Rick Belle Bio
Rick was a dedicated member of the wrestling community for nearly his entire life – before succumbing to esophageal cancer at just 48 years of age during the spring of 2013.
Rick Belle was an active youth who loved the outdoors and the sport of wrestling. He reached the level of Eagle Scout for the Boy Scouts of America, and grew up wrestling in the northern Illinois region. Rick represented West Chicago High School on the mats until his graduation in 1982. He then competed for the College of DuPage, where he completed an associate’s degree in business. Rick acquired his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in 1988 and immediately began his impact as a professional in the wrestling community.
A certified wrestling official for better than two decades, Rick officiated numerous state and national events at both the high school and collegiate levels. On the collegiate side, Rick became a regular official of Big Ten dual meets, and a fixture at numerous Midwest wrestling tournaments, including the prestigious Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.
Along with his many years of officiating, Rick became known nationally as President and Founder of All Star Custom Awards, originally All Star Publishing (1990). Rick’s company grew to providing awards and brackets to nearly all 50 states, with the sport of wrestling being a primary focus of the company. Rick’s creativity, artistry and charitable work in the wrestling community lifted him to a leadership role in redefining the nature of the awards industry in wrestling. His publishing of large, framed wrestling brackets in particular became an industry standard. Rick secured the contracts for all divisions of NCAA Wrestling and for better than two decades he supplied hundreds of champions with a professional display of their successes. All Star Custom Awards still provides leadership to the wrestling community, with Rick’s wife Kim Belle at the helm. Rick is also survived by his daughters Brittany (21) and Kelsey (18).
All of these accomplishments and support of wrestling are impressive, yet Rick’s greatest achievement may have been his on-going display of integrity and commitment as a professional, a friend, a husband and a father.