CRESCO, IA: A diverse group of individuals will be inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in Cresco on Monday, April 11. Their careers span over 50 years. You’ll recognize them as competitors, coaches and a broadcaster. The 47th Annual Awards Banquet and Induction Ceremony will begin with a 5:30 social hour followed by a 6:30 banquet at the Cresco Country Club south of Cresco. Those being inducted are Rick Caldwell, Jim Duschen,Tim Johnson and Mark Reiland.
Knoxville native Rick Caldwell becomes the 118th inductee into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame. Caldwell was a two-time All-American for IWHOF inductee Al Baxter at Buena Vista University. Following graduation form BVU, Caldwell started a coaching career that took him to the highest levels. He coached at BGM-Brooklyn, Iowa Falls and Ames before settling in at Waverly in 1988. In Waverly he was an assistant at Wartburg under IWHOF inductee Jim Miller until 1999, when he took over the Waverly-Shell Rock coaching duties. In 12 years at WSR his teams won 14 state team trophies, including nine state championships (five traditional and four dual), coached 20 Go-Hawk state champions and twice had four state champions in the same year. The Waverly-Shell Rock 2008 team set an all-time, all-class record of 225 points at the traditional state tournament.
East Waterloo’s Jim Duschen is the 119th inductee into the IWHOF. Duschen prepped at East Waterloo, and wrestled collegiately at Iowa State. While at ISU, he earned two Big 8 Championships, a Midlands Championship, All-American honors and was captain of the 1969 ISU National Championship team. Following his career at ISU, Duschen claimed two National Greco Roman Championships, was a ’72 Olympic alternate, and made the ’73 World team. Following his competitive years, he started a successful coaching career that spanned 30 years, from Iowa to Nevada. Duschen is regarded as the dean of high school wrestling in Nevada.
The 120th inductee into the IWHOF is Eagle Grove native Mark Reiland. Reiland was a four time medalist for Eagle Grove from 1984-1987 while wrestling for his father, IWHOF inductee Marv Reiland. He won state titles his junior and senior years. Reiland followed up his successful high school career with a stellar career wrestling for IWHOF inductee Dan Gable at the U. of Iowa. While a Hawkeye, Reiland became a two-time All-American, winning a National Championship in 1991. Upon graduation, Reiland coached as an assistant at Iowa City West, had a short stint at Solon, and then returned to IC West. At West, Reiland has built a powerhouse. His teams are perennially at the top of the class in Iowa high school wrestling.
The Voice of College Wrestling: that’s Morning Sun native Tim Johnson, the 121st inductee into the IWHOF. Johnson has covered the sport for Iowa Public TV, ESPN, Real Pro Wrestling and the BIG 10 Network. He has worked behind the mic for the past 12NCAA Division I championships. Johnson was the Director of Wrestling for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and is an executive with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He wrestled at Morning Sun for IWHOF inductee Bob Darrah, and at Coe College. During his five years as coach at Mount Vernon, Johnson coached IWHOF inductee Greg Randall to four state championships.
Banquet tickets are available at the Cresco Chamber of Commerce (563-547-3434), Farmers Mill, Protivin (563-569-8501) and CIA Insurance in Cresco (563-547-2382). Tickets are $25 and advance registration is required.
The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame is located at the Cresco Welcome Center at the intersection of Highway 9 and Elm Street. The Hall of Fame will be open until 6:00 p.m. the day of the banquet.