Sept. 4, 2009
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — In March of 1986, University of Iowa national champion wrestler Duane Goldman admitted fear of being remembered as the answer to an unflattering trivia question. After a senior season of soul-searching, Goldman exorcized the what-ifs that frequent a wrestlers’ mind and posted a 5-4 victory over Dan Chaid of Oklahoma to claim the 190-pound title at the NCAA national championship in Iowa City.
In the process, Goldman avoided becoming the only four-time NCAA national wrestling runner-up, having finished second as a freshman, sophomore and junior. In a twist of poetic irony, Goldman is now the answer to a much more pleasing query: Who are the only three UI four-time NCAA national wrestling finalists? The answer is Ed Banach (1979-83), Lincoln McIlravy (1992-97) and Goldman.
“I was fortunate to go undefeated (36-0 in 1985-86), but there were a lot of challenges,” Goldman said. “I appreciated Coach (Dan) Gable and Coach (Mark) Johnson getting me through that. My (championship victory against Chaid) wasn’t one of my best matches ever. That match was about taking care of business and getting my hand raised.”
Goldman is one of six to be inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame. The 21st Hall of Fame class also includes Fred Becker (football 1916), Cap Hermann (fencing 1964-66), Deb Bilbao (softball 1995-98), Jay Thornton (gymnastics 1993-96) and Glenn Patton (swimming coach 1975-98).
“This is extremely special. I can’t think of a higher honor for me, a kid from Colorado,” Goldman said. “I stepped out and went to Iowa and found a place that provided what I needed. I met my wife and received a college degree. When a university comes back and expresses appreciation for what you did, that is really special and I’m very thankful.”
Goldman’s 132 wins is sixth on the all-time Hawkeye career chart and his overall record of 132-10 is currently 10th-best. During his final three seasons, Goldman had a combined record of 98-3 (97.0 winning percentage) and he was 46-0 in dual meets.
Iowa won national team championships all four seasons with Goldman in the lineup. The 1986 squad had five individual champions: Brad Penrith (126 pounds), Kevin Dresser (142), Jim Heffernan (150), Marty Kistler (167) and Goldman. It marked the ninth consecutive national title for the Hawkeyes, who won the tournament by 73 ¼ points over Oklahoma — still the largest victory margin in NCAA wrestling history.
“Duane was a very, very hard worker,” former UI head wrestling coach Dan Gable said. “He didn’t complain and he was always battling in the room. He put a lot of pressure on himself in ’86. That was a relief because it’s tough to get so close and not get it. Duane got so close and he got it.”
A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., Goldman graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School in 1981 where he was a three-time all-Southern League champion. Goldman won two state championships — at 126 pounds in 1979 and at 145 pounds in 1981.
“This is extremely special. I can’t think of a higher honor for me, a kid from Colorado. I stepped out and went to Iowa and found a place that provided what I needed. I met my wife and received a college degree. When a university comes back and expresses appreciation for what you did, that is really special and I’m very thankful.”
Former UI wrestler
“I wanted to be the best wrestler I could be and I needed to go to the best spot and that was the University of Iowa,” Goldman said.
“Because Duane wanted to come here, it was good for us because it helped us build a team,” Gable said. “When you get kids that want to be here, it makes a big difference.”
As a freshman in high school, Goldman competed at 121 pounds. He was 145 as a senior. At Iowa, he grew into a 177-pounder as a freshman and sophomore, before competing his final two seasons at 190. That vast weight range was an asset for Goldman, who wore down heavier wrestlers with his attacking, offensive approach.
“I tried to be the aggressor with an energetic style,” Goldman said. “A lot of aspects of the lighter weights carried over to upper-weight wrestling.”
Gable said Goldman “just knew how to win” without a repertoire of moves. But his arsenal included some things Gable had never seen before — or since.
“Duane developed a couple moves that I don’t even know the name of,” Gable said. “He was unique from that point of view. If somebody shot on him, he would do this drag and cut the corner and score, but I’ve never seen anyone else do it before or after.”
Goldman earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies for the UI in 1986. He went on to compete extensively on the international level as a member of the U.S. National Team. Goldman won a gold medal at the Pan-American Championships in 1987 and was a member of the 1987 World Cup Team that took bronze in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. He won two Canadian Cup championships and placed second in the Cerro Pelado Tournament in Cuba, and medaled in various tournaments throughout Europe. Goldman served as an alternate on the 1988 Olympic team in Seoul, South Korea, and during the summer of 2000 he served as an assistant coach at the Sydney, Australia, Olympics. He was enshrined in the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008.
In 1992 Goldman was named head wrestling coach at Indiana University (he received a master’s degree from there in sports administration in 1997). Now entering his 20th season at Indiana (18th as head coach), Goldman has a career coaching record of 216-116-5 with seven national top-20 finishes.
“I’m very proud of anybody that stays in the sport after they move from college and that’s their profession,” Gable said. “That makes me feel really good because they developed that passion that makes them want to stay in wrestling. Then if they go on to win major awards like being inducted into the Hall of Fame, that’s another feather in the cap.”
Goldman and his wife, Patricia, have two daughters, Aphten and Avery, and one son, Garret.