th year coaching at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah.

In 1999 when BYU dropped its wrestling program, Ross created the Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation (UAWF) as a vehicle to be able to raise funds for amateur wrestling at all levels within the State and has served as an officer in the Foundation to the present day.  He along with a group of avid wrestling supporters sought to raise funds to save the BYU wrestling program.  When that goal could not be achieved, Ross along with the board of directors of the UAWF negotiated with Utah Valley State College and was successful in reinstating college wrestling in Utah at what is now known as Utah Valley University (UVU). Through the fund raising efforts of the UAWF, the Foundation has been able to donate over $470,000 to UVU’s wrestling team. These contributions have allowed hundreds of young men to fulfill their dreams of being able to wrestle at the college level.

Wayne Carlson

Wayne is a graduate of Utah State University where he wrestled. His senior year at USU he won the consolation championship at the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championship. He was then sent on to the 1968 NCAA Championship held at Penn State where he was designated an All-American. That year he was also a finalist for the Athlete of the Year Robins Award.

After graduating from USU he stayed on as an assistant coach. He coached at Utah State for two years until 1970 when he was recruited by the Park City School's Superintendent to start a wrestling program for Park City High School. Wayne accepted and for the next 15 years he taught school and coached both wrestling and football.

In 1987, Wayne retired from coaching to continue his career as a general contractor and at the present time he is still working in this field.

Wayne is married to his sweetheart, Cheri. They have been married for 47 years and have three daughters, Valerie, Wendy and Cally and one son Jeffery. 

Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson attended and wrestled for Uintah High School where he received a Wrestling Honorable Mention All-American Award in 1969 under coach Dennis Preece. He then went on to attend the University of Utah where he wrestled from 1969-1974. In 1974, he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education.

After his graduation, Ed took a position with Uintah High School coaching Football, Wrestling, and Baseball. As an assistant wrestling coach under Dennis Preece, he was part of 3 state championship teams at Uintah High School (1976,1977, 1979). Ed became the Head Coach at Uintah High School and coached his teams to the 1984 3A Runner up, 1985 3A State champions, 1986 3A 5th place, 1987 3A State champions, 1988 3A State champions, 1989 3A State Runner up, 1994 3A State Runner up awards.

Ed is a 2-time State of Utah 3A Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1988. During his impressive coaching career, he coached over 20 state high school champions and 40 state placers.


Davie Swensen

Davie Swensen has 33 years of head coaching (7 years in Idaho and 26 in Utah) under his belt as well as 31 years as a football coach with 4 of those years as the head football coach. Overall Davie posted 439 dual meet wins with 131 losses and 5 ties. 24 times has his team placed in the top 5 at the state tournament and all 26 years he coached in Utah he finished in the top 10 which includes 4 State Team Titles, 4 State Team runner-ups and 8 times his team placed third. 

In Utah Davie coached 20 academic All-State wrestlers, 44 state champions & 29 state runner-ups with a total of 195 state placers. He also coached 16 High School All-Americans. Davie earned multiple coaching honors including; Utah Wrestling coach of the year 3x, 2007 NFHS National Wrestling Coach of the Year. Swensen was also a Utah National Team coach for 16 years, accompanied Team Utah to Moscow, Russia in 2003 and was 2x the President of Utah Wrestling Coaches Association. 

Luke Lofthouse

Luke Lofthouse is entering his third season as strength and conditioning coach at the University of Iowa. Lofthouse first joined the Iowa wrestling program in 2004. He was a letter winner during the 2004-05 season competing at 174 pounds. He then took a two-year hiatus from the program to complete a Mormon mission to Africa from 2005-07.

In 2011, Lofthouse earned the starting spot at 197 pounds and went on to earn All-America honors by placing fifth at the 2011 NCAA Championships. That year he posted a 25-7 dual record, a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships, and was named the team's most dedicated wrestler.

A native of Avon, Utah, Lofthouse was a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club in 2012. He and his wife, Allison, and their son, Nicholas, currently reside in Coralville, Iowa. He is a 2011 graduate of the University of Iowa. A graduate of Mt. Crest High School Lofthouse had a successful career for the Mustangs. He was a four time state finalist and a three time state champion at 189 pounds. Lofthouse was also part of the first Mustang wrestling team to win a state championship.

