Coach Travis Keal is a 28-year educator with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Pittsburg State University. Coach Keal has dedicated his career to the development of young athletes. For 25 years, he served as a head wrestling coach in Kansas, first at DeSoto High School from 199-2000, then at Mill Valley High School from 2000-2022. His tenure at Mill Valley High School is where Coach Keal made his biggest impact on Kansas wrestling. Mill Valley High School opened in the fall of 2000, which is when Coach Keal started to build Jaguar wrestling from the ground up. By 2020, he led the Jaguars to their first 6A Kansas State Team Championship. His teams consistently finished in the top 4 at the state level finishing 3rd in 2021, 4th in 2018 and 2017, and 3rd in 2016 and 2015. In addition, he has coached seven Kansas Regional Championship teams, five League Championship teams, 11 individual state champs, 68 individual state placers, one National Champion, and 11 All-Americans. Coach Keal’s dedication to wrestling and his athletes has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. Coach Keal is a 3-time Kansas Wrestling Coaches’ Association Coach of the Year, 3-time Kansas Wrestling Officials’ Coach of the Year, 7-time Kansas Regional Coach of the Year, 2-time Kansas Coaches’ Association Coach of the year, 2-time National Federation of State High School Association’s Sectional Coach of the Year, and 2-time Kansas USA Wrestling District Person of the Year, and served 8 times as a Kansas Coach for the annual KC Metro All-Star Event. Throughout his career, Coach Keal has remained committed to not only developing successful athletes, but also fostering academic excellence. This is evidenced by the fact that he coached the Jaguars to the 2020 6A Academic Team State Championship and had 57 individual KWCA All-Academic Team members. His passion for coaching and dedication to his athletes has made him a highly respected figure in the wrestling community. Coach Keal continues his career in education as Physical Education Teacher at Mill Valley High School. He and his wife Michele have been married for 27 years and currently reside in Lenexa, Kansas and they have 3 children: Austin, Zach, and Maryn.



Tyler Caldwell enters his seventh year on staff at Oklahoma State University, first as an assistant coach, after spending the previous six seasons as the program’s recruiting coordinator. While serving as recruiting coordinator, the Cowboys consistently signed classes ranked in the top five nationally, including the top-ranked class of 2023 that was highlighted by No. 1 pound-for-pound wrestler Christian Carroll, in his Caldwell’s final season in the role. Caldwell also played a major role in the Cowboys signing the top class in 2020, consisting of the No. 1 overall recruit and No. 2 pound-for-pound wrestler in the nation. The Pokes have crowned one National Champion who was part of Caldwell’s signing classes. Most recently, he helped coach Dustin Plott to back-to-back Big 12 individual titles and sixth-place finishes at the NCAA Championships, while also having a hand in Daton Fix’s four consecutive All-American seasons. As a collegiate wrestler, Caldwell transferred to Stillwater ahead of the 2012-13 campaign after competing at the University of Oklahoma as a freshman and sophomore. Earning All-America honors in all four years of his career, Caldwell was a two-time NCAA finalist and finished his career with a 126-29 record, including a mark of 63-9 at OSU. In his first season at Oklahoma State, he put together a 35-5 overall record that resulted in a Big 12 title and third-place finish at the NCAA Championships. In 2014, Caldwell made it to the NCAA finals before losing to Penn State’s David Taylor. His senior season consisted of a 28-4 record and his second consecutive individual conference championship. Following his graduation from Oklahoma State in 2014, Caldwell served as a volunteer assistant at West Virginia University during the 2015-16 season. Caldwell has also found success on the international stage, winning a University World Title in 2014. He also placed fourth at the U.S. Open and finished in the top six at the World Team Trials. A Wichita, Kan. native, Caldwell has been a part of the Cowboy wrestling program for nearly a decade. At Goddard High School, Caldwell had a record of 150-4, was a four-time Kansas State Champion and previously owned the Kansas state record for most falls in a career (125). Caldwell was also a 2-time Fargo All-American and finished 3rd at Senior Nationals.



