"Waldemar is one of our all-time greats, and news of his passing only reminds us to celebrate some of the rich Purdue Wrestling tradition that he helped us create," said Boilermaker head wrestling coach Scott Hinkel. "He's in some pretty elite company as one of three, three-time All-Americans, and led us to some of our top finishes in school history. He's a Boilermaker that deserves to be celebrated."
Van Cott's three trips to the NCAA Championships all saw him place in the top-four nationally, taking fourth in 1947 and 1949, and second in 1948. The Purdue team was in the top-10 in all three years, tying for eighth in 1947, tying for fourth in 1948 and placing sixth in 1949. Van Cott also helped Purdue to three of its six Big Ten Conference championships in school history, winning an individual title at 165 pounds in 1950.
Born in New York City in 1924, Van Cott came to Purdue after serving in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1945. In addition to wrestling at Purdue he starred in several plays and after graduating, he had small parts in 20 films. He went on to work for Douglas Aircraft for nearly 40 years in addition to teaching classes at community colleges. He is survived by his wife, Louise, and his children Waldemar III and Ann.