Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame selects Class of 2012

Updated: October 12, 2011

WATERLOO, Iowa — Three former NCAA champions, a legendary coach, and a historic championship team will be inducted into the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa on April 14, 2012. The Hall of Fame is located inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo.

The Class of 2012 includes Dale Bahr, Kelly Ward, Ken Snyder, Hugo Otopalik, and the 1950 NCAA championship team from Iowa State Teachers College.

Bahr was an NCAA champion and three-time All-American for Iowa State. He place second at the NCAA tournament in 1966, third in 1967, and first in 1968. Bahr coached the University of Michigan wrestling program from 1978 through 1999, compiling a 221-119-6 dual meet record.

Ward was an NCAA champion and three-time NCAA championship finalist for Iowa State. He placed second at the NCAA tournament in 1977, second in 1978, and first in 1979. His overall career college record was 126-10-2.

Snyder was a two-time Division II NCAA champion for Northern Iowa, winning titles in 1974 and 1975. He was also a two-time Division I All-American for the Panthers those same years. Snyder’s career college record at UNI was 95-15-3.

Otopalik was the head wrestling coach at Iowa State from 1924 through 1953. His teams compiled a 159-66-5 dual meet record. Otopalik coached Iowa State to an NCAA team championship (considered unofficial because no team scores were kept) in 1933. He also coached Glen Brand to an NCAA title in 1948. Brand is the namesake of the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa.

Otopalik passed away in 1953.

In addition to the four individual inductees, one Iowa high school or college championship team was selected for induction into the Hall of Fame. The Iowa State Teachers College team (now Northern Iowa) that won the 1950 NCAA championship was chosen by the selection committee.

The 13-member selection committee includes 10 past Glen Brand Hall of Fame inductees and three members of the media. Committee members are Les Anderson, Bobby Douglas, Jim Duschen, Dan Gable, Jim Gibbons, Tim Johnson, Randy Lewis, Jim Miller, Bill Nelson, and Chuck Yagla. Members of the media include Jim Nelson (Waterloo Courier), Andy Hamilton (Des Moines Register), and Mike Finn (WIN Magazine).

“Our selection committee does an excellent job,” said Kyle Klingman, director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. “This year’s hall of fame class is outstanding.”

The Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to honor the people who have made an impact on the sport on a national level, or who have done extraordinary work in the State of Iowa. The hall recognizes native-born Iowans, and those who achieved their fame while wrestling or coaching for an Iowa college. This is the eleventh class.

Denna Massey of Council Bluffs will be presented with the Russ Smith Community Impact Award at the induction ceremony. The award is given to a person demonstrating exceptional local impact on wrestling within the state of Iowa.

The Class of 2012 will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at a special ceremony hosted by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. For more information contact the museum at (319) 233-0745 or A full schedule of events will be made available at a later date.