Retiring Dan Gable to be honored with statue

Updated: June 4, 2011

The University of Iowa announced Saturday, June 4, it will display a bronze statue of former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable outside the main entrance to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The announcement was made by University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta at the “Gable’s Gold” celebration.

The seven-foot statue is being sculpted by Larry Nowlan — the same artist commissioned by the UI to create the Nile Kinnick statue in the Krause Family Plaza, the bronze Nile Kinnick display located in Kinnick Stadium’s south concourse, and the butterfly stroke bronze relief inside the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

The sculpture will have the same look – finish/color – as the Nile Kinnick statue and will reflect an iconic image of Gable coaching the Hawkeyes. It is expected to be in place when Carver-Hawkeye Arena hosts the 2012 USA Wrestling Olympic Trials on April 21-22, 2012.

“Coach Gable stands in a class on his own in terms of the contributions he’s made to the University of Iowa and the sport of wrestling,” said Barta. “Fifteen NCAA Championships and 21 Big Ten titles in 21 years is a remarkable feat, but his progressive contributions go well beyond the numbers. He produced the sport’s greatest wrestling environment inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena; and we believe this statue is a fitting and well deserved tribute that honors his legacy.”
As the University of Iowa’s all-time winningest wrestling coach, Gable compiled a career record of 355-21-5 from 1976-1997. He coached 152 All-Americans, 106 Big Ten Champions, 45 national champions, and 10 Olympians — including four gold, one silver and three bronze medalists.

During his tenure, the Hawkeyes averaged more than 17 wins and just one loss per season and posted a 95-1 record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Gable retired as Iowa’s head wrestling coach in 1997. He later held the position of Assistant to the Athletic Director before retiring from that post Dec. 31, 2010. The Hawkeyes won 25 consecutive Big Ten championships from 1973-1998, 21 while Gable was a head coach and four while he was an assistant coach and administrator.

Aside from assisting with Iowa athletics, Gable aids the university in its fundraising efforts to promote the sport of wrestling worldwide. He also coaches potential Olympic wrestlers in the local club sports, gives motivational and performance speeches nationwide and does color commentary for televised collegiate wrestling events.