Jody Warren

Jody attended High School in Star Valley, Wyoming where he wrestled varsity for 4 years winning one state title. He then moved on to wrestle at Weber State College for four years. After his college wrestling Jody moved into coaching where he coached High School wrestling for 21 years starting in the 1989-1990 year and finishing in 2010. During his tenure as the head coach Jody coached at Weber High School for 20 of his 21 years. During his time at Weber Coach Warren coached 27 state champions and 7 of those with multiple state titles. To go along with his 27 state champions Jody coached an additional 80 state placers. As a team Coach Warren had 1 state championship team and five times finished team runner-ups and captured four region titles. In 2007 his team went undefeated and won the state title, the first time in 51 years Weber won a wrestling state championship. Coach Warren ended his career with a 242-91 dual meet record and retired in 2010. Coach Warren influenced hundreds of young men towards successful lives and made hundreds of wrestling-family friends. 

Bob Broughton

Bob went to high school at Montrose High School in Colorado. He was part of three state wrestling championship teams and was a 2x state placer. After High School Bob went on to wrestle and play football at Utah State University where he was a three-time letter winner in both sports from 1962-1965. In wrestling Bob earned All-American honors in 1965 after he placed 4th at the NCAA Division 1 Championships. Bob finished his collegiate career with a 39-9-2 record including 16-3-1 his senior year. After Bob graduated from Utah State University he signed to play football in the CFL.


Bob Carlson

Bob was the head coach at Utah State University for 19 years and at that time was the youngest head coach. He never had a losing season and finished with a record of 225-75-1. Bob coached two teams that finished their seasons with only 1 loss at 17-1 and 13-1 dual records. 

Other accomplishments are: Past President National Wrestling Coaches Association for 3 years, Member of the USA Wrestling Executive Board, Coached the West Team in Stillwater, OK for the East vs. West Meet, started the Beehive Brawl and Hawaii Invitational. Coaches 6 All-Americans, won two PCAA Conference Championships, placed 10th in the NCAA's in his last year with 3 AA. 

Bob also spent 4 years as the Associate AD at Clarion University and 16 years as the Athletic Director. He retired in 2006 from Clarian and is now currently living in Las Vegas and is married to his wife Sue of 46 years and they have a daughter, Dana and son, Bob with 5 grandkids. 

Paul Dart

Mr. Paul Dart taught high school for 37 years and was the head wrestling coach at Tooele High School for 21 years.  His team won several region championships and the state championship in 1981. During his wrestling coaching career, he coached 19 individual state champions and won coach of the year award twice. In 2004 while officiating he was named the "Official of the Year."

He became the Athletic Director at Tooele and served in that position for 15 years.  Working closely with the Utah High School Activities Association, Paul was the president of the Athletic Directors Association, president of the Wrestling Coaches Association and president of the Wrestling Officials Association.  Mr. Dart is also a long time employee of the US Forest Service and is going on 50 years working for the Wasatch-Cache-Uintah District.  He is pretty much a permanent fixture on the Stansbury Range,

Norm Sanderson

Becoming involved as his sons began wrestling, Norm later worked with Fred Rowland and the U.S. Wrestling Federation to bring freestyle wrestling to the state of Utah. After the USWF became USA Wrestling, he served for many years as the first head official for the Utah organization. Conducting clinics all over the state, Norm helped to educate many with the rules of the international styles. Norm officiated at many tournaments across the country. He also founded a successful club in Pleasant Grove and dedicated most of his time to working with the younger wrestlers. He taught that if you have fun and work hard the winning would take of itself.

2012 Utah Hall of Fame Inductees

Aaron Holker

3x Orem HS Wrestling State Champion 1996-1998.  Aaron won an NCAA title at 141 lbs. At BYU: he became BYU's first All-American since 1987 with his seventh-place 133-pound finish at the 1999 NCAA Championship. He transferred to Iowa State after BYU dropped its program and won an NCAA title wrestling for the Cyclones.

Justin Ruiz

Ruiz took the Bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships now Utah Valley University assistant wrestling coach. 3x Utah State Champion from Taylorsville High School, three-time ASICS Junior National Champion, a three-time Fila Junior Nationals Champion and a High School National Champion. He also was a member of the Fila Junior World Team two times and the recipient of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award in 1998. Wrestled  two seasons as an All-American wrestler at University of Nebraska. He became a seven-time U.S. Open National Champion, six-time U.S. World Team member, 10-time U.S. National Team member, two-time Olympic alternate, two-time US Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year, four-time Pan American Champion, a World Cup Silver Medalist and a member of the first and only U.S. Greco-Roman Team to win a World Championship (2007). 

