||- USA Certified Head Coach
- NAIA Hall of Fame (1985)
- Arizona Wrestling Hall Of Fame (1999)
- Dan Brands Hall of Fame (2002)
- Ohio wrestling Hall of Fame
- Ohio Wrestler Of the Decade (60's)
- The Gallagher Award (2004)
- U. S. Olympic Wrestling Committee (1976)
- U. S. Olympic Games Prep Commitee (1990)
- NCAA Rules Committee
- USA Freestyle Committee Chairman
- U. S. A Athletes Rep (19-)
- U.S. Freestyle World Team Head Coach
('89, '91, '02, '03)
- U.S. Olympic Coach (1992, 2004)
- W.I.N. Magazine's Coach of the Year (2002)
- NWCA Coach of the Year (2000)
- Three-time Conference Coach of the Year (ISU)
- Nine-time Conference Coach of the Year (ASU)
- USA Wrestling's Man of the Year (1992)
- USA Freestyle Wrestling Coach of the Year
- Ovac Hall of Fame (2004)
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Bobby Douglas' Coaching Résumé.
The Iowa State wrestling program entered a new era when legendary Cyclone head coach Bobby Douglas turned the page in his extraordinary career of achievement, assuming assistant athletics director duties after 14 years as Iowa State’s fifth head coach. Douglas was succeeded by his legendary pupil, Cael Sanderson. Douglas will continue to command a presence in the wrestling room and as an ambassador for Iowa State, the sport of wrestling and those who will follow in his footsteps. A U.S. coach at several Olympic Games, one of four collegiate coaches to win more than 400 dual meets, Douglas won an NCAA team title at Arizona State. In short, the numbers are astounding: 13 NCAA champions, 110 All-America performances and 68 conference titles.
Douglas’ Olympic achievements, as coach and competitor, complemented an ISU tenure as coach, mentor, teacher and friend. Douglas’ 198 career dual meet wins at Iowa State furthered his international renown. From 1992-2006 at Iowa State, Douglas coached wrestlers who won 10 NCAA titles and earned All-America recognition 52 times. Douglas’ Cyclones claimed 31 individual conference championships.
Douglas built upon his legacy by coaching wrestling legend Cael Sanderson to a gold medal in the 185-pound weight class at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. It was no surprise that Douglas was named the 2004 USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year. In January 2005, Douglas was honored with the Edward Clark Gallagher Award, which is presented annually to the Oklahoma State University wrestling alumnus who exemplifies the spirit and leadership eminent in the tradition of champions. He also received the 2005 Iowa State Alumni Association Impact Award.
His final campaign as head coach, 2005-06, saw three Cyclones earn All-America honors, including NCAA 141-pound champion Nate Gallick. In the 2004-2005 season, ISU got off to its best dual record start in recent history and concluded the year with a 16-2 mark. One of the victories was a 19-16 win over arch-rival Iowa in Iowa City. The win was the Cyclones’ second-straight triumph over the Hawkeyes and Iowa State’s first win in Iowa City since 1977. At the Big 12 tournament, Gallick claimed his second consecutive Big 12 141-pound title while 184-pounder Kurt Backes earned his first Big 12 crown. The Cyclones finished runner-up at the Big 12 meet. Gallick was the 141-pound runner-up at the 2005 NCAA Championship in St. Louis, Mo. Trent Paulson earned All-America honors by finishing fourth at 157 pounds and two-time heavyweight All-American Scott Coleman was seventh.
In 2004 Douglas became just the third Division I head coach to reach the 400-dual win mark, joining Iowa State’s own Harold Nichols and Oregon State’s Dale Thomas. He coached a young Cyclone squad to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships with one national champion and four All-Americans.
In 2002, Douglas was recognized as the International Wrestling Institute News’ coach of the year. He guided a Cyclone squad of four seniors, four transfers, a sophomore and a redshirt freshman to a 17-5 dual meet record and a third-place showing at the Big 12 Tournament before finishing as runner-up at the NCAA Championship in Albany, N.Y. Douglas produced national champions Cael Sanderson (197), Joe Heskett (165) and Aaron Holker (141), and All-Americans Billy Maldonado (149) and Zach Roberson (133). ISU’s three national champions was the best team effort since the 1987 Iowa State team crowned four NCAA champions in College Park, Md. The Cyclones’ five All-Americans were the most by an ISU team since 2000, when that squad also placed second at the national tournament.
Douglas sent four wrestlers into the 2000 NCAA Championships finals, the most Cyclones to make the title match since 1987. Cael Sanderson won a second-straight 184-pound title and was named the NCAA Tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler for the second-straight year. His performance earned him the Dan Hodge Trophy. Cody Sanderson (133), Joe Heskett (165), Zach Thompson (197) and Trent Hynek (HWT) all earned All-America honors.
Iowa State’s NCAA runner-up finish in 2000 was the team’s best national placing since Douglas turned an injury-plagued 1996 regular season into one of the most remarkable NCAA Tournament performances in recent memory. The Cyclones finished second in 1996, with all five qualifiers attaining All-American status. Current Tennessee-Chattanooga head coach Chris Bono won the NCAA 150-pound title, while Jason Nurre (118) and Dwight Hinson (126) earned runner-up status. Derek Mountsier (142) finished fourth and Barry Weldon placed fifth (167).
