William Koll

1975 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee

August 12, 1923 – September 27, 2003

William H. “Bill” Koll was born at Fort Dodge, Iowa. He started his wrestling career under Coach Fred Cooper at Fort Dodge High School where he placed third in the State High School Wrestling Tournament in 1940 and was a state champion at 135 pounds in 1941.

Bill continued his education and wrestling at Iowa State Teachers College (University of Northern Iowa) where his coach was Dave McCuskey. College and wrestling activities has to be put on hold after the outbreak of World War II as Bill spent 34 months in the Army (1943-45 with the 149th Engineers Battalion). He returned to Iowa State Teachers College in 1945 to continue his education and embark on an outstanding career in wrestling and coaching.

Bill Koll won the NCAA title three consecutive years-the first Iowan to accomplish this feat. He was also the first wrestler to be named as the NCAA Tournament Outstanding Wrestler two times. He was undefeated in college and NCAA competition and was a member of the 1948 Olympic team.

Our inducted graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in 1948 and immediately set out to further his education and start his coaching career. Bill coached and taught at five schools: the University of Chicago (3 years), Cornell College in Mt. Vernon (1 year), the University of Northern Iowa (12 years), and Penn State (14 years). Bill retired from coaching in 1978.

Mr. Koll was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1975.

Additional Honors & Achievements
  • Helms Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Pennsylvania High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame
  • National Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame
William Koll Featured Photo
High School

Fort Dodge High School

CoachFred Cooper

  • 3rd Place State Tournament 1940 at 125 pounds
  • Champion State Tournament 1941 at 135 pounds
  • Ft. Dodge High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Iowa State Teacher's College (UNI)

CoachDave McCuskey

  • Won NCAA Titles 3 consecutive years
  • First wrestler to be named “Outstanding Wrestler” two times
  • Undefeated in College and NCAA Competition
  • Member 1948 Olympic team