Al Billings named USA Wrestling Junior Division Leader of the Year

By Gary Abbott | July 26, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)
Al Billings of Mechanicsville, Iowa, has been named as the 2000 USA Wrestling Junior Division Leader of the Year. The award recognizes the achievements and contributions of an individual in USA Wrestling's Junior Division, which features athletes in grades 9-12. Billings currently serves as USA Wrestling State Chairperson in Iowa. He has served as Iowa's Junior Director for 10 years, and has been the Northern Plains representative on USA Wrestling's Junior Council for eight years. He has represented his state and region at USA Wrestling's annual convention each year. He helped create the Minnesota vs. Iowa freestyle dual meet event. Billings has organized and led the Iowa team at the National Junior Duals, where the team has been very successful. Each year, he has helped organize and conduct up to 30 freestyle and Greco-Roman competitions in the state for Juniors. He also manages the Iowa Junior training camp, which has featured Univ. of Iowa coaches Dan Gable and Jim Zalesky. His local club has developed numerous Junior wrestlers, including three Junior National finalists in one season, and three members of a Junior World Team in one year. Billings has also officiated at the Junior Nationals for 25 years. Among his other USA Wrestling activities is serving as the Iowa Wrestling Federation's Officials Director for 12 years. He has been a member of the USA Wrestling Freestyle Sport Committee. Billings is a USA Wrestling bronze-level coach. He is a category E official in the United States and a FILA 2 internationally. He has served as an officer and board member of the Iowa Coaches and Officials Board. As a high school coach, Billings compiled a 213-61-3 record over 25 years. He produced eight Top 10 team finishes at the state championships and sent more than seven wrestlers to Div. I wrestling programs. Fifteen of his athletes were USA Wrestling Junior All-Americans. His wife Elizabeth is a E level pairing official and has served as state pairings director for 12 years.