BATON ROUGE - Last month, Dale Ketelsen - a trailblazer in Louisiana wrestling and the founder of LSU's wrestling program in the 1960's - passed away in March, but his memory lives on through his family and pupils who said "Coach K" was truly one-of-a-kind.
Below is his obituary:
Dale Glenn Ketelsen, 78, Retired Teacher and Coach, passed away March 22, 2014 at Ollie Steele Burden Manor with his wife by his side.
Dale is survived by his wife of 52 years, Pat Ballard Ketelsen, 2 sons: Craig (Emily) Ketelsen of Covington, La; Erik (Bonnie) Ketelsen, Atlanta, Ga and one daughter, Penny (Lee) Kelly, Nashville, TN; 5 grandchildren: Katie, Abby, Brian and Michael Ketelsen and Graham Kelly; a Sister in Law, Karen Ketelsen of Osage, Iowa, and numerous neices and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 sisters and a brother. Dale was born in Osage, Iowa where he attended High School, lettering in 4 sports. Upon graduation, he attended Iowa State University as a member of the wrestling team where he was a 2 time All American and won 2nd and 3rd in the NCAA finals of Wrestling. He was a finalist in the Olympic Trials for the 1960 Olympics. After graduation, he joined the US Marine Reserves and returned to ISU as an Asst. Wrestling Coach. In 1961, he took a job as Teacher/Coach at Riverside-Brookfield High School in Suburban Chicago, Ill. While there, he also earned a Masters Degree from Northern Illinois University. In 1968, he was hired to start a Wrestling program at LSU in Baton Rouge, La. He was on the Executive Board of the National Wrestling Coaches Association and a founding member of USA Wrestling. He was the wrestling host for the National Sports Festival in 1985, He was instrumental in promoting wrestling in the High Schools in Louisiana. He was head Wrestling Coach at Belaire High School for 20 years and Assistant Wrestling coach at The St. Paul's School in Covington, La. He was devoted to Faith, Family, Farm and the sport of Wrestling. Among his many honors were induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and being named Master of Wrestling (Man of the Year) for Wrestling USA magazine. He was a long time member and Usher of University United Methodist Church.