Lanny Bryant is a major force in the sport of wrestling. He burst on the scene in 1964 as the Editor and Owner of Wrestling USA Magazine. The magazine is now in its 55th year of publishing. Bryant is careful to keep his information focused on the positive aspects of amateur wrestling, with an emphasis on scholastic wrestling.His well read wrestling magazine documents every facet of the sport from the smallest Kid’s Tournament in Montana to the largest tournaments in yearly cycles including the World Championships and Olympic Games. His contribution to wrestling through this publication is immeasurable. He has done more to elevate awareness of the high school wrestling talent than anyone in the sport.
From 1962 to 1970, Lanny taught Biological Science and served as Head Wrestling Coach in Worland, Wyoming. From 1970 to 1972 he was a Professor of Physical Education and Head Wrestling Coach at Western Washington State College. He spent the next twelve years teaching at Missoula Hellgate High School and Head Wrestling Coach. From 1984 to 1987, Lanny was an Assistant Athletic Director at Montana State University and Head Wrestling Coach. In 1994 he returned to Missoula and was a volunteer coach for his son, Cody and former wrestler, John Smith who was a state champion on the Hellgate state championship team and the current coach at Hellgate.Coach Bryant also volunteered at Big Sky High School with one of his former wrestlers, Head Coach John Custer. In 2009 he became head coach at Big Sky, retiring in 2017.
Lanny’s teams in high school won 241 duals, losing only 47 in 20 years. His matmen won State Championships in both Wyoming and Montana . He led his grapplers to nine unbeaten seasons. At Hellgate HS in Missoula, he coached his son Cody. Cody is the only 3x state champion for Hellgate. Hellgate won their only State Championship in 1978.
Lanny coached Montana State’s first Conference Outstanding Wrestler and its first NCAA All-American Wrestler. He coached four NCAA Division I All-Americans and three NAIA All-Americans during his coaching career.
Lanny started the Wyoming AAU, the Wyoming Wrestling Coaches Association, the Wyoming Cultural Exchange Program, the Wyoming Junior Olympic Program, the Montana Cultural Exchange, the Wrestling USA Dream Team Classic, and hosted the FILA Schoolboy World Championships in Missoula MT in1983 with thirteen foreign countries competing.
On the National and International scene, Lanny has coached Wyoming and Montana Cultural Exchange Teams to Japan, was National Coach of the Junior World Freestyle Team, National Coach of Junior World teams to Russia and Poland, National Team Leader of FILA Schoolboy USA World Teams twice, and was honored by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with its 2003 “Order of Merit Award.”