Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

RS 24/12
Iowa State University

Department of Athletics

Records, 1912-[ongoing]

Descriptive summary


Iowa State University Department of Athletics. Wrestling




1912- [ongoing]


2.52 linear ft. (6 document boxes)

collection number:

RS 24/12


University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information


Open for research

publication rights:

Consult Head, Special Collections Department

preferred citation:

Iowa State University, Wrestling Records, RS 24/12, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Historical note

Wrestling began at Iowa State College (Iowa State University) under coach Charles Mayser (1916). Their first year record was 1-1, their first win was against Nebraska and first loss was against Iowa. The team received its first unofficial national titles (non-NCAA) in 1922 and 1923. Iowa State was undefeated from 1922 until 1926 when Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State University) beat them for their only loss that season. In the 1920s, Iowa State compiled a team record of 73-7.

Art Holding was Iowa State's first NCAA champion winning the 135-pound title (1928). Bob Hess was the first Iowa State wrestler to win back-to-back national titles (1932-1933) at 174 and 175 pounds, respectively. Iowa State shared its first NCAA team title with Oklahoma A&M in 1933, though the NCAA title would not become "official" on a permanent basis until 1934. Glen Brand was Iowa State's first Olympic gold medalist (1948), as well as the first citizen of Iowa to win an Olympic gold.

In 1965, ISU won their first official NCAA national championship. In 1970, Iowa State had won its second consecutive national title, but wrestling icon and future University of Iowa coach Dan Gable had the first loss of his college career in his final match for the Cyclones. Gable would finish at Iowa State with a record of 118-1. Gable went on to become the 1972 Olympic gold medalist for freestyle wrestling in Munich, Germany, and did not surrender a single point in the competition. In that same Olympics, Cyclone Ben Peterson also was awarded gold while Chris Taylor received bronze. Peterson is the only Iowa State wrestler to win two Olympic medals. His second was at Montreal, Canada (1976), when he won a silver medal. Peterson is the only Cyclone and only the fourth American wrestler to appear on three Olympic teams. Current Cyclone coach Kevin Jackson won a gold medal in the Barcelona Olympic games (1992).

Cael Sanderson became the first freshman in the history of NCAA Championships to win a title and the first freshman to receive the tournament's "Outstanding Wrestler" honor (1999). He ultimately became a four-time NCAA champion (1999-2002). He was the first to have an undefeated collegiate career and the first to receive the Dan Hodge Trophy, a national award going to the most outstanding wrestler, for three consecutive years (2000-2002). Please see collection RS 24/12/51 for more information on Sanderson.

Harold Nichols was the most successful Iowa State wrestling coach in the program's history, with a record of 456-765-11 over 32 seasons. His teams won five national titles and three runner-up finishes (1965-1973). Nichols was selected as National Coach of the Year three times (1958, 1965, 1972). Three other Iowa State coaches won this award: Jim Gibbons (1987), Bobby Douglas (2000), and Cael Sanderson (2007).

Iowa State has won the national title eight times (1933, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1987). The Cyclones have also claimed fifteen league titles (1933, 1937, 1941, 1947, 1958, 1970, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1987, 2007-2009). Iowa State has an overall win-loss-tie record of 989-261-20 through the spring of 2009.


Charles Mayser


Hugo Otopalik


Dr. Harold Nichols


Jim Gibbons


Bobby Douglas


Cael Sanderson


Kevin Jackson

2009- present


Collection description

The collection (1912- [ongoing]) contains news clippings, media guides, programs, information on the wrestling club, awards banquets, wrestling news, an Iowa house resolution on wrestling, wrestling school, tournament prospectus, summaries, rosters, schedules, ticket brochures, lettermen, and student papers written on ISU wrestling.


Collection list

RS 24/12/0/0 Wrestling News Clippings
RS 24/12/0/5 Wrestling Programs
RS 24/12/0/6 Wrestling Media Guides
RS 24/12/1 Wrestling Subject Files