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UCSB wrestling champ, El Camino College coach Dave Hengsteler dead at 95

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Dave Hengsteler, wrestling and boxing champ at UC Santa Barbara who went on to a successful coaching career at El Camino College, has died, Presidio Sports reported Sunday, July 27. He was 95.

Hengsteler died in his home in Oregon on Wednesday, July 23.

Born in Fort Wayne, Ind. in February, 1919, David John Hengsteler was a multiple-sport athlete at University of California-Santa Barbara in the early 1940s. Hengsteler was a 1942 California Collegiate Athletic Association heavyweight wrestling champ for UCSB; the year before, he earned the CCAA heavyweight boxing championship. He also played football for UCSB.

After graduation, Hengsteler remained in California to launch his coaching and teaching career, starting at Inglewood High School in 1948, according to his obituary posted at In 1953, Hengsteler was hired at El Camino College in Torrance to teach and coach wrestling. Over the next 25 years his teams went on to win 5 state championships.

After retiring to Oregon, Hengsteler turned his attention to Labrador Retrievers. His dogs went on to win championships at local, regional, and at the National Amateur Field Trials.

For his service to wrestling, Hengsteler has been honored by a number of institutions, including the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, California Wrestling Hall of Fame, the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame, and the UCSB Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hengsteler is survived by his son, David Hengsteler; daughter, Vivian Hengsteler; and granddaughter, Kimberly Hengsteler. He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Evelyn Warren of Manhattan Beach.

A memorial service is planned for a date to be announced.