Charlie Pingleton (1986-2017), Forever a Lindsey Wilson Wrestling Icon

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Charlie Pingleton (1986-2017), Forever a Lindsey Wilson Wrestling Icon 

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Former Lindsey Wilson wrestling student-athlete Charlie Pingleton of Greencastle, IN passed away on Thursday, September 14, 2017.

Pingleton was the first-ever NAIA National Champion in LWC wrestling history. He captured the 157-pound weight class title at the 2012 national championships.

His funeral will begin at 1pmET tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, at the Greencastle Christian Church, 620 Primrose Lane, Greencastle, IN. Family will receive friends at the church from 11amET before the funeral until the time of service. 

Pingleton, 31, passed away after a bout with cancer.

"Charlie was a mentor to all of the members of our new wrestling program at Lindsey Wilson College," LWC wrestling Coach Corey Ruff said. "He really took on the big brother role and inspired everyone to push themselves.

"Charlie had a toughness that everyone could see, but he had a tenderness to him that just made me want to hug him," Ruff added. "He was courageous and humble; funny and sincere; compassionate and confident. He was so many things, but what I'll probably cherish the most about Charlie was his loyalty."

This summer, Pingleton was elected to the Lindsey Wilson College Athletics Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is scheduled for October 21, 2017, as part of Homecoming on the A.P White campus.

During the 2011-12 season, Pingleton earned NAIA All-American and Mid-South Conference Wrestler of the Year honors to go along with his national title. He concluded the 2011-12 season with 32 wins, including 11 major decisions -- which is the most in a single season in the program's history.

"Charlie represented our wrestling program with class and dignity," Lindsey Wilson Athletics Director Willis Pooler said. "As our program's first national champion, his accomplishments are well documented, but he was more than that. He was an excellent leader, teammate, and friend. 

"He will be sorely missed by those who knew him. My condolences go out to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time."

Pingleton helped the Blue Raiders to a fourth-place finish at the 2012 national championships. At the time, it was the best finish in the program's history.

Pingleton concluded his two-year Lindsey Wilson career with a 34-12 record.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 22, at the Greencastle Christian Church. Visitation begins at the church from 11 a.m. ET on Friday until the time of service.

Bittles and Hurt Funeral Home, in Greencastle, Indiana, is in charge of the arrangements.

"Charlie will forever be an inspiration to our program," Ruff said. "His iconic pose after winning our program's first national title was turned into a silhouette logo and is practically on every piece of LWC wrestling apparel.

"He gave me and our program more than we asked of him, and I think we also gave him more than he requested of us. He will be missed and never forgotten."