West Hancock Community Schools confirmed today that former West Hancock Wrestling coach Al DeLeon passed away last night.
DeLeon coached the Eagles program from 1962-1995 and collected a career record of 273-138-15. He coached Britt – West Hancock to team titles in 1971, 1972, and 1973; they also finished as the runner-up seven times. Over 25 wrestlers won individual championships during his 33-year career. He coached nine 2-time champs, three of which went on to become 3-time champs.
As a wrestler for Blue Earth High School, he recorded a 151-4-1 and won three state titles. Following his time at Blue Earth, DeLeon wrestled at Mankota State (Minnesota State, Mankota), a two-time NCAA Division I All-American; and was a finalist in the 1964 Olympic Trials.
“Everyone at West Hancock is saddened by the news, said Superintendant Wayne Kronemann – who wrestled for DeLeon. “We send our condolences to Lois and the DeLeon family,” he continued by saying.
“The community is feeling a big loss, he was a huge part” – Wayne Kronemann
Steve Kelly, who both wrestled for and then coached with Al, says Al truly cared about his wrestlers.
Following his time with West Hancock, DeLeon saved the Waldorf College (University) program, where Kelly coached alongside.
Kelly says West Hancock and the communities that make it up have been blessed with DeLeon and the late Bob Sanger, among others
Kelly said DeLeon meant a lot to him and his six wrestling brothers as well.
West Hancock will pay tribute to DeLeon this weekend at the Wrestling Tournament that bears his name; and has for almost a decade.