Not many individuals in Kansas sports history have made such an impact on their sport as the late Coach Doug Vander Linden of Burlington High School. His long time involvement in all levels of Kansas wrestling is unmatched. He served the Kansas Wrestling Coaches’ Association in various capacities serving as treasurer for 18 years, vice-president 2 years, and KWCA President 2 years. Coach Vander Linden also served as the KWCA Representative of USAKS Board of Directors. In recent years he served on the State Task Force charged with starting KSHSAA sanctioned Girls Wrestling in Kansas. While leading the Burlington High School wrestlers, Coach Vander Linden led the Wildcats to a Kansas State Record 473-181-2 dual record. Under his leadership Burlington had 86 state qualifiers, 30 regional champs, 38 Kansas state placers, 3 state champions, and 22 wrestlers with over 100 career wins. Other duties Coach Vander Linden committed time to include serving as Burlington Wrestling Club director for 30 years; Burlington Middle School wrestling coach for 28 years, a program he founded; and running middle school duals for 10 years. In 2005, Coach Vander Linden was the NFHS Kansas Coach of the Year and the KWCA Coach of the Year. In both 2006 and 2022, USAWKS honored him as District 1 Person of the Year. He was honored by the Burlington Wrestling Foundation Hall of Fame in 2010 and the 2018 National Coaches’ Association Section 5 Coach of the Year. In 2022, USAWKS honored him as Kansas Person of the Year. After Coach Vander Linden’s passing in August of 2022, the Kansas State High School Activities Association inducted Coach Vander Linden in its KSHSAA Hall of Honor at a ceremony held at the 4A Kansas State Championships in Salina, Kansas. In 1985, Coach married the love of his life Michelle. He is survived by Michelle, of the home, three sons: Matthew with his wife, Jaymee, of Kansas City, Michael with his wife, Amanda, of Burlington, Nathan with his wife, Paige, of Topeka, a daughter: Jessica Jones with her husband, Scott, of Melvern, three grandchildren: Audrey, Brogan, and Kendall Jones, his father Gary and his wife Mary Vander Linden, two sisters: Dawn Clausing and family, Angie and Travis Morris and family, a brother: Adam and Alisha Vander Linden and family, and many other friends and family.



Coach Andy Niemczyk was born and raised in Forest Lake, Minnesota and competed in football and wrestling while in middle school and high school. As a high school wrestler he was a 3-time letter winner, team captain, and state qualifier. From high school, Coach Niemczyk headed to Bemidji State University where he was a 4-time letter winner, team captain, and a 2-time NAIA national qualifier. After graduation, his first coaching position was a two year stint as a wrestling and track coach at Cass Lake, Minnesota on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. He then coached wrestling at an agricultural junior college in Waseca, Minnesota for one year followed by a year at Bloomington Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minnesota. In 1986, Coach Niemczyk accepted the head wrestling coach position in Beloit, KS where he spent the next 37 years teaching elementary physical education and coaching Beloit High School wrestling. He was also an assistant football coach for the Trojans for 29 of those years. During his lengthy career, his dual meet record was 282-220-4. He had 5 teams place in the top 3 at state, including the 2007 3-2-1A Kansas State Championship. Individually, he produced 97 state placers and 23 state champs! During his career Coach Niemczyk received many accolades including: 2006 Kansas Wrestling Wrestling Officials Association Sportsmanship Award, 2007 and 2014 Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association 3-2-1A Coach of the Year, 2014 and 2019 3-2-1A Regional Coach of the Year, and 2014 National Wrestling Coaches Association Kansas Coach of the Year. Coach Niemcyk’s hobbies include waterfowl hunting, fishing, and golfing. He and his beloved wife Karen have been married since 1991. They have two sons, Alex (wife Destiny) and Tanner (wife Molly) who all reside in the Kansas City area.