Reed Fehlberg

1994 BYU Hall of Fame Inductee. BYU All-American Wrestler.  A member of  BYU's fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 1973, the highest finish by a BYU wrestling team in school history.  Reed never won an individual WAC crown, but he helped BYU win four consecutive WAC team titles.  In 1980 he was selected State 2A Wrestling Coach of the Year.

Laron Hansen

Wrestled for BYU from 1971-75.  He was named the WAC's Outstanding Wrestler, and placed 5th and 3rd in the NCAA tournaments in his last two years with the team. A two-time All-American, he was part of BYU's success as the team placed 4th in the NCAA during his senior year-the highest ranking BYU has ever achieved in its wrestling history.  In 1986 Hansen was inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame.1968-69 HS State Wrestling Champ.

2010 Utah Hall of Fame Inductees

Glenn Kawa (1946-2012)

Kawa was a 2-time state wrestling champion from Weber HS who went on to wrestle at the University of Utah where he was a team captain and placed second in the Western Athletic Conference.  He was a wrestling coach and teacher at Kearns High School for 36 years.  He officiated wrestling for over 30 years and was known for being one of the most consistent and competent officials in state history.

Ryan Lewis

Two-time All-American and Minnesota alum, Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation Hall of Fame, two-time NCAA runner-up at Minnesota, compiling an 83-15 record.  Lewis captured the Big Ten title and earned the 2002 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year award, 2000 University Nationals Freestyle Champion, and Utah State Wrestling Champion from Uintah HS 1998.

David Chavis

Chavis was the head wrestling coach at Brighton HS for 10 seasons and won eight consecutive State Championships (1981-1988).  He spent 18 total seasons in coaching  and in his 10 years as head coach posted a dual meet record of 174-4 .  Chavis was also known for being a remarkable classroom teacher where his simulation on Fascism received national attention.

Ron Petersen

Petersen, as the Delta HS Head Wrestling Coach, won eight consecutive state championships (1974-81) and coached 37 individual state champions. He was also instrumental in building youth and junior high wrestling in Delta, which catapulted the Rabbits to 26 state team titles — the most of any Utah high school. Petersen also coached Allen Lake, the first ever four-time state champion in the state's history.  Before coming to Delta HS, Petersen was the head wrestling coach at Grantsville HS.


Sam Arishita

West HS 2x State Champion 1963-64.  Wrestled for University of Utah before being drafted into the military and then making the wrestling team for the Army’s West Point. When Arishita returned to Utah, he became the WAC wrestling champion at 118 pounds. He coached wrestling and judo at Granite and Skyline HS for 38 years.

2009 Utah Hall of Fame Inductees

Alfred Castro

Castro was one of just two wrestlers in Utah State’s school  history to be named a two-time All-American, his first All-American award after the 1985 season. He went 32-7-1 as a sophomore and finished seventh at the NCAA Championships at 118 pounds, beating three opponents that were ranked higher. He was named the Pacific Coast Athletic Association Wrestler of the Year 1986  and was the league’s individual champion at his weight. He was inducted into Utah State University’s Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

Rondo Fehlberg

Wrestled for BYU, where he shined for the Cougars by winning three conference championships and All-America honors, a collegiate record of 74-17, with 34 pins. His final year on the team, Rondo had a 23-2 record, including 14 pins, taking him to the NCAA championships in College Park, Maryland, 1972.  During the match Rondo suffered an uncommon wrestling injury.  His drive to compete wouldn't let him stay down, borrowing a pair of crutches that same day, he discharged himself, returned to the tournament, and convinced another team's physician to splint the injured leg so he could continue. Grappling on one good leg, he won two more matches, wrestling his way to a 5th place national finish and an All-American ranking.  Rondo was an assistant Wrestling Coach at BYU (1973-74) and then Athletic Director (1995-99).

Bob Kawa

Kawa wrestled for the University of Utah and attended Weber HS where he won a state title.  While at the University of Utah, Kawa wrestled Iowa State's Dan Gable and put Gable on his back (some people said he had Gable pinned!). Kawa was the head coach at Hillcrest High School in the 1970's and was instrumental in bringing a youth national team from Japan to compete in Utah. Kawa also was a longtime assistant coach at Olympus HS. But Kawa is best known as an official where he served in that capacity for over 30 years being known as one of the most consistent and competent officials in our state's history.  

