This image is the cover for the book A History of Wrestling in Iowa, Sports

A History of Wrestling in Iowa, Sports

The state of Iowa is just as well known for prominent wrestlers as it is acres of corn and beans. That gives the state the mighty distinction of feeding the world and defeating it on the mat. Men like Dan Gable, Tom Brands, Harold Nichols, Jim Miller, Nick Mitchell and Chuck Patten led Iowa colleges to forty-four of an astounding sixty-nine national team championships. In 1954, Simon Roberts of Davenport was the first African American to win a state wrestling title and later the first African American NCAA wrestling champion. Wrestler Norman Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize and is credited with preventing more than one billion deaths from starvation. Author Dan McCool details the long history of hard work and dedication from the fields to the mat.

Dan McCool

Dan McCool embarked on a journalism career in 1978, spending considerable time covering the sport of wrestling. Through his coverage, McCool saw generations of individuals rise to the top, in part because many of them learned an appreciation for hard work on the family farm. It was hands-on stuff such as baling hay, shoveling and milking cows, and the occasional break gave them an opportunity to climb a rope. The calluses made tough skin, and the chores before dawn made backs unbreakable. McCool covered the sport from its youth level to the 1996 Olympics, working for newspapers in Iowa and North Dakota. His work earned him the Bob Dellinger Award in 1995 from Amateur Wrestling News and "Wrestling Journalist of the Year" in 1997 from W.I.N. magazine as the nation's top wrestling writer. McCool and his wife, Diane, who edits his work, live in Iowa with their dog, Frosty.

The History Press