Les Painter’s passion bringing joy to those around him

Les Painter brings passion to everything he does
Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 10:49 PM CST
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PIERCE, Neb. (KSNB) - Merriam-Webster defines passion as an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. No question a powerful word but when it comes to Les Painter, the can be no doubt he brings a passion to everything he does.

Painter has wrestled since he was a kindergartner in Ainsworth. Now after a lifetime making mistakes and learning from them, he’s using that knowledge to teach kids.

“You look back and you can always tell people I’m 41 years old now and I sure wish I could go back and redo some things but at the same time it’s made me a lot better coach,” Painter said.

You can see it as he smiles walking mat to mat, Painter takes pride in what he does.

“The thing is its not about me,” he said. “It’s about kids. My pride is in my kids and watching them have success where maybe they had a struggle and now we’re to a point where we’re seeing them get better.”

He says he spends more time coaching then he does with his wife and kids. The only thing is, he has six daughters to take care of when he is not working.

“When I was thinking I was done at four, apparently I just needed two more cause God didn’t think my plate was full enough or my wife’s plate was full enough,” Painter said.

His oldest daughter Maggie is in high school and a part of Pierce’s wrestling team.

“I’ve always been daddy’s girl so being close to him is always priority,” Maggie said. “I’d want to be with him.”

“I didn’t say a word. I let her and her mom talk about it because again I don’t want my passion to control my kids,” Painter said. “So again, watching them come up and love it brings a smile to my face.”

Painter’s passion can be seen at any Pierce practice and that passion is not lost on his daughter Maggie.

“I mean seeing him have the passion for what he does and just in general makes me want to strive to be the best and all the passion that I can put in something I’m going to.,” Maggie said.

With six daughters, life can be chaotic for Painter and his wife Sharon, but things got especially difficult when she was diagnosed with breast cancer over a year ago.

“You know I think its always hard to accept our mortality,” Sharon said. “You know we don’t just get to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got tomorrow and I can just do this tomorrow.’”

Having to tell the news to their daughters was not easy.

“For me and my wife we had had time to talk but to see the look on their faces when the inevitable you don’t know but when your faith is not with what’s in this world you can put a smile on your face every day,” Painter said.

His faith and positive mindset have helped Sharon and his kids get through what has been a long fight the last year.

“He’s always good about reminding, ‘Hey lets not dwell about that, let’s go to the positive,’ because that is his personality,” Sharon said. “The eternal optimistic. He’ll always be that way.”

Whether he is upside down coaching or playing Cribbage at the dining room, Painter will bring his passion, spreading joy to those around him.

“If you wake up and you choose joy every day and you come to school or you go anywhere in life with a passion, like that You’re going to bring joy to other people’s lives,” Painter said. “That is my ultimate goal in life is to bring that passion to everyone else.”

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