Mike Chapman

2010 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee

Mike Chapman, a prolific author and historian, is the third non-wrestler to be inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame. He is being honored for his contributions for the promotion of wrestling.

Chapman, a native of Waterloo, Iowa has devoted 40 years of life his promoting wrestling. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year five times, by four different wrestling organizations, and is the author of fifteen wrestling books. In addition he’s produced thee videos about the heroes of the sport.

As if those accomplishments weren’t enough, Chapman is the creator and former executive director of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo. The Institute is filled with wrestling displays that go back hundreds of years. Chapman takes pride in preserving the history of the sport in a matter that is “both educational and entertaining.”

Chapman is a member of five other wrestling halls of fame including the AAU National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2007, he received the Order of Merit for Lifetime Achievement from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He received the President’s Award  in 2007 from the Iowa High School Wrestling Coaches Association. In 2002, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club. He is also a 2009 inductee of the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame at the Institute in Waterloo.

As an athlete Mike competed in wrestling, judo, sombo and bench press contests. “I did not wrestle in high school. However, I did wrestle three years in the Navy, defeating the All-Navy  heavyweight champion twice in dual meets,” Chapman recalled.

An avid body builder, Chapman won many bench press contests that included his best of 440 pounds at a body weight of 202 pounds.

In addition to the books and videos (listed below), Chapman is also the creator of WIN magazine, the creator of the WIN memorabilia show, the creator of the Dan Hodge Trophy (considered the Heisman Trophy of Wrestling), and winner of the Jim Melby Award as the top writer in professional wrestling.

Chapman was inducted in the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010 along with Mike Ironside, Jason Smith and Bob Roethler.

Additional Honors & Achievements

Books Written:

  • Two Guys Named Dan
  • Kings of the Mat
  • From Gotch to Gable
  • The Toughest Men in Sports
  • The New Breed: Living Iowa Wrestling
  • Fighting Back: The Bob Steenlage Story
  • GOTCH: World’s Greatest Wrestler
  • The Encyclopedia of American Wrestling
  • Nick and the Cyclones
  • Gotch: An American Hero
  • The Sport of Lincoln
  • Wrestling Tough
  • Legends of the Mat
  • The Life and Legacy of Frank Gotch
  • Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story

Videos Produced:

  • Lou Thesz: An American Icon
  • TNT: The Tom and Terry Brands Story
  • GOTCH: An Iowa Hero
Mike Chapman Featured Photo