ISU's Douglas Freestyle Coach of the Year

Iowa State head wrestling coach Bobby Douglas has been named 2004 Freestyle Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling. This is the second time that Douglas has received this award (1992, 2004). In addition, Douglas was USA Wrestling Coach of the Year, which included all wrestling styles, in 1988 and 1992.

Iowa State assistant coach Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) won an Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games. Sanderson was coached by Douglas, not only at the Olympic Games but also at Iowa State, where Sanderson made history as the first undefeated four-time NCAA Div. I champion.

Douglas was an Olympic Coach for the U.S. Olympic Women's Wrestling Team, which competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The U.S. won three Olympic medals in men's freestyle wrestling, and placed second in the medal count and unofficial standings in the men's freestyle wrestling competition.

Douglas served as the head coach of the 1992 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, that competed in Barcelona, Spain. The U.S. claimed six individual medals, led by gold medalists John Smith, Kevin Jackson and Bruce Baumgartner.

He has served as head coach of four U.S. World Championships teams. Douglas served as the Head Coach of the 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which placed a strong second at the World Championships in New York City, led by two silver medalists.

He was also the Head Coach of the 2002 U.S. Freestyle World Team that was scheduled to compete in Tehran, Iran. A day before the team was to leave for the competition, the U.S. government contacted USA Wrestling with information about a threat of violence against the team. USA Wrestling decided not to attend the World Championships because of that threat.

He led the 1989 and 1991 U.S. World teams to second-place finishes at the World Championships behind the Soviet Union. In 1989, the U.S. had six medalists, including two champions: Smith and Kenny Monday. In 1991, the U.S. won six medals, including three champions: Zeke Jones, Smith and Jackson.

He served on the coaching staff of the 1988 and 1996 U.S. Olympic teams. He coached the 1989 U.S. World Cup team as well as the 1991 Pan American Games team. He has been an assistant coach on numerous other U.S. international teams. He was named the 1992 USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year.

Douglas is a club coach with the Sunkist Kids, the most successful wrestling club in the United States. He has helped coach numerous U.S. athletes to World and Olympic medals as part of the Sunkist Kids program.

Douglas works as head wrestling coach for Iowa State Univ., where he has led their powerful Div. I program for 12 years. His Cyclones placed second in the 2002 NCAA Championships, led by three individual champions: Aaron Holker, Joe Heskett and Cael Sanderson. Douglas guided Sanderson to a historic career, becoming the first wrestler to win four NCAA titles and complete his career undefeated.

In 12 complete seasons at Iowa State, Douglas has led the Cyclones to three second-place finishes at the NCAA Championships and nine top-10 finishes. He coached five individual athletes to NCAA Div. I titles at Arizona State.

Douglas became the first coach of a Western university to win an NCAA title when he led Arizona State to the national crown in 1988. He was named College Coach of the Year in 1988. During Douglas' 18 years at Arizona State, his teams won nearly 75 percent of their dual matches (225-77-6). For his efforts, Douglas was named conference coach of the year nine times. His ASU record included nine conference championships, 10 top-10 NCAA team finishes and four top-two placings.

As a wrestler, he was the captain of the 1968 Olympic team, and placed fourth in the 1964 Olympic Games. He earned silver and bronze medals in the World Freestyle Championships and competed for U.S. World Teams eight times. He was the USWF freestyle champion in 1970, and won five other national freestyle titles. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1987. A true innovator, Douglas has authored a number of wrestling technique books and is one of the nation's top clinicians.

Douglas became the first black Ohio high school state titlist. He wrestled for West Liberty State College (W.V.). He won the NAIA title and was runner-up at the NCAA Championships. After transferring to Oklahoma State, Douglas won the Big Eight Conference 147-pound crown. Douglas earned his bachelors degree at Oklahoma State in 1967 and his masters degree at Arizona State in 1981.


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