Laramie, Wyo. (Feb. 2, 2017) – Dick Ballinger, the only wrestler in University of Wyoming history to win an NCAA Championship, passed away on Jan. 26, 2017, in Loveland, Colorado. Ballinger, 79, was a three-time wrestling All-American at UW. Wrestling at 167 pounds, he placed second in the 1958 NCAA Championships and fourth in the 1959 Championships before defeating Ronnie Clinton of Oklahoma State to claim the title in 1960. A native of Cody, Wyo., Ballinger guided Wyoming to a sixth place national team finish in 1959, and a Wyoming all-time best third place team finish at the 1960 Championships. A three-time Skyline Conference Champion, he led Wyoming to three straight conference championships while never losing a regular season match as a Cowboy.
He was honored as the 1960 Admiral Land Award winner as Wyoming’s top student-athlete. In 1999, he was named one of “The Fifty Greatest Sports Figures from Wyoming” by Sports Illustrated. He was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics hall of Fame with the inaugural class of 1993. He and his wife, Sharon, made their home in Sterling, Colorado. No funeral service will be held.