SALT LAKE CITY — The wrestling room at West High will be named after Don Holtry, the coach who led the program for 35 years. Holtry will be honored Thursday, Jan. 24, from 6-8 p.m. at the Murray versus West dual meet. Former athletes and other well-wishers are encouraged to come to an open house during the meet.
During his coaching span, Holtry led the Panther wrestling program to several top 10 finishes, including a runner-up finish to Pleasant Grove in the 1993-94 campaign. That season, West had two undefeated wrestlers, two individual state champions, four state finalists and 10 state placers. For his efforts, Holtry was named the 4A Coach of the Year.
Holtry also won more dual meets than any coach in Utah wrestling history, going 521-349. He coached 98 state placers, 94 region champions and 13 state champions, including his son Jeff, who won three titles from 1992-94, and Brandon Dansie, who won two state titles in 1994 and 1995, finishing both seasons undefeated. His son Jeff was the first Utah wrestler to win at the Dapper Dan Classic and was an All-American both in football and wrestling.2 comments on this story
Holtry was also the head football coach at the school in two different stints and was the second winningest coach in school history, behind the legendary Gean Plaga. In 1992, Holtry led the Panthers to the state title as the team went 13-0. In the next season, the Panthers were stopped short in the semifinals, but the program put together a 23-game winning streak, the longest winning streak in state history up to that time.
Holtry has been an important fixture in the West High community his entire life as he was a state champion wrestler and all-state football player at the school. During a good portion of his career, he was the head football and wrestling coach at the same time at the school.
In 2008, Holtry was put into the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame, as was his son Jeff this past year.