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Danny Mack "Dan" Gable (born October 25, 1948) is an American former folkstyle and freestyle wrestler and coach. He is a two-time NCAA Division I national champion, a world gold medalist, and an Olympic gold medalist. Gable was only the third wrestler to have ever been inducted into the United World Wrestling's Hall of Fame in the Legend category.[1][2]

Dan Gable
Personal information
Born (1948-10-25) October 25, 1948 (age 70)
Waterloo, Iowa
Alma materIowa State University
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lb)
SportFreestyle wrestling


Early lifeEdit

Gable grew up in Waterloo, Iowa. When he was 15 years old, a teenager from his neighborhood sexually assaulted and murdered Gable's 19 year old sister. Although Gable has called his sister's death his "biggest loss,"[3] he did not allow the tragedy to affect his focus on wrestling. Instead, he thought of it as a reason to train with even more determination:

“The more you can settle into focusing on what you have and what you would like to do and where you want to go — a positive point of view — the quicker things turn around and positive things start to happen."[4]

Wrestling careerEdit


From 1967 to 1970, Gable attended Iowa State University, where he competed in folkstyle wrestling. At Iowa State University, he became an NCAA Division I national runner-up, and a two-time national champion. Gable's college career record was 117-1, with his only loss being in the final match of his final season to Larry Owings of the University of Washington.[5]


From 1971 to 1973, Gable competed internationally in freestyle wrestling. Highlights of his career include gold medals at the 1971 Tblisi Tournament, the 1971 world championships, and the 1972 Olympic Games. At the 1972 Olympic Games in particular, Gable won all six of his matches without giving up a point.[6]

Match resultsEdit

World Championships & Olympic Games Matches
Res. Record Opponent Score Date Event Location
1972 Olympic   at 68 kg
Win 12-0   Ruslan Ashuraliyev 3-0 August 27, 1972 1972 Summer Olympic Games   Munich, West Germany
Win 11-0   Włodzimierz Cieślak Fall
Win 10-0   Kikuo Wada 6-0
Win 9-0   Stefanos Ioannidis Fall
Win 8-0   Klaus Rost 20-0
Win 7-0   Safer Sali Fall
1971 UWW world   at 68 kg
Win 6-0   Ismail Yuseinov 8-3 August 27, 1971 1971 World Wrestling Championships   Sofia, Bulgaria
Win 5-0   Kikuo Wada Fall
Win 4-0   Josef Engel Fall
Win 3-0   Nihat Kabanli Fall
Win 2-0   Eero Suvilehto Fall
Win 1-0   Vasily Kazakov 5-1

Coaching careerEdit

From 1976 to 1997, Gable was the head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. Gable's teams compiled a dual meet record of 355–21–5. He coached 152 all-Americans, 45 national champions, 106 Big Ten Champions and 12 Olympians, including eight medalists. His teams won 21 Big Ten Conference championships, and 15 NCAA Division I titles.[5]

In addition to coaching folkstyle wrestling at the University of Iowa, Gable coached freestyle wrestling. Gable was the head coach of three Olympic teams and six world teams.[5]

Awards and honorsEdit

  •   Midlands Championships

Cultural impactEdit

In April 1973, Esquire Magazine profiled Gable in an article entitled Gorgeous Dan. In November 1996, in a GQ Magazine cover story, actor Tom Cruise spoke of his admiration for Gable.[citation needed] More recently, in 2005, professional wrestler The Iron Sheik praised Gable at his induction to the WWE Hall of Fame. Gable also appears in the 2005 documentary film Catch: The Hold Not Taken, and is mentioned in the 2008 movie Never Back Down.

See alsoEdit


  • Baughman, Wayne. 1987. Wrestling On & Off the Mat. R. Wayne Baughman. ISBN 978-0-9618446-0-8
  • Chen, Albert. 2014. "Where are they Now: Catching up with Dan Gable and Larry Owings," Sports Illustrated (July 11, 2014)[7]
  • Gable, Dan. 2015. A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable. University of Iowa Press. ISBN 978-1609383404
  • Hammond, Jairus K. 2005. The History of Collegiate Wrestling. National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. ISBN 978-0-9765064-0-9
  • Moffat, James V. 2007. Wrestlers At The Trials. Exit Zero Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799051-0-0
  • Smith, Russ L. 1973. The Legend of Dan Gable. Medalist Sports Education Publication.
  • Zavoral, Nolan. 1997. A Season on the Mat. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-3553-9


External linksEdit