Former Coach Dick Holzaepfel Passes

Dec. 19, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former University of Iowa men’s gymnastics coach Dick Holzaepfel passed away earlier this month. He was 94. A memorial service will be held at a later date. He was born July 11, 1918 in Sandusky, Ohio.

Holzaepfel served as Iowa’s men’s gymnastics coach from 1948-66 and again from 1971-80. Under his guidance, Iowa won the 1972 Big Ten title and placed fourth in the nation. Iowa won a second Big Ten title under Holzaepfel’s direction in 1974 and placed fifth at the NCAA championships. Iowa placed third in the NCAA’s in 1963 and was also fourth in 1957 and 1958. His career dual record at Iowa was 179-87-2, including a 98-57 Big Ten record. His Hawkeye teams placed second in the Big Ten six times.

Holzaepfel led Hawkeye gymnastics teams to four (1958, 1960, 1964, 1972) undefeated seasons and Iowa advanced to the NCAA championships in 17 of 27 seasons. During his tenure he produced five NCAA individual event national champions, 36 individual Big Ten champions and 38 All-Americans.

He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and served in the Navy during World War II. He joined the Iowa staff after serving as gymnastics coach and athletic trainer at Northern Colorado. He was inducted into the UI Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1997. The UI men’s gymnastics team presents the Dick Holzaepfel Award to its Most Valuable Gymnast each year.