The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced their 2018 class Thursday and Menlo College has direct ties in the upcoming group. Lee Allen, former Menlo College women's wrestling coach, is being inducted to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, adding to the long list of laurels that he has achieved. Allen will be inducted posthumously as he passed away in 2012 at the age of 77.
Allen was one of only four wrestlers to represent the United States at the Olympics in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, competing in freestyle in 1956 and finishing eighth in Greco-Roman in 1960.
He was a member of the first United States team to compete in the World Championships, placing sixth in freestyle in 1961.
Allen was a four-time undefeated Oregon state champion for Sandy High School in Sandy, Ore., and competed for Oregon.
Allen was the head coach of the 1980 Olympic Greco-Roman team, which did not compete in the boycotted Olympics in Moscow.
He was an assistant coach for the United States Greco-Roman team at the Olympics in 1972 and 1976. He was head coach of four United States Greco-Roman teams at the World Championships in 1973, 1977, 1978 and 1979. The 1979 team finished fourth with three individual medalists, which was one of the best Greco-Roman performances of the time period.
Allen and his wife, Joan Fulp, were instrumental in the development and growth of women's wrestling in California and the United States.
He led the men's wrestling program at Skyline College for 32 years while incorporating a women's program. His San Francisco Peninsula Grapplers women's team won the senior national championships in 1997 and 1999. Allen was head coach of the women's wrestling team at Menlo College in California from 2001 to 2010 where he coached both of his daughters, Sara Fulp-Allen Bahoura and Katherine Fulp-Allen Shai.
Sara was the first three-time women's college national champion, and an injury prevented her from competing as a senior.
Katherine was a World University champion and five-time national team member.
Allen received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Oregon Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011 and from the California Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.
He is a member of the AAU Hall of Fame, the San Mateo County Sport Hall of Fame, Skyline College Hall of Fame, California Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Portland State University Hall of Fame.
"Simply put, much of who I am today is because of my relationship and the mentorship from Lee Allen," Keith Spataro, Menlo's Director of Athletics said.
Spataro served as Menlo's wrestling before becoming Director of Athletics.
"He was the greatest 'can do' person I've ever known and he made everyone around him believe they could do whatever they set their mind to...he was simply amazing that way," Spartaro said. "His wrestling accolades speak for themselves, but what is more impressive is the person he was. He cared deeply for his athletes and went above and beyond to ensure they were successful. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him and utilize something that he taught me to be a better colleague, leader, husband and father. I'm certain I'm not the only one that would characterize Coach this way. He was an amazing man and is extremely deserving of this long overdue induction."