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Young To Be Honored Sunday

By Staff | Dec 13, 2007

WATERLOO – Fifteen wrestlers who won national titles while wrestling for the University of Northern Iowa will be the stars of a very special celebration at the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum. Among those being honored is Clint Young of Emmetsburg.

Young was a Division II NCAA champion for Northern Iowa in 1971. He also won a state title for Algona High School in 1967.

Young went on to lead several Emmetsburg E’Hawk wrestling teams and indivduals to state championships during his tenure at Emmetsburg High School during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The event, called the UNI Night of Wrestling Champions, will be held on December 16 following the UNI versus Iowa State wrestling meet at the McLeod Center. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. with the celebration to follow at 5 p.m. at the museum. All 15 NCAA champions will be recognized at halftime of the dual.

“This is a great way to honor the greatest athletic tradition in Northern Iowa history,” said Kyle Klingman, associate director of the wrestling museum. “Since the museum is all about history we felt this was a great way to recognize some of the sport’s greatest champions. We can’t stress enough that this event is open to the public.”

The event is co-sponsored by the UNI Panther Wrestling Booster Club and DGIWIM.

“I am really excited and honored that we are able to have this many champions come back and participate in our champions night,” said Ty Kimble, president of the UNI Wrestling Booster Club. “I’ve had the fortune of seeing all these national champions since 1966 and it’s going to be exciting to see the majority of these guys who were national champions for UNI. It should be a fantastic night for fans, wrestlers, and obviously myself.”

In the long history of the school there have been 13 division I national champions who have won 21 titles and 14 division II national champions who have won 22 titles. Twenty-two former NCAA champions are still living and to date 15 have replied that they will attend both the meet and the reunion.

“What a unique and great opportunity to get these great champions back all at once,” said Northern Iowa head wrestling coach Brad Penrith. “These are the men who shaped and formed our institution and our wrestling program. It’s something that’s long overdue and with the help of the Dan Gable Wrestling Museum and their staff’s continued efforts to preserve the history of wrestling, these great champions will not be forgotten.”

Gerry Leeman won the national title in 1946 and is the senior member of the group. A longtime coach at Lehigh University, he currently resides in Cedar Falls.

“I think what the museum is doing is extremely important,” said Leeman. “This is great publicity for the program. I think it’s noteworthy that this new facility is being used to honor past champions and to improve local wrestling.”

Anyone wanting more information about the event should contact the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum at (319) 233-0745.