All of these accomplishments -- and more -- describe Arnold Torgerson Jr. The man affectionately known as "Tommy", "Coach" and "Torgy" passed away on April 6, 2020 at his home in Fort Collins, Colo. He was 88.
Arnold Torgerson Jr.Torgerson's obituary sketches out his nearly nine-decade life in terms of major milestones. Born in Denver on November 20, 1931, Torgerson graduated from South Denver High School (where he was a state runner-up at the Colorado state wrestling tournament), then earned his Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics at the University of Colorado, followed by his Master's at Colorado State. Torgerson then crafted a three-decade-long career as teacher and coach, first at Delta High School from 1950 to 1957, then at Fort Collins High School from 1957 to 1987. He served as Director of the Colorado High School Coaches Association and Director of the Colorado All-State Games from 1987-2003. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003 for Lifetime Achievement, and served as President of the Colorado Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
All that is the stuff of resumes. Those who knew "Torgy" shared their memories with the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
"We lost an icon," friend and former wrestling pupil Dan Gonzales said about the man who was a major figure at the Colorado state wrestling tournament for decades, and still actively involved in a tournament that bears his name during the 2019-2020 season.
"He lived and breathed wrestling year 'round," according to current Fort Collins High School wrestling coach Mark Moser. (Even though he couldn't swim, "Torgy" was drafted to launch a swimming program at one school ... and served as the first-ever coach for gymnastics at two other schools.)
"He treated everybody so well and everybody respected him so much. He's the type of guy that once you had a connection with him it was for life," said Jim Opperman. "Just a great man. I feel lucky to have had him in my life."
As per his wishes, Torgerson will be cremated. A memorial celebration of his life will be scheduled at a future date. In lieu of flowers, a future donation to a proposed Arnold Torgerson memorial scholarship fund would be appreciated. Condolences may be shared at the funeral home website.