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Stanley Opp – Brookings Register
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Stanley Opp – Brookings Register

Malaga, Washington: October 16, 1951 – April 30, 2024

Stanley Allen Opp, 72, of Malaga, WA, passed away at home on April 30, 2024, surrounded by friends and family.
Stan was born on October 16, 1951 to Eugene and Martha Opp in Eureka, SD. Along with eleven siblings, Stan grew up in Aberdeen, SD where he was a star wrestler at Aberdeen Central HS with a record of 60-5-1.
He earned his Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees from South Dakota State University, where he wrestled with a record of 94-19-1. At the NCAA College Wrestling Championships, he placed second, fifth and second. Stan earned multiple awards including South Dakota Independent Athlete of the Year (1969), National AAU Greco Roman Champion (1970), United States Wrestling Federation National Freestyle Champion (1970), South Dakota Amateur Athletic Union Outstanding Wrestler (1970), member of The United States. wrestling teams to Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia and Romania (1970-76), and Outstanding Athletes of America (1973). Stan has been inducted into numerous Hall of Fames, including the Aberdeen Central High School Hall of Fame (Aberdeen, SD 2007), National Wrestling Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement for the State of Washington (2008), Washington State Wrestling Hall of Fame ( 2010). ), South Dakota State University Hall of Fame (2011) and Wenatchee High School Hall of Fame (2019).
Stan was equally successful in his career as a wrestling coach. As head wrestling coach at Eastern Washington University (1977-82), his teams placed second and third at the NAIA Nationals, and in 1978 he was named Rookie Coach of the Year. In 1983, Stan moved to Wenatchee and began his 21-year career. career as head wrestling coach at Wenatchee High School, where he coached four state champions and 40 state placewinners. During this time, WHS Wrestling finished second, third and fourth in State 4A State Wrestling Tournaments with nine consecutive years in the top 8. Stan was named “Coach of the Decade” in North Central Washington and “Washington State 4A” for the 1990s “. Coach of the Year” in 1999. He is considered by many to be the godfather of WHS Wrestling. He retired as head coach in 2004, but continued to help the team as an assistant coach and volunteer. Stan also coached Boy’s Golf at WHS and was named Big 9 Coach of the Year in 2014. By the time he retired from teaching and coaching in 2014, Stan was a beloved and respected mentor to many students and athletes.
After retirement, Stan enjoyed golfing with friends and helping out with WHS wrestling.
For the past two years, he has cherished the time he was able to spend with his daughter after she returned from abroad.
Stan is survived by his daughter Kari Findley and his siblings: Donald, Jerald (Joanne), Margie (Denny) Puepke, Joyce (Jerome) Hunstad, Shirley (Howard) Hollimon, Connie Akers, Kermit and Thomas.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Wilbert (Sharon), Elton (Vicki) and Timothy.
A celebration of life will be held in the Wenatchee High School gymnasium on May 18 at 1 p.m.