Gil Meier

Meier led Olympus HS to five state championships (1957,1959-62) creating one of the first large school dynasties in Utah wrestling history.  Meier is also inducted in the Utah Sports Hall of Fame (2002) as an official. 

Dave Lundskog

Lundskog wrestled for Weber State University and was the first native Utahn to become an NCAA All-American.  He also wrestled for Brighton HS and was a 1979 State Champion.

Mike Hansen

Hansen was a 2-time HS State Champion Teton HS 1966-67.  Hansen wrestled for BYU (1970-74) where he won two WAC titles and All-American distinction.  In 30 years of coaching at Layton HS he coached three championship teams (1991, 1999-2000) and had several teams finish in the top five.  He won the Utah Wrestling Coach of the Year award four times and the 2004 National Wrestling Coach of the Year.  

Joe Wolfe Davis

Davis coached for 19 years winning seven wrestling State Championships at Monticello HS (1973-78, 1986). Davis was a member of the wrestling squad and the football team at the University of Utah.  He was a 2-time State Wrestling Champion at Uintah HS.

2008 Utah Hall of Fame Inductees

Marv Hess (1926-2009)

University of Utah’s Head Wrestling Coach 1955-80 as well as Assistant Football & Track. He was a coach who had never wrestled however in 25 years at the University of Utah, he posted a dual meet record of 222 victories against 102 defeats and kept the Utes competitive nationally without full scholarships.  From his success as a coach he was elected President of the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 1967 and also served on the Olympic Committee from 1968-72. Hess continued coaching until retiring in 1995. Marv was inducted into several Halls of Fame, most notably the Utah Old Times Athletes Hall of Fame, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Crimson Club Hall of Fame.  He was chairman of the NCAA rules committee and one of the original six organizers of USA Wrestling.

Frank Iacabazzi

Iacobazzi gave his time, as first a coach, and then a referee, to the sport of wrestling in Utah. He was inducted into Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. He wrestled at Olympus HS and then at the University of Utah. His reffing career would  include over 30 state tournaments.  He also received a Distinguished Performance Award from the Utah Wrestling Officials Association.

Mel Wood (1921-2010)

Wood began his long and successful career with Weber School District where he was a popular football, swimming, track, wrestling coach and athletic director for 18 years at Weber High School. He led his wrestling teams to eight state championships (1949-55).

Don Holtry

Holtry presided over West's wrestling teams from 1971-2005. From 1985-97 and 2002-04, he coached the school's football program winning a state title in 1992 and putting together a winning streak of 23 games.  In wrestling, he coached 94 region champions, 98 state placers and 13 state champs. His best-ever finish with the Panthers was second in state to Pleasant Grove in 1994 though he had several top ten finishes in his career. His dual meet coaching record was 521-349 in dual meets, with winning records against 33 of 55 high schools.  Don was a state champion himself at West High School and wrestled at Utah State.

Cordell Andersen

Hall of Honor Utah Summer Games 1986, 4x HS Wrestling State Champion.

Cody Sanderson

Sanderson is Associate Head Coach at Penn State University, under older brother Cael Sanderson. Sanderson was a two-time national finalist All-American at 133 pounds, advancing to the NCAA title. He ended his stellar Iowa State career with 116 wins, including a 33-3 mark his senior year. He also claimed the Big 12 title as a senior and helped spur ISU to a National Runner-Up finish at the NCAA Championships in 2000. 2006-2009: Associate Head Coach, Iowa State, 2004-2006: Head Coach, Utah Valley State, where he grew the wrestling program from the ground up: 2001-2003 Administrative Assistant, Iowa State. He wrestled for Wasatch HS where he was a 4x State Champion.

Tex Casto

Wrestled for the University of Utah and was part of the first undefeated squad in Utah’s history in 1959.

