Ray Takahasi has a very diverse and exciting history as a wrestler, an Olympian, and as head wrestling coach at Western. Ray began wrestling in high school, and made the 1976 Olympic team at the tender age of seventeen. He decided to pursue post-secondary education at an institution with a strong wrestling program. At the time, Guelph and Western had great wrestling programs, but he was drawn to Western for their academic reputation.
Ray attended Western as an undergraduate from 1978 until 1982. During this period he qualified for the 1980 Olympic team. Ray believes that his time at Western and, in particular, working with Glynn Leyshon helped him advance his wrestling talent. As a nationally carded athlete, Ray received supplementary assistance through Sport Canada and remained a carded athlete for ten years. This allowed him to train year-round and become a better athlete. Ray participated in another Olympics in 1984 and competed in various national and international competitions throughout his stay at Western.
He began his master’s degree in Kinesiology (at the time referred to as Physical Education) under the supervision of Glynn Leyshon in 1984 at Western. After Leyshon retired, Josip Mrkoci and Rob Moore took over coaching responsibilities in 1985. That year, Takahashi himself also became a coach, and still coaches both the male and female Mustang wrestling teams. He has become the longest-serving coach in Mustang history.
Watch our video interview with Ray Takahashi to hear about his experience as a Mustang wrestler and as the Mustang wrestlers' head coach.