Don Ledin


Don Ledin began his coaching career as an assistant wrestling coach at Mendel Catholic High School in 1966.  He has been a head wrestling coach for twenty-six years.  He currently is the assistant wrestling coach at Corliss High School on Chicago’s south-east side.  In addition to coaching at Mendel High School and Corliss High School, he also coached at Kennedy High School, Simeon High School, and St. Laurence High School.

Don will retire after this year from teaching and coaching.  His time in education has produced many special moments.  From his first year of wrestling at Kelly High School to his final season this year, Don has displayed his passion for wrestling.  While serving as an assistant, behind Lou Guida at Mendal High School, Don spear-headed the first Fresh.-Soph Catholic League Championship in 1968.

Other key moments included being named 2002 Coach of the Year while at Simeon High School.  Included in those memories are coaching the first All-Chicago Prep Bowl Wrestling Champions in 1971, beating Lane Tech 20-18.

Don also had many accomplishments in his own wrestling career.  One early accomplishment was being crowned Central AAU Champion twice at 155 pounds in 1959 and 1960.  He won the Regional Junior College Championship in 1962, while wrestling for Crane Junior College.  Don also added five Chicago Open Championships and three runner-up finishes between 1960 and 1969.  In 1969, Don won the 163 pound United State Wrestling Federation (now USA Wrestling) Greco-Roman Championship held at Navy Pier.  He was also chosen as a member of the Mayor Daley Youth Foundation Team stationed out of Navy Pier in 1970.

Don also kept up his IHSA certification as an official in wrestling for seventeen years.  When he wasn’t coaching, he had the chance to officiate three IHSA regional tournaments and three IHSA sectional tournaments.

Don grew up on the south side of Chicago and attended Kelly High School.  He began wrestling as a sophomore.  He also participated in football and baseball.