Coach Bill Christner graduated from Bethany College in 1982 with a degree in Elementary Education after a successful career competing in football and track. After graduation from college, Coach Christner desired to be a head football coach and an assistant track coach. Bill and his wife, Joan, moved to Smith Center and, in hopes of coaching at the high school level, he accepted the only coaching vacancy, an assistant wrestling position under Scott Stoltenberg. He ended up coaching both middle and high school with “Stolt!” Bill & Joan lived in Smith Center from 1982 to 1985. Upon moving back to their hometown Abilene, Bill was looking forward to coaching with a couple of his former coaches, Paul Dennis (football) and Ken Russell (track). When he signed his contract at Abilene, again the only high school coaching available was in wrestling with Dave Ciccone. Because of circumstances offering wrestling as the only option, Bill considers coaching wrestling as a God thing – where he is supposed to be. He assisted Ciccone from 1985 to 1987. In 1987, Bill became the head wresting coach for Abilene through the 2003 season. In 2005, he joined George Havice’s staff at Abilene Middle School. During his early coaching years, Bill struggled to teach technique. Then a group of coaching friends led by Marty McCurdy took him under their wings. They traveled all over the country learning a system that proved to be very successful. That system, along with dedicated coaches, gave each of them a huge amount of confidence that produced many fine Abilene teams. Coach Christner had several coaches help throughout the years, but Dan Brown, Terry Thorson, Tom Taplin, James Stout, and Shane Palmer were vital parts of the program as his assistant coaches for multiple years. Bill would be remiss if he didn’t give credit to the Abilene Kids Club, led by Dave Robison, and Abilene Middle School, led by George Havice, for also being a part of his success. As head coach at Abilene for 16 years, the Cowboys compiled a dual record of 108 wins, 69 losses, and one tie. Abilene won 5 NCKL Championships and at one point had won over 50 duals in a row. As a team at State, the Cowboys had 7 top-ten finishes, including 3 State Championships. Individually, 95 wrestlers qualified for the state tournament, 42 earned state medals, and 9 became state champs. Bill had the chance to coach Dustin Tovar – a two-time State Champ, Ross Taplin – a three-time State Champ, & Jake Kreigbaum – a four-time State Champ. Taplin went on to become a High School All American. Both Taplin and Tovar were NCAA Division II All Americans. Kreigbaum went on to NCAA Division I Air Force Academy where he was a three-time National Qualifier. For his efforts, Coach Christner was KWOA 4A Coach of the year in 1993, KWCA Coach of the Year twice in 1997 & 2003, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008, & the Bethany College Hall of Honor in 2012. Coach Christner feels greatly blessed to have coached so many fine young men. Every wrestler is important to him regardless of their record because he wanted to see them grow as a person through wrestling. His wife Joan and children, Aaron, Amos, and Annabel, were an important support group through thick and thin.



Coach James (Jim) Beltch began his wrestling career competing three years for northwest wrestling powerhouse Goodland High School, culminating as a State Champion his senior year. Coach Beltch continued his competitive career at Ft. Hays State University placing 2nd at NAIA Nationals his senior year, 3rd his junior year, placing 1st four times at the Missouri Valley AAU tournament, and placing 4th at the Great Plains AAU tourney. Coach Beltch fueled his competitive drive at Old Timers’ Tournaments placing 1st in Iowa four times, 2nd at the Kansas City Old Timers’ Tournament, and 1st at his hometown’s Goodland Old Timers’ Tournament. Coach Beltch started his 33-year coaching career at Atwood Junior High School in 1964. From there it was on to Wellington High School where he was head coach from 1965 to 1969, steering the Crusaders to a State Runner-up team finish. The next 29 years 1969 to 1998 would be spent at Lawrence High School where Coach Beltch guided the Chesty Lions to a 4th place finish at the Kansas State Tournament. Coach Beltch continues his impact on Kansas wrestling by serving as sports commissioner for the AAU Regional Tournament, sports commissioner for the Kansas State Games for a decade. Coach Beltch is a familiar figure refereeing at Kids, high school, and junior college wrestling events for the last 35 years.



Dr. Kenneth “Ken” W. Coover’s impact on wrestling extends from the Kinsley, Kansas native’s days in high school to the present. His vast and varied experience includes serving as a high school coach, wrestling official, USA Wrestling-Kansas administrator, clinician, Greco-Roman & Freestyle wrestling coach and pairings official, and wrestling promoter. As a high school coach from 1970-1989, Coach Coover lead the Hays High Indians and the Topeka High Trojans to 3 league championships and 6 runners-up finishes. On his was to a nearly 80% dual win percentage, the Ft. Hays State University grad’s teams had 10 top-ten finishes in the Kansas State Wrestling Tournament. In 1988, Coach Coover became one of Kansas’ first Silver Level USA Wrestling coaches. Also, Coach Coover officiated KSHSAA events from 1967-1988. During the 70s & 80s, Coach Coover served in various capacities for the Kansas Wrestling Coaches’ Association, the Kansas Wrestling Officials’ Association, Director of the Kansas Kids Wrestling Federation, and director of USA Wrestling-Kansas for 9 years. During that time, Dr. Coover led the Topeka Tornado Wrestling Club at the Kansas State Freestyle Championships. Many Kansas wrestlers were presented with national and international wrestling experiences partly due to Dr. Coover’s influence. Also, many influential policies and by-laws were established and written by Dr. Coover, and others, that were adopted by these wrestling organizations. These capacities lead Dr. Coover to opportunities serving as a National and International pairings official from 1973-1990. Dr. Coover served as a pairings official for World-level Greco and Freestyle tournaments in 1983 at Los Angeles and in 1986 at Colorado Springs, an alternate pairings official at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, the Olympic Sports Festival in Houston in 1986, United States Junior Freestyle-Greco Championships from 1974-1989, United States Freestyle Championships from 1974-1990, and as an organizer of the final Olympic Freestyle & Greco Qualifier in Topeka in 1988. In addition, Dr. Coover was a pairings official at two US Open Freestyle Championships and three US Junior Greco-Freestyle Championships. His earning a Masters Degree in Education from Washburn University in 1985 and an Educational Doctorate from Kansas State University in 1991 furthered Dr. Coover’s commitment to education. Together, Dr. Coover’s wrestling and educational careers can be described as a career of service.



Three-time Kansas State Champion and 1993 World Champion Melvin L. Douglas III has achieved as much notoriety on wrestling’s national and international stage as any Kansas wrestler. The Topeka native captured his three Kansas State Championships wrestling for Highland Park High School and Coach Richard Nitsch. Next stop for the 1981 Scottie graduate was the University of Oklahoma. Competing for the Sooners under the guidance of Hall of Fame Coach Stan Abel, the 1986 OU graduate captured NCAA championships his junior and senior years in 1985 and 1986 at 177 pounds. On the national stage, Douglas captured the 1981 Junior Nationals Freestyle Championship. This was the first of many national and international achievements for Douglas. He was sixth at the 1986 US Nationals; third at the 1987 US Olympic Festival; runner-up at the 1988 US Olympic Trials; 1989 US Olympic Festival Champion; fourth at the 1990 World Team Trials; 1991 World Team Trials runner-up; second at the 1987, 1991-92 US Nationals; 1992 Olympic Team Trials runner-up; 1993 – 95 World Team Trials champion; and a nine-time US Nationals champ in 1988, 1993 – 96, 1998 – 2002. Douglas wrestled twice in the Olympics in 1996 and 2000. It was during this stage of his 15-year international career that Douglas became the 1993 World Champion. By the end of his competitive career at the age of 40, Douglas wrestled to an incredible 355-39 win-loss record. From the late 1980s through the mid 1990s, Douglas was consistently one of the world’s most dominant wrestlers. Douglas’s accomplishments include the 1988 Sunkist International championship; 1989 Tbilisi (USSR) Tournament championship, one of only 13 Americans to ever win this tournament; third at the 1990 World Cup; nine-time US Open International champion; 1991 President’s Cup champ in Turkey; 1991 Sunkist International runner-up; 1992 Sunkist International Duals champ; three-time Cerro Pelado (Cuba) Tournament champ in 1992, 1994, and 1995; third at the 1993 Krasnoyarsk (Russia) Tournament; 1992 – 93 US Open Grand Prix champion; runner-up at the 1994 Goodwill Games; 1995 Michigan International Open champ; 1995 Pan-American Games champ; third at the 1995 World Championships; with career highlights including the 1993 World Championship, where Douglas is the only American to medal at 4 different weight classes placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd twice; and the 1994 World Cup Championship, which lead to being named the 1994 USA Freestyle Wrestler of the Year, USA Wrestling’s Athlete of the Year, and the 1994 Championship Belt Series winner. Later in 1998, Douglas was awarded the Common Ground Award for Sports, recognizing his contributions to international diplomacy through sports. Douglas’ brothers Larry and Terry were also state champion wrestlers. Douglas currently lives in Arizona and has a daughter Christina and sons Melvin IV and Isaiah



