Dan Gable Museum to celebrate the African American Wrestling Experience

Updated: February 9, 2011

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum will host a special program celebrating the African American Wrestling Experience. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Five prominent African American wrestling figures will participate in a panel discussion held in the Dan Gable Teaching Center at the Museum. February is Black History month and this event is a celebration of African American wrestlers who have influenced the sport.

Museum marketing director Kent Sesker will moderate the discussion.

“This is an event our staff has been looking forward to doing for a long time,” said Sesker. “I am excited about the group we have assembled for the discussion. It promises to be an entertaining evening.”

Panelists for the event include current Iowa State University wrestling coach Kevin Jackson.

Jackson won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. He was the second African American to win the Olympics in wrestling. Jackson also won World titles in 1991 and 1995.

Wrestlers from Waterloo, Iowa, will have a significant presence at the event. Stewart Carter, Bill Tate, Jr., Willie Gadson and Mike Allen currently live in Waterloo and will take part in the panel.

Carter, a Waterloo Columbus graduate, was an NCAA champion for Iowa State in 1987. Tate also wrestled at Columbus was a Big 8 champion for Iowa State in 1986.

Gadson, a two-time All-American at Iowa State, is the current head wrestling coach at Waterloo East High School. Allen wrestled at Waterloo East and Northern Iowa and is a retired Hall of Fame official.

Bobby Douglas, the first African American wrestler to compete in the Olympic Games, coached Arizona State to an NCAA team title in 1988. He also coached at Iowa State for 16 years.

“Iowa is the epicenter of wrestling in America. Iowa and Iowa State were two of the first programs to pursue diversity. Opportunities for minorities to compete in Iowa were unequalled.” Douglas stated.

Originally slated to participate, Douglas will be unable to attend the event due to a business obligation.

The celebration is free and open to the public. The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum located at 303 Jefferson Street in Waterloo.

A book produced by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on the African American Wrestling Experience will also be available.

For more information contact the Gable Museum at 319-233-0745 or email info@wrestlingmuseum.org.