Dan Gable: Biograpghy
Dan Gable

Intensity, dedication, hard work, determination just a few words to describe what made Dan Gable one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Young and old alike who are involved in the sport of wrestling know the legendary Dan Gable. Yet to fully understand what made Dan Gable a great wrestler, you need to take a look at his life starting at a young age in Waterloo, Iowa.

Dan Gable was born October 25, 1948 in Waterloo Iowa. One of Dan's greatest supporter and influence, while growing up was his only sister Diane. Dan and Diane were very close. While Dan was growing up, he was a belligerent child. For example, one day while Dan was shopping with his mother in a department store, he spotted a fat woman bent over looking at something, Dan went over and bit her butt (Holland Stephen 36). On another occasion, while riding in the family convertible with his mother, Dan threw her purse out of the moving car (Holland Stephen 36). This chaotic and uncaring part of Dan's life was about to be ended. On October 5, 1964 fifteen-year old Dan Gable’s life changed forever. Nineteen year old Diane Gable was rapped and murdered by twenty-three year old John Thomas Kyle. Upon this tragedy Dan devoted his life to his career.

‘ Hey I’m going to make her proud. No Matter what she’s going to be up there looking down and say about me, “ Hey, that’s my brother right there.” She may not be able to be here with me, but I’m going to make it easier for her up there (Holland Stephen 25).’

While growing up Dan proved himself as a football player, baseball player, swimmer, and student. Dan began his winning career in his final year of swimming. During Dan’s dual meet season he went undefeated and went onto win the state title in the backstroke. Dan's winning career in swimming followed through to his wrestling career.

Dan attended and wrestled for West High, in Waterloo, Iowa. Dan trained night and day in hopes of going undefeated. Dan reached this goal while becoming a three time Iowa High School State Champion. Dan finished his high school career with a 64-0 record. He wrestled Folk Style during his senior year too. Winning one hundred and forty- two times and setting records with the most pins and received outstanding wrestler he decided to retire his folk style career. At the end of Gable’s high school career he decided to continue his wrestling at Iowa State University.

While attending Iowa State University, Dan’s motto was to wrestle with the toughest man in the room (Smith Russ 63). Gable won his first one hundred and seventeen matches and held a NCAA record before he lost during the NCAA finals his senior years to Larry Owings. Even with such a loss as this, Gable was a two-time NCAA champ. Although Gables wrestling career was over, he wasn’t ready to give up his passion for wrestling.

Dan Gable was the head coach at the University of Iowa for twenty-one years. While the head coach at Iowa Gable’s record was 355-21-2 (Dan Gable ). While under Gable’s coaching the University of Iowa wrestlers were known as the toughest team around. During his coaching career Dan coached one hundred and fifty-two All-Americans, forty-five National Champions, one hundred and six Big Ten Champions, and ten Olympians, including four gold medallists (Dan Gable). Also Iowa won the Big Ten title every year Gable was head coach. Iowa’s program had a .932 precent winning average and captured nine consecutive NCAA champs (Dan Gable). With all of these records combined this equals the longest streak of national titles won by any school in any sport. Although Gable put many hours into coaching the Iowa Hawkeye's, he also coached several different levels of wrestling.

Dan Gable coached many U.S. teams in international freestyle competition. During his first of three years of being an Olympic coach, Gables Olympic team included four Hawkeye's who went on to win seven gold medals. In 1986, Gable coached the U.S. team to a bronze medal at the Goodwill games. In 1988, Gable was an assistant Olympics freestyle coach. Dan Gable led several all-star teams to Europe and the Soviet Union. Gable also was an assistant coach on the world team that competed in Switzerland in 1989.

During Gable’s long career in wrestling, he achieved many honors. In 1972, Dan Gable earned National fame when he won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics. On his was to the championships he didn’t even surrender a single point to any of his opponents. Gable was named in the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame and to the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1970, he was named the nation’s outstanding wrestler by the AAU organization (Dan Gable).

By taking a look at Dan Gable’s life you can see what made him a legend. Many say the reason Dan achieved so much during his wrestling and coaching careers was because of the death of his greatest supporter, his sister. Even with the death of his sister Dan Gable’s passion to be the best drove him to be exactly that, the best.