Lafayette "Fred Ross" Invitational

January 8th, 2022 at Lafayette High School

Fred Ross (White Shirt) and the rest of the 1992 State Champs.

The Lafayette "Fred Ross" Invitational is a one day 16-man wrestling tournament named after the legendary coach Fred Ross.

Fred Ross was born in Maplewood, Missouri. His formal education began in the Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary and Junior High Schools. His parents moved to Jefferson County his sophomore year where he attended Herculaneum High School. There he was a member of the National Honor Society, started on the football team and participated in track.

After high school graduation Fred worked construction for a year. He then attended North East Missouri State, in Kirksville (now Truman State). He graduated with a BA in Industrial Arts. Later he attained a Master’s Degree from the same school. While teaching he attained a +30 with evening classes and summer courses.

Coach Fred Ross started teaching in 1967 at University City High School. He served as assistant wrestling coach but had no formal wrestling experience.

In 1969 he came to Lafayette High School as an Industrial Arts and Driver’s Education teacher. He was also the assistant wrestling coach working in the third year of the program.

Coach Ross became Head Coach in 1970 and inherited a program that had a group of enthusiastic but inexperienced wrestlers. He believed they could outwork most other schools and that the program’s future would be based on that premise. Hard work and mental toughness would be the mantra,

The Lafayette Invitational Tournament was started in 1968 and was one of the most competitive tournaments through the years. Coach Ross organized and oversaw the running of the tournament as part of his coaching duties.

In 1985 Fred had his first state champion and Lafayette’s only two time state champion, Scott Redford, to set the bar for LHS’s future wrestlers. History was made!

In 1990 Fred was awarded the President’s Award for Excellence by the St. Louis Wrestling Official’s Association.

1991 brought a 2nd Place State Trophy for Lafayette. That year Coach Ross was selected as Coach of the Year by the St. Louis Wrestling Official’s, Missouri District 2 and Missouri Class 4.

Highlights of 1992 were an undefeated in dual meets and tournaments and won the Missouri State Championship. This was the first year Coach Ross had two assistants and they were a big part of those championships.

LHS won a 4th place Missouri Team trophy in 1994, Also that year Coach Ross’ retired from coaching. As Lafayette’s second wrestling coach he was the longest tenured coach and had the record of the most championships (9) and most state medalists (37) in the school’s history.