Medford Wrestler Becomes National and International Champion

Nov 7, 2013

Les Gutches started wrestling with a local club when he was seven years old, and by the time he reached South Medford High School he was a star, winning three state wrestling titles in the early 1990s. At Oregon State, he won NCAA Division-1 wrestling titles in 1995 and 1996, and was named the nation’s top collegiate wrestler.

As one of the best U.S. freestyle athletes of his era and weighing 187 pounds, he won the gold medal at the 1997 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Russia. During his career, Gutches won all of the major international events, including the 1999 World Cup, 1999 Pan American Games, and 1998 Goodwill Games. He also captured five straight U.S. national titles. Gutches ranked high academically, too, earning an undergraduate degree and in 2006 a master’s of Business Administration from Oregon State University.  An undergraduate honor society member, Gutches was a three-time NCAA First Team Academic All-American. After a banking career, Les Gutches became an executive at USA Wrestling, the national wrestling governing body.

Sources: "Les Gutches promoted to Associate Executive Director for Programs and Strategy for USA Wrestling ." The Web. 18 Oct. 2013.