Finn B. Eriksen

1989 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee

September 21, 1904 – August 8, 1992

Finn B. Eriksen was the first person inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame who was not born in the state of Iowa. He made a name for himself in wrestling, and later with a sterling coaching career, and also in the area officiating.

The University of Northern Iowa (then known as Iowa Teacher’s college) saw Finn put in some hard work at 135 pounds. He was a two-time champion at the then prestigious Mid-West AAU championships and was named captain of the team his senior year.

After getting his B.S. degree, Finn completed his education getting his M.A. degree at Columbia University in New York City before returning to Iowa to coach at New Hampton High School.

He led the Chickasaws to their first state championship before accepting a teaching and coaching position at Waterloo West. There Finn also gave the Wahawks their first state championship and followed with several others before going off to World War II where he was a commissioned Officer in the Naval Air Force for three years.

Upon returning to Waterloo, Finn accepted a position as Director of Health and Physical Education for all the Waterloo Schools which allowed him time to do some officiating of several duals and tournaments. He was also able to officiate national tournaments and Olympic tryouts and was honored to serve as a wrestling official at the 1952 Olympic Games held in Helsinki, Finland.

Finn was placed on many rules committees both in the state and nationally and was a supervisor over state tournament wrestling officials for 22 years.

He also served as a consultant for producing three films on wrestling rules interpretation and officiating techniques. Finn also wrote several articles on amateur wrestling published in magazines.

In 1968 Finn was actively involved in the formation of the United States National Wrestling Formation held in Chicago. Meanwhile, in 1969 he was appointed a charter member of the selection committee for the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Foundation in Cresco and in 1970 was a charter member of the Iowa High School Association’s formed Hall of Fame.

On February 29, 1976, he was inducted into the Citizen’s Savings Athletic Foundation, formerly National Helms Foundation for Wrestling. It all culminated in 1983 when Finn was inducted into the National Wrestling Association’s Hall of Fame at Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Finn B. Eriksen Featured Photo

Iowa State Teacher's College (UNI)
  • Two-time Champion 135#
  • Mid-West AAU Tournament
  • Undefeated in dual last two years
  • 1st All-American at ISTC


High School:

  • New Hampton High School (1932-1935) 1st State Championship Team
  • West Waterloo High School (1935-1943) 1st State Championship Team plus several others