Craig and Diane LaMont named 2010 USA Wrestling Kids Persons of the Year

By Gary Abbott | Aug. 29, 2010, 10:39 a.m. (ET)
Craig and Diane LaMont of Mapleton, Utah were named Kids Persons of the Year by USA Wrestling. The award annually honors a leader who has to made great contributions to Kids wrestling in the United States.

Craig has served as State Chairperson for USA Wrestling Utah and Diane has served as Kids Director for USA Wrestling Utah for over five years. Previously, Craig served four years as the Kids Director for USA Wrestling Utah.

As a team, both Craig and Diane have taken a wide variety of leadership positions within Kids wrestling programs in their state and region.

Craig began wrestling in grade school and was a successful wrestler on the high school level. He competed for one year at Utah State, prior to when the school dropped the program. After a Mormon mission, he went on to compete in wrestling for four years at Brigham Young University.

Since graduating with his masters degree, Craig has been directly involved in wrestling as a coach or leader ever since. He formed the Champions Wrestling Club in his community, where he serves as head coach and Diane serves as a club leader. This successful club has as many as 350 members each year. In addition, the LaMonts manage a recreation wrestling program in their community.

Craig has served as the head coach for Team Utah for Kids and Cadets for nine years. He has also been a coach for Utah's Junior Nationals team and dual meet teams, helping at the training camps that prepare the Utah wrestlers for competition.

Diane has managed all of the organizational tasks for Utah's Kids Team which competes at the USA Wrestling Western Kids Regional Championships each year. Utah has a large team at this event, which goes for seven days and is one of the largest wrestling tournaments in the nation each year.

Craig credits Diane for being the leader behind the scenes in all programs in which the LaMont's are involved in wrestling. Craig estimates that Diane puts in between 30-40 volunteer hours each week for the sport of wrestling on numerous levels. Her leadership touches all aspects of the overall program within the state of Utah.

Their two children have been involved in USA Wrestling throughout their lives. The oldest son Grant LaMont placed second in the 2010 Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman at 125 pounds this summer. Younger son Taylor LaMont won the USA Wrestling Kids Nationals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman as a Novice this year.

"I am there because my kids got me there" said Diane. "I try to make it a good experience and memorable for the kids in the state. We want to help build their passion and love for wrestling like we have. I like working with Craig; we are a very good team."

"We have always been community oriented. We are involved in many other activities in addition to wrestling" said Craig. "The most critical age to make a difference in a young life is for those 14 and below. This is when a person can make the most difference with a child. We can make a significant impact as a coach and organizer at that age. This is what we are about. The No. 1 reason that people like this sport is because of character development. That is our goal, to provide a good base for a healthy citizen."

Kids Person of the Year
1978 - Bill Knapp, New York
1979 - Ken Coover, Kansas
1980 - Gary Hoyt, Nebraska
1981 - Pat Alexander. Washington
1982 - Dave Gliniecki, Washington
1983 - John Spencer, Idaho
1984 - Jerry Opbroek, South Dakota
1985 - Joe Edmonson, Nebraska
1986 - David Rudrud, Wisconsin
1987 - Virgil Moon, Oregon
1988 - Ron Wagner, North Dakota
1989 - Paul Corder, Missouri
1990 - Ron Reichert, Illinois
1991 - Randy Staab, Washington
1992 - Dan Drinkwine, Minnesota
1993 - Mike McCoy, Florida
1994 - Roger Hanson, Idaho
1995 - Norman Osteen, North Carolina
1996 - Kathy Hopkins, Wyoming
1997 - Steve Wachal, Iowa
1998 - Virgil Moon, Oregon
1999 - Frank Rader, North Carolina
2000 - Sue Siar, Pennsylvania
2001 - Paul DeFosse, Rhode Island
2002 - Steve Knipp, Iowa
2003 - Haswell Franklin, Maryland
2004 - Gregory and Leanna Grater, Kansas
2005 - George Anne and Jim Ritter, Nevada
2006 - Bobby DeBerry, Arizona
2007 - R.E. Hartley, New York
2008 - Kevin White, North Dakota
2009 - Trent McCormick, Indiana
2010 - Craig and Diane LaMont, Utah