Leslie "Les" Anderson
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Leslie Albert Anderson of Nevada, passed away at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames on Friday, November 9, 2012, at the age of 74. Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13, at the Memorial Lutheran Church, 701 11th Street in Nevada. Burial will follow in the Nevada Municipal Cemetery.
Les was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and mentor.
A native of Clarion, Iowa, Les earned his BS & MS at Iowa State University. Known for his wrestling and teaching skills, his athletic career began as a State wrestling Champion at Clarion High School. He continued as a three-time All-American and two-time National Champion (1958 and 1960) for Dr. Harold Nichols at Iowa State. Les also competed at the World level and was a member of the 1960 Olympic Team as first alternate.
Les began his teaching and coaching career at Blue Earth High School in Minnesota. In 1964, Dr. Nichols asked Les to return to Iowa State to be his assistant and mat coach. In the next ten years, Coaches Nichols and Anderson won five NCAA team titles and three second place finishes, establishing ISU as a wrestling power. In 1974, Les became the Head Coach at the University of Washington. Les returned to Iowa State in 1979, and remained as Head Assistant and mat coach until 1992. During this stint, he helped guide ISU to another National Title in 1987. From 1992 to 1994, he became the Compliance Officer for the ISU Athletic Dept. In 1994 and 1995, Les accepted the challenge of building an Olympic Wrestling program for Great Britain. In 1995 and 1996, he returned to teach and coach in Colorado. In 1996, he became National Sales Manager for NGE, working with dealers and promoting wrestling equipment and supplies.
Les was directly involved in all but one of ISU's National wrestling titles. He trained and mentored over 100 All-Americans, National Champions, World Champions and Olympic Medalists. In 2008 and 2009, Les put his skills back on the mat and created a three part DVD training set called "The Basics of Technique" featuring Offense, Defense and Neutral instruction.
He served for seven years on the Board of the National Wrestling Coaches Association and helped establish their First Annual National Conference. He was Executive Director of five NCAA National Tournaments and one AAU National Tournament. He established the bracket system that is used to this day. He was involved in the formation of the United States Wrestling Federation and served three years on the Board of Directors for USA Wrestling.
Les is an Honored member of seven Hall's of Fame including the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, The Iowa State Athletic Hall of fame and in 2004 was inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame recognized as both a collegiate wrestler and coach.
Left to cherish her memory are his wife, Marlene Thompson Anderson of Nevada; children, Gregory Anderson, Brent Anderson both of Davenport, Julie Larson of Des Moines, and Christa Beeler of Urbandale; three step-sons, Gene Flynn, Todd Flynn, and Shawn Flynn, all of Nevada; 19 grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; a brother, Lowell Anderson of Clarion; a brother-in-law, Dale Thompson; sister-in-law, Jan Bernloehr.
Les was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lyle Anderson; and step-granddaughter, Melissa Viers.
Visitation will be held on Monday, November 12, with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. again at Memorial Lutheran Church.
In lieu of flowers, a memory fund has been established in loving memory of Les.
Chet Ryan Mortuary in Nevada has been entrusted with the care of Les and his family.
Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 11, 2012