Ray Takahashi guided powerhouse Mustang wrestling team for 32 years

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One of the most well-known and successful coaches at Western University has decided to leave the mat work to someone else.

Ray Takahashi is retiring after 32 years as the head coach of the Mustangs’ wrestling team. He built the program into a university powerhouse.

Scott Proctor, who has been an assistant coach with the Mustangs since 2005, is replacing Takahashi.

“I have been fortunate to represent wrestling for the past 32 years and I consider myself very lucky to have coached so many student-athletes who strive for excellence while maintaining a strong balance with their studies and athletic goals,” Takahashi said in the news release announcing his retirement.

Takahashi began coaching Mustang wrestling in 1985. He established the Mustangs’ women’s team in 1996-97.

His men’s team won five Ontario championships while the women brought home two Ontario crowns. He also won a Canadian university title with the men’s team in 1990. Takahashi has been named the OUA coach of the year 10 times and was the Canadian coach of the year in 1990.

Takahashi also was a world class wrestler in his own right.

He started at Western in 1978. Takahashi won four Canadian titles in his four years as a Mustang. In 1982, he was named the winner of the Dr. Claude Brown Memorial Trophy, alongside fellow Mustang Greg Marshall, as the male student-athlete who made the greatest contribution to intercollegiate athletics at Western.

Internationally, Takahashi won medals at the Pan Am Games and Commonwealth Games and was a three-time Olympic team member.

He was a Canadian champion at the junior and senior levels on numerous occasions and was named Canadian Wrestler of the Year in 1978 and 1984. In 1991 he was inducted into the Wrestling Canada Hall of Fame.

Proctor was a three-year captain of the Mustangs. He’s a two-time medalist at the Canadian university championships with a silver and bronze.

Takahashi will continue to serve as a lecturer in Western’s school of kinesiology as well as a volunteer assistant coach with the Mustangs.

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