Lester C. Belding (December 5, 1900 – May 27, 1965) was an American athlete and coach in football and track and field. He was the first football player from the University of Iowa to be named an All-American. He was inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1963.
Football player and sprinter
A native of Mason City, Iowa, Belding was a star football player for Mason City High School from 1914 to 1917. Belding enrolled at the University of Iowa where he played football for legendary coach Howard Jones. He was a consensus Football All-American at the end position in 1919, the first player from the University of Iowa to receive the honor. Considered "one of the nation's premier collegiate pass catchers of his era," he played on the undefeated 1921 national championship team that outscored opponents 123–15 and included Gordon Locke, Aubrey Devine, Glenn Devine, and Duke Slater. He was also a three-time first team All-Big Ten Conference selection.
Belding was also the captain of Iowa's track team in 1921, competing in the 100 and 220-yard dashes.
Coach and athletic director
After graduating from Iowa in 1922, Belding became a coach. He coached at a prep school in Boulder, Colorado. In 1923, Belding accepted a coaching position in Clinton, Iowa, where he coached two state championship football teams. He next accepted a position at the freshman coach at the University of North Carolina. He later served as the high school coach at Greensboro, North Carolina for seven years. In 1933, Belding returned to Iowa where he was put in charge of high school athletics at Reinbeck, Iowa. From 1934 to 1945, he was the athletic director and head football and basketball coach at Dakota Wesleyan College in Mitchell, South Dakota. He finished his career serving 20 years, from 1945 to 1965, as a track and football coach and athletic director at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. in 1963, Belding was inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.
Belding died of a heart attack in 1965 at age 64. He was posthumously inducted into the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- ^ a b c "Lester Belding, former Iowa All-America, dies". Mason City Globe-Gazette. 1965-05-28.
- ^ a b c d e f "They Started Here: A Mason City Series of Success Stories; No. 15, Lester Belding, College Coach". Mason City Globe-Gazette. 1940-06-29.
- ^ Consensus All-American designations based on the NCAA guide to football award winners
- ^ a b Mike Finn, Lou Prato, Ron Falk, Chad Leistikow (1998). Hawkeye Legends, Lists, & Lore, p. 31. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1-57167-178-1.
- ^ a b c "Iowa's Consensus All-Americans". Hawkeye Sports.
- ^ a b "Gets Belding's Post". Iowa City Press-Citizen. 1923-07-16.
- ^ "Lester Belding Is Coach At Reinbeck". Oelwein Daily Register. 1933-09-01.
- ^ "Belding Takes Director Post: Dakota Wesleyan College to Have Mason Cityan as Phys. Ed. Head". Mason City Globe-Gazette. 1934-05-29.
- ^ a b "Lester Belding Moves From Dakota Wesleyan to Illinois College". Mason City Globe-Gazette. 1945-08-11.
- ^ "Belding Honored". Mason City Globe-Gazette. 1963-05-29.