For Douglas, life at the top of collegiate wrestling has been the rule. He saw seven wrestlers on his first Cyclone team earn All-America honors at the 1993 NCAA Championship, ISU’s highest total in 10 seasons. Iowa State crowned five Big Eight champions and finished just one-half point short of the conference crown. The Cyclones were 13-4 in dual competition and Douglas was named Big Eight Conference Coach of the Year. His second ISU squad featured four-time All-American Eric Akin, who placed second nationally at 118 pounds. Derek Mountsier (134) and Dan Troupe (190) also earned All-America honors. Douglas continued his winning ways in his third year, leading the Cyclones to 17 dual wins, ISU’s most since 1987-88. Two All-Americans were crowned, Chris Bono and Dwight Hinson. Hinson earned freshman-of-the-year honors from Amateur Wrestling News.
Before taking over Iowa State’s prestigious wrestling program, Douglas built one of his own at Arizona State. From 1975-92, Douglas guided ASU to nine conference titles and nine top-10 NCAA team finishes, including the school’s first national championship in 1988 and consecutive NCAA runner-up finishes in 1989 and 1990. He coached three national champions, 37 conference champions and 58 All-Americans. During Douglas’ 18 years at Arizona State, his teams won nearly 75 percent of their dual matches (226-76-6), making Douglas the all-time winningest coach in Sun Devil history.
Douglas’ coaching accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, earning him conference coach-of-the-year honors nine times at ASU and three times with Iowa State. He was USA Wrestling’s Man of the Year in 1992 and the National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2000. Douglas is considered one of the world’s most knowledgeable and respected coaches. Douglas has been USA Wrestling’s top choice to coach several World, Pan American and Olympic teams, including the 2003 and 2002 U.S. Freestyle World Teams. Under Douglas, the 2003 U.S. squad finished second at the World Championships in New York City, while former Cyclone Cael Sanderson and Pennsylvania native Kerry McCoy took home silver medals. Unfortunately, the 2002 U.S. World Team was unable to compete at the World Championships in Teheran, Iran. Douglas also was the head coach of the 1989 and 1991 U.S. World Teams.
During the summer of 2004, Douglas was selected as a coach for the 2004 Olympic
Games held in Athens, Greece. He proceeded to help guide Sanderson to a gold medal at 84 kilograms (185 pounds). He also assisted silver medalists Stephen Abas and Jamill Kelly. The Cyclone head coach was inducted in August as a member of the Ohio Valley Hall of Fame class of 2004.
Douglas served as the head coach of the 1992 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team that competed in Barcelona, Spain. Under Douglas’ guidance, all 10 U.S. wrestlers placed among the top 10 in their respective weight classes—a U.S. Olympic first. The U.S. claimed six individual medals, led by gold medalists John Smith, Bruce Baumgartner and Iowa State’s own Kevin Jackson. Excluding the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, which were boycotted by the powerful Eastern Bloc nations, the three gold medals marked the United States’ highest gold medal total since the 1972 Munich Olympics, where Cyclone wrestlers Ben Peterson and Dan Gable won gold medals and Chris Taylor won a bronze. Douglas’ success at the Barcelona Olympics earned him the 1992 USA Freestyle Wrestling Coach of the Year title. Overall, Douglas has wrestled or coached in six Olympic Games
During the four summer Olympics that preceded the Barcelona Games (1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988), Douglas served as a valuable member of the U.S. coaching staff, paving the way for his appointment as the 1992 head coach. At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., and the 2004 Games in Athens, Douglas would again assist the U.S. team.
Douglas has served as head coach of several other U.S. national teams. He led the U.S. at the Pan American Games in 1991 and guided the 1989 U.S. World Cup team. In 1988, he coached the U.S. to a 7-3 victory over the Soviet Union in the Sunkist/Fiesta Bowl Takedown I. The win marked the first time in the 17-year history of dual matches between the two countries that the United States emerged victorious. Douglas also has been an assistant coach on numerous U.S. teams. He served as an assistant at the 1994 World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as assisting the U.S. team at the 1995 World Championship in Atlanta. Douglas was a member of the United States’ staff at the 1987 World Cup and 1986 Goodwill Games and World Championship.
As a competitor, Douglas captured five national championships and a pair of U.S. Olympic Trials titles. He had a fourth-place featherweight finish at the 1964 Tokyo Games and he captained the U.S. Olympic freestyle team at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Douglas captured silver and bronze medals, as well as a fourth-place showing in the World Championships. He was named the nation’s outstanding wrestler in 1970, the year he retired. He accumulated a career record of 303-17-7 (.953) from his high school days through his World Championship competition.
Born in poverty, Douglas rose to the top of the wrestling world. He became the first black Ohio high school state titlist when he captured the 112-pound weight class crown at Bridgeport High School. He wrestled for West Liberty (W.V.) State College and won the NAIA title and was runner-up at the NCAA Championship.
After transferring to Oklahoma State, Douglas won the Big Eight Conference 147-pound crown. The Cowboys never lost a dual meet with Douglas in the lineup and captured a pair of conference championships and the 1964 NCAA team title.
In 1987, Douglas was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame following his enshrinement into the NAIA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1985. Douglas is also a member of the Ohio Hall of Fame and in 1999 was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame. He is a proud supporter of the Jason Foundation, a nationally recognized leader in youth suicide awareness and prevention.
Douglas has written several books on wrestling technique: Takedown I, Takedown II, Pinning and Olympic Technique, Take It To The Mat, Wrestling Skills and Drills, and The Last Takedown. He is one of a handful of gold certified U.S. coaches.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State in 1967 and his master’s degree from ASU in 1981, where he was admitted to the doctoral program. Douglas and his wife, Jackie, have one son, BobBo, and reside in Ames.