LaMotte Named Mr. Mat at OVAC Wrestling Tourney

WHEELING – Dave LaMotte finished his coaching career as the head wrestling coach at Payson High School in Payson, Arizona. During his 26-year coaching tenure, LaMotte has produced 18 individual state champions, 53 state place winners, 28 district titlists, and three high school All-Americans.

LaMotte began his coaching career at Wheeling Central Catholic High School in 1979. In the fall of 1980, Dave LaMotte returned to his high school alma mater in Bridgeport, where his 1988 team captured the Division III State Championship. He also was head mat mentor at Buckeye Local High School during the 1996-97 wrestling season before returning to Arizona.

For his efforts, Coach LaMotte was voted by the upper Ohio Valley media as the OVAC Coach of the Year, and by area wrestling coaches as the OVAC 3-A Wrestling Coach of the Year. LaMotte was also selected as the Ohio Division III Eastern District and State Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1989.

In 1993, LaMotte earned Coach of the Year honors when his Gilbert High School squad won the 5A Arizona State Wrestling Team Championship. LaMotte also coached his two sons, who were both Arizona state champions and NCAA Division II All-Americans at West Liberty State College.

As a competitor, LaMotte had a scholastic record of 59-5 as a Bridgeport High School Bulldog. An OVAC champion, LaMotte was a three-time Sectional and District Champion. He completed his senior year on the mats as an Ohio All-State wrestler finishing 5th in Columbus. In 1979, he was inducted into the Bridgeport High School Wall of Fame.

After a two-year stint in U.S. Army from 1974-1976, LaMotte returned to the Valley to matriculate and wrestle at West Liberty State College under the tutelage of coach Vince Monseau, a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

As a Hilltopper wrestler, LaMotte compiled an outstanding record of 103-14-2 for West Liberty State College. He was also a two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American, finishing 3rd in 1978 and winning an NAIA championship in 1979, which was held at the Wesbanco Civic Arena.

In 2004, he was inducted into West Liberty University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. LaMotte and his wife, Vickie, reside in Payson, Arizona.