April 14, 2006
IOWA CITY, IA – The man considered by many to be the greatest wrestler/coach in history is returning to the University of Iowa staff as an assistant coach. Dan Gable, a 21-year head coach for the Hawkeyes, will serve as new coach Tom Brands’ top assistant. The announcement was made today.
“We are very pleased Dan Gable has agreed to join Coach Brands’ staff,” said Iowa Associate Athletic Director Fred Mims. “They will make an extraordinary team. Dan will also continue to have department-wide duties and will retain his Assistant to the Director title, in addition to his position as assistant coach.”
In a reversal of roles Gable, who coached Brands to three NCAA titles during his Hawkeye career, will return to the Iowa practice room. Brands also served as an assistant coach at Iowa for five seasons under Gable (1993-97).
“I can’t express how happy I am that my former coach, Dan Gable, has decided to join my staff at Iowa,” said Brands. “He’s been with me every step of the way during my career and this will be no different. There’s no one in the world who’s better at working with wrestlers and I’m glad he’s on board.”
As the University of Iowa’s all-time winningest wrestling coach from 1977 to 1997, Dan Gable compiled a career record of 355-21-5, all at Iowa. He coached 152 all-Americans, 45 national champions, 106 Big Ten Champions and 10 Olympians, including four gold, one silver and three bronze medalists.
Dan Gable is Iowa’s all-time winningest wrestling coach, posting a 355-21-5 record in 21 seasons.
“I am delighted to be back in coaching,” said Gable. “Tom Brands is one of the few, if any other, that I would have accepted this position from. Our goal is to put Iowa wrestling back on top and I want to do everything I can to make it happen.”
The Hawkeyes won 25 consecutive Big Ten championships, 21 under Gable as head coach and four while he was an assistant coach and administrator. He had winning percentage of .932 and captured nine consecutive (1978-86) NCAA Championships. Nine straight equaled the longest streak of national titles won by any school in any sport (Yale golf-1905-13 and Southern Cal track-1935-43). On only five occasions did a Gable-coached Iowa team lose more than one dual meet in a year. In fact, Gable’s teams averaged over 17 wins and just one loss per season.
Gable has also coached many United States teams in international freestyle competition. He is a three-time Olympic head coach (1980, 1984 and 2000). The 1984 Olympic team, which featured four Hawkeyes, won seven gold medals. He was an assistant freestyle coach at the 1976 and 1988 Olympics. Gable also served as head coach of the World Team in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1994 and 1999, as well as 10 World Cup teams winning three team golds in World Cup competition. Gable also coached the U.S. team to a bronze medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games, and has led several all-star teams to Europe and the Soviet Union.
As a competitor, Gable won a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics. During his prep and college careers, Gable compiled an unbelievable record of 182-1. He was undefeated in 64 prep matches, and was 118-1 at Iowa State University. His only defeat came in the NCAA finals his senior year. Gable was a three-time all-American and three-time Big Eight champion.
Gable was named to the U.S.A. Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985. He was selected the nation’s outstanding wrestler by the AAU in 1970, and the U.S. Wrestling Federation in 1971. Gable was the Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year in 1970.
Gable has been serving as an assistant to Iowa Athletics Director Bob Bowlsby for the past nine years. He has remained extremely active in United States wrestling activities.