Year Inducted: 2022
Nominated By: Gary Adamson
Sports Competed In: Cross Country, Football, Wrestling
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete
Attended Pueblo East H.S., graduating in 1975.
Played on the Eagles football team (running back) and was a member of the wrestling squad for three years. Ran cross country.
Attended the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, CO...Graduated in 1980 with a B.A. in Physical Education.
Member of the UNC Bears wrestling team.
● Started at Highlands High School in Denver, CO (1980-82).
● Coached wrestling for 23 years at Idaho Falls, ID (1982-2005).
● Concluded coaching career at Mount View H.S., Meridan, ID (2005-13).
● Member of the USA Olympic Freestyle Coaching Staff, Atlanta, GA (1996). Over 300 dual meet victories recognized by National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).
● Coached 33 State Champions and 96 State Place winners.
● Coached the first ever four-time state champion, Chris Owens, in the state of Idaho who later went on to All-American status at Oklahoma State University.
● Clinic Technician Wrestling Camps for 40 years (1980-2020).
● Team won both the Academic and State Wrestling Championship; First team in Idaho history to accomplish this feat (2008).
● Coached State Championship High School Teams (1997, 1998, 2008).
● Coached at Pan American Championships held in Guatemala City, Guatemala (2005).
● Coached the University World Team Coach, Edmonton, Canada (2002).
● National Team Head Coach, Beijing, China (2002).
● USA Wrestling Coaching Staff, Olympic Training Camp (2000).
● Team ended the season ranked 4th in the nation, Highest finish of any sports team in Idaho history. Highest Ranking of any public school (1998) -- Amateur Wrestling News (AWN).
● USA National Wrestling Team Coach, Moscow, Russia (1998).
● Montana State Coaches Clinic Clinician (1998).
● Team ended the season ranked 11th in the nation in Amateur Wrestling News (1997).
● Camp Director who organized Olympian Wrestlers to Pueblo East High School for wrestling clinic (1996).
● Olympic Sport Festival Team Coach (1993).
● Coached USA vs USSR Senior Olympic Challenge (1992).
● USA Wrestling Gold Level Certified Coaching Staff (1992).
● World Team Coach (cadets) Hungary and Canada (1991).
● NCAA Division 1 Coaches Clinic Clinician (1990).
● Coached Colorado National Team, Iowa City, Iowa (1980).
● Four-time National Coaches Association (NCA) Idaho “Coach-of-the-Year” (1996, 1997, 2000, 2008)
● Two-time Northwest "Coach-of-the-Year" (1997, 2008).
● Inducted into The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Idaho Chapter (2003).
● Idaho Distinguished "Coach-of-the-Year" (2000).
● Appointed to Idaho Falls City Parks and Recreation Board (2001).
● National High School "Coach-of-the-Year"; First Runner-Up. USA Wrestling Magazine (1997).
● Served as President & Treasurer of National Wrestling Hall Of Fame, Idaho Chapter (2018-2020).
● Keynote Speaker for several wrestling organizations, banquets, hall of fames, coaches' clinics (2005-21).
● Organizes All-State team dual and selection in the state of Idaho.
● Wrestling Publication, Published "The Training Log, a Road to Success" (2002).
● While training athletes at the (OTC) Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs he would frequently bring Olympic caliber athletes to Pueblo and host camps and clinics for Pueblo's youth at no charge.
● A few of the athletes and coaches he brought to Pueblo included Olympic Head Coach Joe Seay, Olympic Champion Kenny Monday and bronze medalist Les Gutches to name a few.
Cliff brought out the best in his athletes over his 36 plus year coaching career. He was a master of motivation and a passion for the sport of wrestling were the keys to his success".
-- Pat Laughlin
Lives in Boise, ID... Resident of Pueblo, CO for 24 years.