Les Gutches To Be Inducted Into Oregon Sports Hall Of Fame
Aug. 3, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. - Former Oregon State wrestler Les Gutches is part of the 2011 class that will be inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, it was announced Wednesday.
Gutches, already a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, will go in with six others on Sept. 28 at the Multnomah Athletic Club during the 32nd annual induction ceremony.
Gutches won NCAA titles for the Beavers in 1995 and 1996 at 177 pounds, and finished fifth in 1994, earning All-American honors all three years. In 1996, he was honored as the top NCAA wrestler.
OSU, as a team, finished in the top 10 each of those three years, including a No. 2 placement in 1995.
He finished with 134 career victories, good for fifth in OSU history, and his .931 winning percentage (134-10) is fourth. He finished a perfect 69-0 during his two national title seasons, and is one of just five wrestlers in school history to produce an undefeated season.
Gutches competed for the United States at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta after claiming titles at both Nationals and the U.S. Olympic Trials. During his career, Gutches won all of the major events on the international circuit, including the 1999 World Cup, the 1999 Pan American Games and the 1998 Goodwill Games. He also captured five straight U.S. Nationals titles.
In freestyle wrestling, he won the gold medal at the 1997 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Krasnoyarsk, Russia at 85 kg/187.25 pounds. He added a World bronze medal in 1999.
After completing his OSU career, Gutches served as an assistant coach for the Beavers for eight years, coaching five wrestlers to All-American honors.
Gutches came to OSU from South Medford High School where he won three state titles. . He was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009, and was a James E. Sullivan Award finalist in 1997. He was the 1997 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year, as well as Freestyle Wrestler of the Year for USA Wrestling and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
He currently serves in a senior management position with USA Wrestling.
Gutches will become the sixth member of the Oregon State wrestling program to be inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall Of Fame. He joins Robin Reed (1980), Chet Newton (1980), Jess Lewis (1981), Ron Finley (1982) and Dale Thomas (1991).
Other members of the 2011 inductee class include Tom Trebelhorn, Clive Davies, Kelly Blair-LaBounty, Rich Brooks, Morris "Bucky" Buckwalter and the 1982, 84, 86 and 2004 Linfield football teams.
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