UW Health Sports Medicine 

Hall of Fame week: Lee Kemp

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It is Hall of Fame week at the University of Wisconsin. Join UWBadgers.com as they look back at all of the deserving wrestlers in the UW Hall of Fame.  

If you were to come up with a list of the greatest UW wrestlers of all-time, Lee Kemp's name would almost certainly be near, if not at, the top of the list. 

Kemp, a member of the Hall of Fame's inaugural 1991 class, was a walking trophy case during his time at UW from 1975-78. Kemp was a three-time national champion at 158 lbs., winning the nation's top spot in 1976, 1977 and 1978, seasons in which Kemp went an astonishing 110-1-1. In those same years he was also a Big Ten champion and a Midlands Tournament champion. 

Kemp sits atop the Badger wrestling record book in three categories: single-season falls (18), career falls (47), and career winning percentage (.957). 

But Kemp's long list of accomplishments isn't limited to just his time on campus. No, the all-time US wrestling great moved on to leave his mark on the international stage as well. 

After graduating Kemp went on after to become a seven-time National Freestyle Wrestling champion -- a USWF champion from 1979-1983 and an AAU champion in 1979 and 1982. He also was a three-time World Freestyle Wrestling gold medalist and a one-time bronze medalist. Kemp, at the age of 21, was the youngest American to win world championships, the first American to win three world championships and the first American to win four World Cup titles. He also was a gold medalist at the Pan American Games in both 1979 and 1984 .

With all of his career accomplishments, it is no surprised that Kemp was inducted to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1989.


Ryan Evans
UW Athletic Communications

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