Rod Library--Special Collections
University of Northern Iowa Wrestling Panther Medal Winners
- Maynard Harman-- 1932, Los Angeles Olympic games, 145 pounds
Harman was named an alternate during the final round of the Olympic trials in Ohio. Coach Paul Bender thought that Harman's performance was one of the best of all the wrestlers who were at the preliminary trials. He went to Los Angeles as an alternate under head coach Hugo Otopolik.
Before graduating from the Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in 1933, Harman was named All-American after placing third at the 1932 national tournament.
- Gerald Leeman-- Silver Medal, 1948, London Olympic games
Leeman graduated from the Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in 1948 with a B.A. in teaching. While at the College, he was named All-American after placing first at the 1946 NCAA Championships at 128 pounds and also received NCAA Tournament Outstanding Wrestler honors. Leeman was also named to the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
- Bill Koll-- 5th Place, 1948, London Olympic games
Koll received a B. A. in 1948 from the Iowa State Teachers College (UNI). He was a three-time All-American, placing first in the NCAA Tournament in 1946, 1947, and 1948. He was also named to the Wrestling Hall of Fame and received NCAA Tournament Outstanding Wrestler honors in 1947 and 1948. At the Olympic trials, he was named outstanding matman by 17 of the 20 judges. Koll would later return to UNI in 1953 to become head coach of the wrestling team.
- Bill Nelson-- 1948, London Olympic games
Nelson suffered an injury during practice in London and was not able to compete in the games. He graduated from the Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in 1950 with a B.A. in teaching. He was an All-American in 1947, 1949, and 1950, placing first each year at the NCAA Championships. Nelson was also named to the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
- Bill Smith-- Gold Medal, 1952, Helsinki Olympic games
When the wrestling award ceremony began at the 1952 Olympics, Smith actually thought he had lost the gold medal. He had suffered a loss in the finals to Per Berlin of Sweden before defeating an Iranian wrestler in his last match. The judges awarded him the gold because he had the fewest "demerit" points throughout the competition, which is more important than victories in Olympic scoring. