Bartelma Hall of Fame inducts five

The Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association inducted five new members to the Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 15, 2003 at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. The new inductees are as follows:

Eugene Hildebrandt (Coach) the St. James coach since 1981, has a career record of 227-56-1. His teams have competed in seven state tournaments and won two Class A state titles (1989 and ’98). He has been named a Section Coach of the Year seven times and has had 52 state individual qualifiers. Hildebrandt wrestled for Mountain Lake in high school.

Bob Thorson (Coach) has coached wrestling at Fertile-Beltrami since 1964 and has been the team’s head coach since 1981. Fertile-Beltrami won four consecutive section titles (1982-85). He has coached 32 state individual entrants, seven of them placed.

Harlan Leopold (Athlete) He wrestled for Redwood Falls in the late 1950s and early ’60s. He won state titles as an eighth-grader and a senior and placed at least third three other times. His career record was 121-8. Afterward he was a four-time NAIA All-America at Concordia College-Moorhead and had a college career record of 90-8. He coached Eden Prairie from 1965-74 and was a state pioneer in starting takedown tournaments.

Byron Olson (Contributor) A 1970 Canby graduate, Olson has been a wrestler, coach, official and state meet director. He wrestled at Minnesota-Morris, coached there for one season and later coached at Benson and Farmington. He then became a referee and, in recent years, has been the Minnesota State High School League’s head clinician and in charge of the state meet.

Bill Bredeson (Contributor) He was involved in Canby’s program for 23 years starting in 1969. He was the Lancers’ longtime junior varsity coach and also ran the community education wrestling program. He helped build a program that won 21 section and five state titles.

Hall of Fame Inductees (L-R): Bill Bredeson, Byron Olson, Eugene Hildebrandt, Harlan Leopold, Bob Thorson.
Hall of Fame Inductees (L-R): Bill Bredeson, Byron Olson, Eugene Hildebrandt, Harlan Leopold, Bob Thorson.

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