Tom Brands

2001 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee

Tom Brands, like his twin brother Terry, began his wrestling career in Sheldon where he compiled an impressive 109-12 high school record that included a state championship in 1986 when he went 34-0. While at Sheldon, Tom also set a record for most take-downs in a season with 158 in 1986 as well as most points with 477 the same year. Tom also shares a school record with his brother for near falls in a single season with 32.

An intense competitor, Tom Brands wrestled under the leadership of coach Dan Gable at the University of Iowa. Tom became one of the most dominate wrestlers in Iowa history with a record of 158-7-2 including 46 falls. With an undefeated season in 1991 at 45-0, Tom was a four-time All-American, three-time NCAA Champion, three-time Big Ten Conference Champion, and Outstanding Wrestler at the 1992 NCAA Tournament.

Internationally, Tom won a gold medal in 1996 at the Olympics in Atlanta, GA in freestyle at 136.5 pounds;  a gold medal in 1993 at the World Freestyle Championship in Toronto; two World Cup gold medals in 1994 and 1995; a gold medal in 1995 at the Pan American Games.  Tom won four U.S. Nationals titles and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams from 1993-1996.

Tom is now the assistant wrestling coach at the University of Iowa and was named NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000 after the Hawkeyes won their sixth straight national championship.

Tom was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in headquartered in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2010, it began operating the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.

Tom was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2001 and, along with his twin brother Terry, was introduced at the ceremonies by Dan Gable.

Tom Brands Featured Photo
High School


CoachGlen Nelson


  • 1986 State Champion
  • Two-time Junior Freestyle All-American 1986,1987


University of Iowa

CoachDan Gable


  • NCAA Champion 1991
  • NCAA Champion 1992
  • NCAA Champion 1993
  • World Champion 1993
  • Four-time NCAA All-American
  • Three-time Big Ten Conference Champion
  • Amateur Wrestling News Nam of the Year 1993
  • USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year 1993
  • John Smith Freestyle Wrestler of the Year 1993
  • NCAA Outstanding Wrestler 1992
  • Big 10 Outstanding Wrestler 1989
  • Krasnoyarsk, Russian Champion 1993
  • Cerro Pelado Champion 1994
  • World Cup Champion 1994, 1995
  • Pan Am Games Champion 1995
  • Olympic Gold Medalist 1996

  • Assistant Coach for the University of Iowa 1993-2004
  • National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000
  • Head Coach at Virginia Tech 2004-2006
  • Head Coach at University of Iowa 2006-present day
  • Under Brands, Iowa also captured conference titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, and were the 2015 co-champions with Ohio State.
  • Led the Hawkeyes to national titles in 2008, 2009, and 2010.