Every sport has its ultimate icon, that one figure whose name is practically synonymous with the game itself and is widely known even across other fan bases. Basketball has Michael Jordan. Baseball has Babe Ruth. Hockey has Wayne Gretzky. And wrestling has Dan Gable.

Gable was one of those rare talents that reached the pinnacle of success both as an athlete and a coach at every level of competition, from high school to college to the Olympics. In fact, Gable racked up so many championships, awards, and honors during his astounding career that it’s difficult to say what he is best known for. Is it his 117-1 record and two individual NCAA championships as a wrestler at Iowa State University? His six Midlands Open championships? His romp through the 1972 Munich Olympics, where he won gold without yielding a single point to opponents? His 15 NCAA team titles, including an unprecedented nine in a row, as head coach at Iowa? Any one of these achievements on its own would make for a memorable career; Gable nailed them all.

And the accolades didn’t end there. During an incredible run in the sport that spanned three decades, Gable was also:

  • Undefeated in 64 high school matches
  • Three-time All-American
  • Three-time Big Eight Champion
  • Gold medalist at the 1971 Wrestling World Championships
  • Gold medalist at the 1971 Pan Am Games
  • Multiple-time U.S. Freestyle National Champion
  • Tblisi Tournament Champion
  • 355-21-5 through 21 seasons as Iowa’s head coach
  • Three-time USA Olympic team head coach
  • Ten-time U.S. World Cup team head coach
  • Inducted into numerous sports Halls of Fame, including the U.S Olympic Hall of Fame, the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and FILA Hall of Fame
  • Named by ESPN as one of the 20th Century’s top coaches

Where is Dan Gable now?

Gable retired from coaching the University of Iowa after the 1997 season, but to this day continues to cheer on the team and its athletes from the stands at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. He also remains an ambassador for wrestling, and was a vocal supporter of getting the sport reinstated in the Olympics.

Gable currently lives with wife Kathy in Iowa City, IA.