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Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

Posted: March 14th, 2019

Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

Posted: March 14th, 2019

CRESCO, IA:  Four outstanding individuals who’ve contributed mightily to the sport of wrestling will be inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in Cresco on Monday, April 8th.  The 50th Annual Awards Banquet and Induction Ceremony will begin with a 5:30 social hour followed by a 6:30 banquet at the Cresco Country Club south of Cresco. Those being inducted Don Buzzard (posthumous), Joe Corso, Gary Steffensmeier and Jesse Whitmer.  Also being recognized will be Dale Bahr.  Bahr was inducted into the IWHOF in 1988, but was unable to attend that induction ceremony and banquet.   The Board of Directors thought the 50th anniversary banquet would be an appropriate time to recognize Bahr as an inductee.

Don Buzzard was a two-time state champion for Waterloo East(1963, 1964). Buzzard went on to Iowa State University where he was a two-time NCAA runner-up at 191 pounds.  As a sophomore Buzzard won the 191 pound Midlands Championship.  Buzzard coached at Jesup before becoming an assistant coach at the University of Iowa (1973-1974). During his competitive career Buzzard only lost a total of nine matches.

Joe Corso won a state title for West Des Moines Valley at113 pounds in 1971.  After winning a bronze medal in the NCAA championships for Purdue, Corso continued his career in freestyle wrestling where he excelled. Corso went on to be a ten-time national freestyle champion, placed third in the World Championships of 1978 and was the 1979 Pan-American Games champion.  Corso was also on the 1980Olympic team and an alternate in 1984.  Corso is still coaching and has had a long history with the Sunkist Wrestling Club.

Steffensmeier wrestled at Fort Madison for Hall of Fame coach Mick Pickford.  Steffensmeier was the Bloodhounds first two-time state champion and their first four-time state tournament medalist. Steffensmeir won titles in 1986 at 112 lbs and in 1987 at119 lbs. He capped his senior year with a perfect 32-0 record.  Steffensmeier went to the University of Northern Iowa where he was a three-time Division I All-American with a runner-up and two fourth place finishes. He finished with a collegiate record of 115-29-3.

Jessie Whitmer was a four-time medalist and a one-time state champion for Eagle Grove High School. Whitmer then went to the University of Iowa where he was able to break into the starting line up as a 118 pound senior.  Whitmer was one of five national champions for the storied 1997 squad that broke the record for number of points scored at the tournament (170).

Dale Bahr was a two-time state champion for Iowa Falls high school, wrestling for Gary Kurdelmeier.  Under Harold Nichols at Iowa State, Bahr won the 145 lb. national championship as a senior.   He was a two-time All American before winning his national title. Bahr then went on to a successful coaching career where he ended up as head coach for the University of Michigan from 1978-99.

Banquet tickets are available at the Cresco Chamber of Commerce (563-547-3434) or CIA Insurance in Cresco (563-547-2382). Tickets are $25 and advance registration is required.

The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame’s sole purpose is the promotion of amateur wrestling in Iowa. The IWHOF has a rich history of honoring native Iowans at our annual awards banquet and induction ceremony. The inaugural banquet was held in 1970. When we conclude the 50th annual awards banquet on April 08, 2019, our roster of inductees will included 133 outstanding individuals for their contributions to amateur wrestling. 

Visit our website at

The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame is located in the Cresco Welcome Center at the intersection of Highway 9 and Elm Street. The Hall of Fame is open 9-5 daily. 

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2019 IA-MN Border Battle Results

Posted: March 12th, 2019
On the strength of 6 falls, MN defeated IA in the 18th IWHOF IA-MN Border Battle.  The meet took place on Friday March 8th, in Cresco.  IA won 9 of the 17 bouts, but MN wrestled away the win with those 6 falls.  A feature match in bout 14 pitted IA's Michael Egan against MN's Carter Marx.  Both are 2x state medalists.  In a highly competitive match, Marx came out on top, in overtime, 3-2.  The match lived up to it's billing!  With the win, MN tied the series 9-9.
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IWHOF Inductee Bill Smith Passes

Posted: March 22nd, 2018
1972 IWHOF inductee Bill Smith passed away Tuesday March 20 at the age of 89.
Thanks to Mark Palmer, InterMat Senior Staff Writer, for allowing us to post this article Mark wrote about Bill Smith for InterMat.
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IWHOF Announces 2018 Inductees

Posted: March 20th, 2018
The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, located in Cresco, has announced the 2018 inductees.  They are Steve Hamilton, Shane Light, Kirk Myers and Lennie Zalesky.  The 49th annual banquet is set for Monday April 9th.  Social hour starts at 5:30, dinner at 6:30 with the Induction ceremony following. 
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IWHOF Banquet

Posted: April 09, 2018
The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame's sole purpose is the promotion of amateur wrestling in Iowa. Open to the public, April 9, 2018 is the Banquet and Induction Ceremony. Call 563.547.3434 to reserve your tickets.

We have a rich history of honoring native Iowans at our annual awards banquet and induction ceremony. The original banquet was held in 1970. When we concluded the 48th annual awards banquet on April 10, 2017, at the Cresco Country Club, our roster of inductees included 125 outstanding individuals for their contributions to amateur wrestling.
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Border Battle

Posted: March 09, 2018
Friday, March 9th is the annual Border Battle hosted by the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Tickets $6.00/person.
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2012 Inductee Gene Doyle (1940-2018)

Posted: January 17th, 2018
The Board of Directors of the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in Cresco wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of 2012 inductee Gene Doyle.  Gene passed away Sunday January 14th, 2018. 
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IWHOF Board Member Hruska Honored

Posted: December 12th, 2017
IWHOF Board Member Jerome Hruska was recently inducted into the Creston Wrestling Hall of Fame.  Hruska was inducted along with Dylan Long and the 1972 Creston wrestling team.  Hruska coached at Creston from 1969-1979.  See attached story from the Creston News Advertiser.
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Flanagan, Kettman Inducted into Brand WHOF of IA

Posted: June 26th, 2017
Legendary coaches Chris Flanagan and Tom Kettman were inducted into the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa on Saturday June 24th.  The Brand WHOF is located in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo.  Along with family members, Flanagan was represented by some current members of the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Board of Directors.  The IWHOF is located in Cresco, where Flanagan coached.   Flanagan coached many of the current board members.

Pictured in front are Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Members Sandy Stevens, Dan Gable, Chuck Yagla and Bob Siddens.  In back are Jim Sovereign and IWHOF board members Jerome Hruska and Chuck Curtis.
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2017 IA-MN Border Battle Results

Posted: March 14th, 2017
Minnesota emerged victorious in the 16th annual IA - MN Border Battle on Friday March 10th, 2017 besting the Iowa team 37-30 in Cresco.  The combined rosters of the two teams had made 40 state tournament appearances, winning 22 medals, including 7 golds.  That made for some exciting match ups.  With the win, Minnesota evened the series 8-8.  See attached results.
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