Class of 2003

Harper College

Ron Bessemer attended Palatine High School and was a 1955 graduate. He competed in wrestling for three years and wrestled for Hall of Famer John Ellis. Ron also competed in track and cross-country in high school.

He began his post-secondary education at Illinois State University and then went to Portland State University. After military service from 1956-1959, Ron returned to Illinois State University and received his undergraduate degree in 1966. He competed in wrestling for four years at ISA and was a team captain under hall of Fame Coach Bob Koehler. He also ran cross country for one year in college.

Ron competed in wrestling while in the Army and made the All Army Europe team twice. He also wrestled for the German Sport Club. He also wrestled for three years for the Multnomah Athletic Club, Portland, Oregon. He placed third in the National Open and qualified for the Olympic Trials. Injury prevented him from competing.

He served as a graduate assistant coach at Illinois State University in 1967 as the Redbirds placed fourth in the NCA College Division Nationals. Ron coached in Reedsport, Oregon in 1968 where his team was second in the Div. A2 State Tournament.

In 1968, he returned to Illinois to begin the new wrestling program at Harper Community College. He coached at Harper until 1974 when he began the new program at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. He coached there until 1977. Ron was named Region IV Coach of the Year in 1973 and 1974. In 1977 he moved to Everett School District in Washington to serve as the Coordinator of Athletics from 1977-1981. From 1981 until his retirement in 2000, he was Assistant Athletic Director and Supervisor of Physical Education.

While in Washington Ron also coached at various levels including:

* Club founder of Everett Wrestling Club

* Washington State Head Freestyle Coach

* Washington Zone I Freestyle Team Coach

* Western Region Coach of the Year, USA Wrestling Federation

* National Cadet Team Coach

Ron coached the World University Games Greco-Roman team and served as the assistant with the freestyle team in 1977. He was the coach of the World Cadet Greco-Roman team in Finland.

During his career, Ron has also officiated at all levels, ranging from high school through the National Championships in Freestyle and Greco-Roman. He has also served as clinician at various camps in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Washington.

In 1995 Ron was inducted into the Washington Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 1997, he was nominated as the Man of the Year in Sports in Everett, Washington.

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