Sheldon Harden arrived at Cal Poly in 1948 to start his coaching
career and retired from teaching in 1987. Coach Harden elevated
wrestling at Cal Poly from an intramural program to the
intercollegiate level. He devoted his time and energy until the
sport was recognized as the best on the West Coast by winning the
Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Wrestling Championships in
Sheldon was also an assistant football coach and was named head coach of that sport in 1961, following the ill-fated plane crash involving the football team returning. Sheldon was a survivor of the crash and received praise for his heroic efforts to save the team and staff members.
Sheldon, who passed away in 2005, lived in San Luis Obispo. He was an emeritus professor of physical education and he enjoyed traveling and spending time with his 4 children and grandchildren. In May of 2002 he was inducted into the California State Wrestling Hall of Fame.