IWHOF Mural Dedication—Community celebration to take place Oct. 21

October 14, 2015 | Marcie Klomp, Cresco Times Plain Dealer

Cresco – When the opportunity presented itself in the spring of 2015, the board of directors of the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame commissioned artist Robin MacComber to paint a mural on the building adjacent to the Hall of Fame.  The idea behind the mural was to continue in the promotion of amateur wrestling in Iowa. And that’s exactly what the mural is dedicated to—the continued promotion of amateur wrestling in Iowa.  The board of directors of the IWHOF is busy making plans for a dedication ceremony, set for Wednesday, Oct. 21. Legendary wrestler and coach Dan Gable will be in Cresco to take part in the dedication.  “Dan Gable has a special place in his heart for Cresco,” stated Dennis Meirick, president of the IWHOF. “He is a devoted member of our selection committee and often speaks fondly of Cresco at our annual awards banquet. He’s repeatedly told us that Cresco’s own Tom Peckham is his idol, so it should be an interesting event.”   Gable will also be available for a book-signing prior to the event. Copies of his New York Times best seller “A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable” will be available that day.  Plans also include members of the Crestwood Band and the Crestwood cheerleaders, Cresco VFW and American Legion, along with free hot dogs(courtesy of the Howard County Pork Producers) and lemonade.


  • 4:30 – Gable book-signing inside the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • 4:45 – Crestwood Band and cheerleaders, free hot dogs and lemonade on the street
  • 5:25 – Colors presented by Cresco VFW and American Legion, followed by the National Anthem
  • 5:30 – Dedication program – artist Robin MacComber, Dan Gable,others

“Currently 117 native Iowans are enshrined in the Hall” stated Meirick. “Of those 117, 13 have ties to Cresco. We’re extremely proud of all 117, but especially proud of the 13 from Cresco. We want the entire Cresco community to take part in this dedication, and enjoy the moment of celebrating these individuals from Cresco, and all of Iowa.”  Listed here are the 13 IWHOF members from Cresco, along with the year inducted and a brief bio.  Their accomplishments are highlighted on one of the panels in the mural.

1970 – Chris Flanagan: legendary high school coach at Cresco
1970 – Bob Hess:  state champ, 2X NCAA champ, 4th 1932 Olympics
1970 – Dr. Harold Nichols: NCAA champ, head coach at ISU 32 years
1973 – Dr. Dave Bartelma: coach at Cresco and U of MN
1976 – Cecil Cameron: 2X state champ, HS coach
1978 – Gary Kurdelmeier: 2X state champ, NCAA champ, U of IA coach
1980 – Dale Hanson: 2X state champ, NCAA champ, 1940 Olympian
1985 – Tom Peckham: 3X HS champ, 2X NCAA champ, 4th 1968 Olympics
1987 – Gene Lyybert: 1987, NCAA champ, HS coach
1990 – Don Nichols: 2X state champ, NCAA champ
2003 – Joe Frank: HS state Champ, ISU captain, HS coach
2004 – Dr. Norman Borlaug: “The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives”
2014 – Founders Bob Howard, Nehl McKone and Don Gooder

Everyone is invited to step into the Hall of Fame and learn all about these special men. The Hall is located in the Cresco Welcome Center and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.