PITTSBURG, Kan. -- The extended Pittsburg State University family is saddened by the recent passing of former All-America football player and former Gorillas head football coach Tom Lester.
Lester, 85, passed away on Sept. 2 in Overland Park, Kan. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at the First United Methodist Church in Grove, Okla.
Lester, a native of Drumright, Okla., earned honorable mention All-America honors on the Associated Press All-America Team as a senior for the Gorillas in 1951. He was the Gorillas' second all-time All-America player.
Following his playing career, Lester enjoyed a successful career as a teacher and coach. In 1961, he joined Carnie Smith's coaching staff at Pitt State as an assistant coach. He served on Smith's staff until being promoted to head coach in 1967, following Smith's retirement.
Lester coached the Gorillas from 1967-75, compiling a 48-38-5 record, including the 1970 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference crown. Following his coaching tenure, Lester continued to teach at Pitt State until his retirement in 1989.
He was inducted into the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame in its inaugural class in 1988.