Few can match David Ray’s wrestling accomplishments spanning from his first year of competition as a sixth grader to coaching at the collegiate level. Coach Ray began his competitive career in the 1970s, earning numerous regional, state and USWF titles, which lead to a stellar high school career beginning in 1978 with a 30-1 record and winning the 105-pound 3rd place medal as a Goddard High School freshman. Coach Ray won two state titles for Wichita’s Bishop Carroll High School in 1979 at 119 pounds and in 1980 at 126 pounds, then returned to Goddard High for another undefeated season and a Kansas state title at 138 pounds. Coach Ray had a 118-1 high school career within Kansas, while accumulating 88 falls. During his high school career, Coach Ray won numerous state, regional and national freestyle placings, including two Junior National Greco Championship and multiple Freestyle National medals. Coach Ray began his collegiate wrestling career at the University of Iowa and later for one year at Edinboro University. Coach Ray was a Division I and Division II All-American in 1986, as part of an 80-20 collegiate career record, including a 37-7 record his final year of competition at Edinboro. During his collegiate career, Coach Ray placed several times at National Greco tournaments including a 4th place finish in the 1984 U.S. National Greco Olympic Trials. Coach Ray’s coaching career began in 1987-88 as an assistant for Dodge City High School. From Dodge it was on to coach Iowa’s Division III Simpson College Storm for two years where Coach Ray had four All-Americans, including two-time National Champ Travis Young. From 1990-92, Coach Ray was a graduate assistant on legendary Coach Dan Gable’s coaching staff at the University of Iowa. During all of Coach Ray’s years of competing and coaching for Iowa, the Hawkeyes won the Division I National Team Title. After graduate school, Coach Ray continued his coaching career at Wichita’s Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School assisting Kansas coaching legend Duane Miller. From KMC, Coach Ray became the head wrestling coach for Montana State University-Northern. He served as the Lights wrestling coach from 1993 to 2005 where he inherited a program that was in decline, and then returned it to a national powerhouse. Coach Ray was named Northern Regional Coach of the Year 10 times during his 12 years at Northern and was National Coach of the year 4 times as he led his team to a 135-30-4 dual record. Besides leading his team to 4 national titles, Coach Ray coached 6 individuals who received the Outstanding Wrestler Award of the National Tournament. He produced 85 All-Americans, 21 national champions, and finished in the top 3 at the NAIA national tournament 7 times in 12 seasons. Another highlight was coaching Northern’s Emmett Willson who won three 197-pound national titles and named the 2004 Hodge Trophy winner, the top wrestler in the nation among all collegiate divisions. Also, he coached one of only six individual four-time national champions (Turk Lords) in the 62-year history of the NAIA Championships. In 2004 Coach Ray’s team tied a 46-year-old record with five individual national champions. While serving the NAIA, Coach Ray served three years (2002-04) as the tournament director and coordinator of the NAIA National Wrestling Championships in Great Falls, MT. He also served as the president of the NAIA National Wrestling Coaches Association from 2001-03 and as chair of the NAIA National Team and Individual rankings for six seasons, 1997-2002. After an incredibly successful 12-year career at Northern, Coach Ray and his wife moved to Alaska in 2006-07 where he served as an assistant coach for one of his former athletes in Kotzebue, Alaska. In 2008, Coach Ray became the coach at NCAA Division I, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He guided the team into its inaugural four-year reclassification from Division-II to Division I. During his time at Southern, he laid the foundation for SIUE’s wrestling future. His overall career collegiate dual meet record is 158-96-5. After five years serving SIUE, Coach Ray returned to Montana and again served as an assistant wrestling coach for Poplar Middle and High Schools. Coach Ray earned a bachelor's degree in education from Simpson College in 1990 and a master's degree in exercise science in 1992 from the University of Iowa, in 2008 David received his K-12 Administration Leadership Endorsement from the University of Montana. Coach Ray and his wife Kim reside in Great Falls, MT, both continuing their careers in education. They have five children: Kathryn, Taylor, Alexiss, Michelle, Brooklyn, and one granddaughter Aleya.



Coach Delbert Erickson was born and raised in the hot bed of Kansas wrestling, Northwest Kansas. A four-year wrestler at Atwood High School and a high school Kansas state placer, Coach Erickson went on to Ft. Hays State University where he lettered all four years before graduating in 1965. The impact of his wrestling coaching career began at St. Francis where he taught junior high and was an assistant wrestling coach for the Indians and fellow KWCA Hall of Famer, Pudge Wilson. From there, Coach Erickson spent 11 years coaching the Newton High Railers. The Railers were consistent state champion contenders in the 1970s, as Coach Erickson’s squads won multiple tournament team titles including 3 Ark Valley League team titles, 3 Kansas State Tournament titles in 1973, 1974, and 1977, and 5 other top-6 team finishes at the Kansas State Tournament. Under Coach Erickson’s guidance, the Railers compiled a stellar 55-16-1 dual record. Also, during his career at Newton High, Coach Erickson had 61 state qualifiers. Among them were 17 individual state champs, 6 had just one loss, and 6 others finished with undefeated seasons. Two of his state champs, Ted Tolbert and Mike Garcia, went on to become Kansas Grand State placers with Garcia currently contributing to the Kansas wrestling community as a coach himself. In 1977, Coach Erickson’s peers awarded him the Kansas Wrestling Coach of the Year. To commemorate his accomplishments at Newton High, Coach Erickson was honored as an inductee into the Newton High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. Coach Erickson returned to Western Kansas in 1980 becoming an assistant, and later the head coach, at Decatur County High School in Oberlin before retiring in 1988. In addition, his twin sons Kris and Kenyon are 1991 Decatur County High School graduates. Coach Erickson returned to his hometown of Atwood and considers it a tremendous honor and privilege to have coached 26 individual state champions. According Coach Erickson, “This means everything to me. This is as high of an honor as a coach can receive, to be recognized by his fellow coaches.”



Dennis Charbonneau’s coaching career spanned 25 championship-laden seasons beginning in 1990 at Anderson County High School, then at his alma mater Clay Center High School, and finally at Emporia High School. Three-time Kansas State Champion spent his first 7 years of coaching guiding the Anderson County Bulldogs to an overall 56-48 dual record with 31 state qualifiers and 7 state placers. In 1997, Coach Charbonneau returned home to Clay Center. During the next 13 years under Coach Charbonneau’s leadership, the Tigers posted an incredible 117-38 dual record, highlighted by 5 North Central Kansas League titles, 3 regional titles, 1 runner-up Kansas 4A State Tournament team finish, and 4 Kansas 4A State Tournament Titles. The Tigers had a whopping 111 state qualifiers and 61 state placers, of which 11 were state champions. As a result, Coach Charbonneau was selected 3 times as the Kansas Wrestling Coaches’ Association’s (KWCA) Coach of the Year. In 2010, Coach Charbonneau took over the storied Emporia High School Wrestling program for 5 years. In his first year leading the Spartans, his team won the Centennial League title, a 5A regional title, and the 5A Kansas State Team Championship. Once again chosen the KWCA Coach of the Year and Sectional Coach of the Year, Coach Charbonneau’s Spartans compiled a 56-24 dual record, had 52 state qualifiers, and 19 state placers, 6 of whom were state champs. All told, Coach Charbonneau guided 194 wrestlers to the state tournament where 87 placed and 17 won individual state titles. In addition to coaching at 3 different high school programs, Coach Charbonneau coached for 20 years as a member of the USA Kansas Cadet and Junior freestyle and Greco coaching staff and is a 20-plus year member of the KWCA. Coach Charbonneau has created a remarkable coaching tree with former wrestlers coaching at the high school and college ranks, and continues to positively impact wrestling as a coaching mentor, as a current administrator at Wamego High School, and as a wrestling official.





1931 NCAA Wrestling Champion at 145 pounds for Kansas State University





He was born July 10, 1921, in Camden, N.J., the son of Leslie and Marie (Kraemer) Lundy. He was a schoolteacher and wrestling coach at Salina High School (later Salina Central High School) for 29 years, retiring in 1983.











One of the more influential college wrestling coaches in the Midwest, Fritz Gustave Knorr posted a 142-115-4 dual record as the coach at Kansas State University during his 19-year tenure from 1952 to 1971. He was a member of NCAA wrestling rules committee from 1956-62 and chairman from 1960-61. Knorr helped adopt the takedown scoring system in wrestling, was president of American Wrestling Coaches Association and helped start the grade school state-wrestling tournament in 1964. As a teenager, Knorr earned 10 letters as an athlete at Savannah (Missouri) high School before attending Kansas State University. He earned three letters each in football and wrestling at Kansas State despite never wrestling before attending college. Knorr began his 40-year coaching career at Waterville (KS) High School (1932-37) and Kansas City Northwest Junior High (1937-42) before joining the Kansas State staff in 1942. He was the Wildcats’ head basketball coach (1944-46) assistant football coach (1944-46), and baseball coach (1949-50) before becoming the head wrestling coach in 1952. Born May 9, 1927 – St. Joseph, Missouri; Died September 9, 1972 – Savannah, MO. Graduated Savannah (MO) H.S., 1927; Kansas Sate University 1932.