Dan Gable

Last updated
Dan Gable
Personal information
Born (1948-10-25) October 25, 1948 (age 70)
Waterloo, Iowa
Alma mater Iowa State University
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lb)
Sport Freestyle wrestling

Danny Mack "Dan" Gable (born October 25, 1948) is an American former folkstyle and freestyle wrestler and coach. He is a two-time NCAA Division I national champion, a world gold medalist, and an Olympic gold medalist. Gable was only the third wrestler to have ever been inducted into the United World Wrestling's Hall of Fame in the Legend category. [1] [2]

Collegiate wrestling

Collegiate wrestling is practiced at the college and university level in the United States. This style, with some slight modifications, is also practiced at the high school and middle school levels, and also among younger participants, where it is known as scholastic wrestling. These names help distinguish collegiate wrestling from other styles of wrestling that are practiced around the world such as those in the Olympic Games: freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Freestyle wrestling style of amateur wrestling

Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practiced throughout the world. Along with Greco-Roman, it is one of the two styles of wrestling contested in the Olympic games. American high school and college wrestling is conducted under different rules and is termed scholastic and collegiate wrestling.

NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships

The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships for wrestling individuals and teams have been held annually since 1928, except for a hiatus in 1943–45 during World War II.


Early life

Gable grew up in Waterloo, Iowa. When he was 15 years old, a teenager from his neighborhood sexually assaulted and murdered Gable's 19 year old sister. Although Gable has called his sister's death his "biggest loss," [3] he did not allow the tragedy to affect his focus on wrestling. Instead, he thought of it as a reason to train with even more determination:

Waterloo, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. and the city is part of the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.

“The more you can settle into focusing on what you have and what you would like to do and where you want to go — a positive point of view — the quicker things turn around and positive things start to happen." [4]

Wrestling career


From 1967 to 1970, Gable attended Iowa State University, where he competed in folkstyle wrestling. At Iowa State University, he became an NCAA Division I national runner-up, and a two-time national champion. Gable's college career record was 117-1, with his only loss being in the final match of his final season to Larry Owings of the University of Washington. [5]

Iowa State University public research university in Ames, Iowa, United States

Iowa State University of Science and Technology is a flagship public land-grant and space-grant research university in Ames, Iowa. It is the largest university in the state of Iowa and the third largest university in the Big 12 athletic conference. Iowa State is classified as a research university with "highest research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Iowa State is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), which consists of 60 leading research universities in North America.


From 1971 to 1973, Gable competed internationally in freestyle wrestling. Highlights of his career include gold medals at the 1971 Tblisi Tournament, the 1971 world championships, and the 1972 Olympic Games. At the 1972 Olympic Games in particular, Gable won all six of his matches without giving up a point. [6]

The 1971 World Wrestling Championships were held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Men's Freestyle 68 kg at the 1972 Summer Olympics as part of the wrestling program at the Fairgrounds, Judo and Wrestling Hall. Israeli weightlifter Eliezer Halfin was later killed in the Munich massacre.

Match results

World Championships & Olympic Games Matches
1972 Olympic Gold medal icon.svg at 68 kg
Win12-0 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Ruslan Ashuraliyev 3-0August 27, 1972 1972 Summer Olympic Games Flag of Germany.svg Munich, West Germany
Win11-0 Flag of Poland.svg Włodzimierz Cieślak Fall
Win10-0 Flag of Japan.svg Kikuo Wada 6-0
Win9-0 Flag of Greece.svg Stefanos IoannidisFall
Win8-0 Flag of Germany.svg Klaus Rost 20-0
Win7-0 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Safer Sali Fall
1971 UWW world Gold medal icon.svg at 68 kg
Win6-0 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ismail Yuseinov 8-3August 27, 1971 1971 World Wrestling Championships Flag of Bulgaria.svg Sofia, Bulgaria
Win5-0 Flag of Japan.svg Kikuo Wada Fall
Win4-0 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Josef Engel Fall
Win3-0 Flag of Turkey.svg Nihat KabanliFall
Win2-0 Flag of Finland.svg Eero SuvilehtoFall
Win1-0 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Vasily Kazakov5-1

Coaching career

From 1976 to 1997, Gable was the head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. Gable's teams compiled a dual meet record of 355–21–5. He coached 152 all-Americans, 45 national champions, 106 Big Ten Champions and 12 Olympians, including eight medalists. His teams won 21 Big Ten Conference championships, and 15 NCAA Division I titles. [5]

The University of Iowa wrestling program is one of the most successful athletic programs in NCAA Division I. The University of Iowa Hawkeyes are a member of the Big Ten Conference. Iowa is second in NCAA history with 23 national championships, all of which have come since 1975.

Big Ten Conference American collegiate athletics conference

The Big Ten Conference is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States. It is based in suburban Chicago, Illinois. For decades the conference consisted of 10 universities but the present conference has 14 member institutions. They compete in the NCAA Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, the highest level of NCAA competition in that sport. The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land-grant schools and a private university.

In addition to coaching folkstyle wrestling at the University of Iowa, Gable coached freestyle wrestling. Gable was the head coach of three Olympic teams and six world teams. [5]

Awards and honors


Cultural impact

In April 1973, Esquire Magazine profiled Gable in an article entitled Gorgeous Dan. In November 1996, in a GQ Magazine cover story, actor Tom Cruise spoke of his admiration for Gable.[ citation needed ] More recently, in 2005, professional wrestler The Iron Sheik praised Gable at his induction to the WWE Hall of Fame. Gable also appears in the 2005 documentary film Catch: The Hold Not Taken , and is mentioned in the 2008 movie Never Back Down .

See also


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