2007 Utah Hall of Fame Inductees

John Webb

John Webb landed a wrestling scholarship to the University of Wyoming where he took 7th place in the nation at the US Federation Nationals and then went on to wrestle for Weber State University. Webb was the head coach of the Weber High School Wrestling team where he earned Utah 4A Coach of the Year honors in 1976. Later he returned to Weber State as the wrestling coach for nine years; developing three All-Americans and was twice named Big Sky "Coach of the Year" in 1981 and 1983. He was then the assistant coach at Oklahoma State University where they took the NCAA National Championships in 1989. He ended his career as BYU's head assistant coach. In 2002 John Webb was inducted into the Weber State Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Fred Rowland

Fred Rowland starting coaching at West High School and coached wrestling for over 40 years. He was awarded the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation/Distinguished High School Coach. He was also honored by the Freestyle Wrestling Association of Utah in recognition of over 20 years of service. Fred was the recipient of the Utah Wrestling Association, "Man of the Year" as well.

Fred is one of two coaches in Utah prep wrestling history to win state titles at two different schools; West High in 1969 and Orem High in 1976. He also Mountain View's first wrestling coach when the school opened in 1980 and in 1982 his team placed second.

Brad Hansen

As a BYU wrestler  6-1, 167-pounder fashioned an impressive 125-14-1 career record to become the winningest collegiate wrestler in the history of not only the state of Utah but also the WAC. He helped BYU to 20th-, 12th-, 6th-, and 14th-place NCAA team finishes.  Twice in 1979, his senior year, Brad was ranked number one in the nation by the Amateur Wrestling News. Brad was the first wrestler in the then 17-year history of the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association to win four MIWA crowns. The three-time conference champion also set the WAC record for career tournament victories, 69-13-0, and became the first Cougar and only the third wrestler in league history to be ranked number one nationally. He also set the Western Athletic Conference record for most season dual meet victories (18).  After he finished competing for BYU, he coached wrestling at Spanish Fork High School from 1984 to 1990. His program produced 21 individual state champions, nine of whom went on to the college level, finishing among the state's top five teams five times, winning the state championship in 1988. Brad was a BYU 1996 Hall of Fame Inductee.



Rick Burningham (1954-2006)

He loved and was active in all sports, but his greatest love was Baseball and Wrestling. He coached Little League Baseball and Bantam Wrestling for many years and was a wrestling official for over 25 years. 

Ladd Holman

Holman led Delta High School to nine consecutive Wrestling State Championships from 1985-1993 and still holds this record with the UHSAA. 

Ben Ohai

Ohai was recruited for football and wrestling by BYU.  He wound up becoming a two-time All-American wrestler (second and third-place finishes in the NCAA championships) and a two-time Western Athletic Conference champion at 190 pounds (1973-74).  He returned to BYU as an Assistant Wrestling Coach and also was the head coach at Spanish Fork HS and Cottonwood HS.  He compiled a collegiate career record of 116 -8 .  Ohai never lost a match to a WAC opponent. He received the great honor of wrestling in the NCAA East-West All-Star team in 1974. He is also a BYU 1983 Hall of Fame Inductee.  His daughter Megan played soccer for USC while his other daughter Kealia played at North Carolina and currently plays professionally for the Houston Dash.

Ric Thompson (1960-2010)

Thompson coached the Payson wrestling program from 1997-2000 and led to the Lions to their first-ever state championship in the sport in 1998.  In the following season the Lions took second as a team but crowned five individual champions.  He was the 4A Coach of the Year 1998. He also coached at Brighton HS and  Lehi HS.

Thompson was a 2-time state champion at Brighton HS and wrestled at Utah State.  

Thompson, and much of his family, battled cancer.  He and his wife Angie are the inspiration behind the Wrestling Against Cancer Duals which has been hosted by Provo High School since 2010.

Greg Robbins

Robbins was a state champion wrestler at Skyline High School and became the first Utah wrestler ever to compete for Dan Gable and Iowa. Robbins become the first Utah wrestler to win a Pan-American championship and he competed in the 1984 Olympic Trials.  

2002 Utah Hall of Fame Inductees

Cael Sanderson

Sanderson attended Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah.  He was a 4-time Utah State High School Champion (1994-1997) and compiled a career High School record of 127-3.  He won a NHSCA national title in 1997.  He was also an all-region performer in football. 

After High School Sanderson attended Iowa State University where he became the first and only undefeated four-time NCAA Champion (1999-2002) finishing with a 159-0 mark.  In 2004, Sanderson became an Olympic Gold medalist and in 2003 was a World Silver medalist. 

Sanderson currently coaches at Penn State University, and as of 2019, he has led the Nittany Lions to eight national championships and eight Big Ten titles in nine years.

