|Sport:||Coach, Football, Wrestling|
Armin J. "Pete" Riesen was destined for the Heidelberg Athletic Hall of Fame from that first day in building a wrestling program, and then, leading the Student Princes to a national championship in football in 1972.
In 28 years of wrestling at Heidelberg, the Student Princes have posted 236 victories. Of that total, Riesen owns 89. His coaching record is still tops at Heidelberg. He finished at 89-25-4 in nine years for a winning percentage of .781.
To date, he holds the record for coaching years with nine as well as wins and percentage from 1967 through 1976. During those years he produced some outstanding talent including Mike Kakias, who is also joining the Hall of Fame today. Kakias is ninth in career wins at 55-3. Steve Petras rolled up a 49-9-1 mark from 1969-72 while Mark Faulkner was 45-2-1 from 1970-72.
A 1943 graduate of Springfield Township High School in Petersburg, Ohio, Riesen received his bachelor's degree at Wittenberg University in 1951. He went on to earn his master's at Bowling Green State University in 1972 and did additional work there beyond his master's. He also did special work in history at Purdue University in 1969.
Following three years in the United States Navy, Riesen's 41- year coaching career began at Newton Falls High School as head wrestling and assistant football coach in 1953. He has also coached at Marietta High School, Huron High School, Mentor High School, Marion Harding High School and Lorain Admiral King High School.
He had an unbeaten team at Mentor in 1958 and co-champions of the Buckeye Conference at Marion Harding in 1959, 1960 and 1961. It was then his college career took flight at Heidelberg as the head football coach from 1971-75 and head wrestling coach (1968-76) before going to Bowling Green State University as the assistant football and head wrestling coach (1976-85).
In 1972 he guided the Student Princes to the national crown and the victory in the first Ohio Conference Championship playoff game. During that glorious season Riesen earned several honors including the Kodak Coach of the Year; Outstanding Contributions in Coaching for Ohio; Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year; Ohio College Coach of the Year; and Outstanding Coaching Achievements presented by Clinic of Champions.
He coached in the All-Ohio Shrine Game and established a record at Heidelberg which still stands of winning 18 straight games from 1971 to 1973. Riesen's success continued at Bowling Green where he was the Mid American Conference Coach of the Year three times in wrestling; was a member of the football staff that won the MAC; and the California Bowl. A year ago he was inducted into the Lorain County Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
Married 45 years, Pete and his wife Kay, have five children, Jeffrey, Colleen, Mark, Michele and Matthew.
This profile appeared in the 1993 Hall of Fame Banquet
program. Mr. Riesen passed away in 2007.