Howard Barker

1974 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee

December 17, 1901 – July 2, 2001

Howard Barker, our eighth inductee into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, was born in Dehli, Iowa. He was not involved with wrestling in either high school of college but became a teacher of the sport and has had a tremendous impact and influence on making wrestling that it is today in the state of Iowa.

He began as Biology teacher and football line coach at Mason Citty High school in 1929. A year later he began working linemen on a small mat. Other students also became interested and in 1932 the wrestling program began at Mason City with a meet against Clarion.

In 1933 eight meets were scheduled and in 1934 Mason city posted its first winning season at 8-4-0. Howard coached until 1941 when he joined the navy but came back for the 1946-47 season. Two years later Mason City went 10-2-0 in duals and won the state title. The Mohawks followed up with an 8-3-0 dual mark in the 1949-50 season and a second consecutive state team title.

His last year of coaching saw Howard’s Mason City club go 7-5-0 for the 1956-57 year. He coached 215 meets and posted a mark of 132 wins, 78 losses and 5 draws. His winning percentage was 61.40 percent.

Howard guided many fine wrestlers in his years at Mason City including “Snip” Nalan who was a three-time Big Ten Champion and a two-time NCAA Champion. He also coached a pair of wrestlers, Alfred Stoeckes and George Haynes who went on to become conference champions for Iowa State.

The Mohawks also had a three-time state champion in Edward Kline, a couple two-time state champions as well as numerous single state champions under Howard Barker. He led many wrestlers to success.

Howard Barker was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1974.

Howard Barker Featured Photo

  • Mason City High School 1932 to 1957
  • Started Wrestling Program 1932
  • Two State Championships Teams
  • Dual Meet Record 132 wins, 78 losses