Dennis Preece (1940-1997)

In 33 years of teaching and 25 years of coaching  Preece won nine State Championships in wrestling and one in golf while at Uintah High School before leaving in 1977. He invited the best wrestling teams to his "Tournament of Champions" which is now one of the biggest and best tournaments in the country.

Preece coached 50 state champions and over 100 total state placers.  His dual meet record at Uintah was 208-16-2 and he won 50 tournaments.  He coached the third and fourth 3-time state champions in state history. Preece earned the Coach of the Year award five different times and won the National Coach of the Year award in 1976 for Wrestling USA Magazine.  He was also took all-star teams from Utah to compete in Mexico City and Montreal and hosted a Japanese youth National team. 

Preece retired from coaching in 1991, spending his last years at Skyline High School where in his last year his son Scott won a state title and he coached his last All-American in Jake Marshall.  His coaching tree includes Hall of Fame inductees Joe Wolfe Davis and Ed Johnson.  His daughter Deanna Preece Meyer has won six state titles of her own in volleyball while he and his son Brian were the first father-son duo in Utah history to coach NHSCA All-Americans.

Darold Henry

When asked about his most memorable moment in coaching Coach Henry said, "When I first got into coaching all I wanted to have was one state champion."

Coach Henry did that 65 times over (including his son Darrin who won two state titles) and won 10 team titles as he led the Pleasant Grove Vikings wrestling program from 1968 to 1993. In that time he won the Coach of the Year 4 different times. His most memorable moment was winning that first state team title in 1971. His last of 10 state titles was won in 1993 when he handed the reigns over to former Viking wrestler Tom Phelon.

Coach Henry was an accomplished wrestler growing up in Nebraska earning a state title his senior year of High School. He later wrestled at BYU. Coach Henry is also known for being a top notch official at both the state and college level. He has officiated in 31 NCAA Tournaments. 

Kerry Anderson

Anderson has been a fixture at Wayne High School for five decades. He is known as one of the most successful wrestling coaches in Utah prep history. He has amassed 16 state title winning teams and another eight teams which placed second. His teams won 20 region titles and has coached 99 individual state champions and 27 All-Americans. Many of his former wrestlers have gone on to coach their own programs. 

He was the Utah National Team Coach for eight years and coached numerous wrestlers from Utah at the Junior Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota.  Anderson has served as a USA wrestling coach taking a team to Slovenia and coached many years at the Utah Summer Games.  Anderson wrestled in college at BYU and retired from wrestling and coaching in 2012. In 2003 he was inducted into the National Hall of Fame.  Anderson has also officiated wrestling for over 10 years.

His 16 state championships at Wayne HS (1983-1985, 88-92, 96, 1998-2001, 2003, 2005-06) are the most of any coach in Utah history.

Jim Porter

Porter was Delta's first State Champion back in the 1951-1952 season and is the man generally credited for turning the area into a wrestling haven. He was a standout athlete at BYU. Trophies line the fireplace mantel at the Porter home. Nine are for regional and five are for State Championship wrestling titles. Six more give recognition for Jim's being Utah's Wrestling Coach of the Year. From 1962-1971 Coach Porter led Delta to a new level of success. He has a total of six High School Wrestling State Championships; 1963-1967 at Delta and 1994 at Millard.  He also posted a state record 159 dual meet victories without a defeat.

Don Neff

All American Wrestler 1974-1975 and from 1978-1980 he led the Brighton Bengals to the 4A State Title. In 1992 Don was given a 25 year service award by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. He was a High School Wrestling coach and NCAA Wrestling Official from 1964-1990. In 1967 he was the co-founder of the Utah Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association. He was Wrestling USA Magazine State Wrestling Man of the Year in 1990. 

Don helped bring Utah wrestling to another level of excellence and propelled the growth of the sport in the state. He was a 3x Utah State Champion at San Juan High School and wrestled for the University of Northern Colorado. 

Fred Davis

Davis was a three-time All-American while wrestling at Oklahoma A&M from 1954-1956, former NCAA Champion and recipient of the 2007 Gallagher Award. In 1964 Davis assumed the head coaching position at Brigham Young University. He spent 20 years at the helm of the Cougar wrestling program where he coached 18 All-Americans and 59 Western Athletic Conference Champions. BYU claimed the conference championship in 15 of his 20 seasons and finished as the runner-up four times. In 1973 Fred Davis was named the NCAA Coach of the Year. He retired from coaching and teaching in 1999. 

Frank Houston