Dan Gable, whose dominant wrestling career was highlighted by an Olympic gold medal before becoming the most successful wrestling coach in NCAA history, is helping out Fresno State’s efforts to bring back wrestling.
Gable will serve as keynote speaker Thursday at a Northern California chapter of Wrestlers in Business Network event in San Francisco, with a portion of the proceeds going to Fresno State.
“We want to create momentum to help Fresno State get back on its feet,” the 67-year-old Gable said Tuesday. “Fresno is a pretty good hotbed for wrestling at the high school and youth level.
“It makes sense for there to be a wrestling program at Fresno State.”
Fresno State has been without wrestling since 2006, when the program was cut because of budget constraints and gender-equity issues.
But the university president, Dr. Joseph Castro, who took over at Fresno State in August 2013, has vowed to bring back wrestling in the coming years, with plans to hire a coach next spring.
The Northern California chapter of WIBN has taken an interest in the return of Fresno State wrestling. The organization’s mission is to promote wrestling and its growth while establishing a community of wrestlers who assist one another in business and life.
Bringing in Gable could generate enthusiasm and excitement for Thursday’s event, said Greg Dumas, events director for the Northern California chapter.
Tickets are available for $50 per person.
Gable compiled a 181-1 overall record during his prep and college wrestling career combined and was a two-time NCAA national wrestling champion and three-time All-American. He set NCAA records in winning and pin streaks.
Gable then shined at the 1972 Olympics in Munich without surrendering a single point in winning the gold medal.
He eventually became coach at Iowa and guided the Hawkeyes to 17 NCAA titles and 21 Big Ten Conference championships.
“We don’t really have the numbers like we really need to at the college level, especially when you consider how strong the participation rate is in the high schools,” Gable said. “Fresno State bringing back wrestling is a good thing.”
Wrestlers in Business Network event
Thursday: 7 p.m. at the San Francisco Airport Waterfront Marriott Hotel
Guest speaker: Dan Gable, the most successful wrestling coach in NCAA history
Includes: Refreshments and light food, cash bar available
Tickets: Available for $50 per person (sharp casual attire requested with sports jackets, collared shirts)