WIN changes over 20 years, love for sport doesn’t

Updated: October 31, 2013

By Bryan Van Kley

Editor’s Note: The following column appeared in WIN, Volume 20, Issue 1 and printed Oct. 31, 2013.


We hope you enjoy WIN’s annual High School and College Preview Issue as the green flag officially drops on another wrestling season. But this issue is also extremely significant in another way: it’s the first issue of our 20th year as a magazine.

Started in 1994 by Mike and Bev Chapman, WIN has established a reputation of quality and comprehensiveness from the beginning, which is unprecedented in the sport. And it’s our mission to make sure WIN does its part in covering and promoting wrestling in the manner it deserves. We want to help wrestling grow by increasing the engagement and interest level of its existing fans and by helping to create new fans.

I’ve been the publisher of WIN since 1998. It really is a dream job for me. The initial opportunity was only possible because my parents, Arlo and Dianne, believed so highly in me and loved the sport. I’ll be forever thankful to them for that opportunity. Since WIN’s inception, both the Chapmans and our current WIN Magazine team continue to do it out of a love for the sport and the virtues it teaches.

When the Chapmans started WIN, they had two main goals: a comprehensive magazine covering all levels of wrestling in a timely manner and a publication which addressed the injustices of the misinterpretation of Title IX.

Now, in addition to providing content to fans, WIN is also a tremendous resource for wrestlers and coaches. You’ll note in this issue, and every issue, stories and content which motivate wrestlers to be the best they can be and equip coaches to lead their programs in the very best manner possible. We recognize not every youth or high school wrestler, or even coach for that matter, closely follows wrestling on the collegiate and Senior level. It’s one of our core objectives to change that. And for the stability and growth of the sport, the overall wrestling community’s engagement level needs to improve. But that’s a subject for another day.

In the interim, we’re working vigorously every month to provide articles on the mental side of the sport, training tips, coaching pointers and athlete testimonials on what it takes to become a champion or coach one.

We’re also committed to answering the “Why Wrestling” question. You hear if often said wrestling is the greatest sport. Really? Why … and could you answer that in two to three sentences? You should be able to. WIN will bring you 60-90 pages every month which will answer that question with an exclamation point.


Hodge Trophy/WIN Show

Since WIN’s inception, it continues to be the co-presenter with Culture House Books (the Chapmans’ promotional and marketing company) of the Dan Hodge Trophy, wrestling’s version of the Heisman given to the top collegiate wrestler each year. (See the Hodge Trophy section on page 44.) And as of the 2012-2013 season, the most prestigious award in wrestling is now formally sponsored by ASICS.

WIN Magazine also puts on the WIN Magazine Memorabilia Show during the NCAAs. Over 15,000 fans went through in 2013 in Des Moines, which was the largest attendance number in Show history. Located inside of the NCAA’s Fan Festival, over 60 exhibitor spots were filled this past March by WIN Magazine advertisers showing and selling a wide range of wrestling products and memorabilia. The WIN Show is also a great place for fans and especially kids to get autographs and meet well-known past wrestlers and coaches.


WIN’s Digital Edition/Social Media

As of fall of the 2011, every issue of WIN is now available digitally every month. For only $10 a year more for print subscribers, or $15 for those who prefer the digital format only, a WIN’s Digital Edition is a great way to read the magazine.

It’s the exact same copy of the magazine, only available one to two weeks before the print edition lands in your mailbox. And the beauty of the digital edition is that all past WIN archives are available to subscribers in one location. Also, every ad is live-linked back to the respective website for readers to get more information about products and services. If you’ve never seen WIN’s monthly magazines digitally, there’s a trial issue on WIN’s homepage.

Obviously different than when the magazine started in the mid-1990s, wrestling fans like all sports fans want results and stories immediately. WIN provides event news and stories on a daily and weekly basis for free on WIN’s internet site,, and through our weekly eNewsletters. Wrestlers, coaches and fans should sign up for our free weekly eNewsletters on WIN’s home page, and follow WIN through social media for that content. Everything from college and high school rankings updates, the ASICS Race for the Hodge Trophy Updates, breaking news briefs and updates of what’s in the upcoming issue of WIN will be sent directly to fans in those ways.

However, to get the in-depth features, analysis, full-length interviews and self-help sections for coaches/wrestlers, you will need a WIN subscription. Over this coming year, you will see a large amount of event-related content on our website. In the monthly magazines, you can expect more behind-the-scenes, in-depth features, as well as previews and analysis of future events.

WIN is proud of its reputation as a leader in the sport. WIN has been named the National Wrestling Media Association Publication of the Year three times, the last in 2012. We’ll continue to be a mouth-piece for the sport moving forward.


Staff, Advertisers, Subscribers

WIN thrives because of three distinct groups who all share a common love and passion for the sport.

First, our staff. From our editor Mike Finn, to office manager Kim Mapes and project manager Paul Fields, to the dozens of writers and photographers, as well as our graphics person and promotional team, the people who contribute to WIN do so because they believe deeply in WIN’s mission and the sport. That is what keeps the quality high.

The second critical group is the advertisers, which continue to support WIN each year. I would ask you to patronize them with your business, and thank them for bringing WIN to the wrestling community. If actions do really speak louder than words, the advertisers you see on the pages of WIN each month and on-line are the ones helping to promote and advance the sport through WIN. Supporting them is the biggest thank you can provide.

And finally, it’s the subscribers who pay to get the magazine each month. We sincerely thank you for your continued support. If you’re a high school, college or club coach, you could be reading this magazine as a free trial issue brought to you by WIN’s advertisers. We typically send one free to every coach in the country at the start of the season. I would encourage you to subscribe by calling the WIN office or going on-line. WIN will help you as a coach, and your wrestlers will enjoy it as well while help build good reading habits.

Enjoy the issue. We’re committed long-term to providing exciting content, and content which helps wrestlers and coaches improve.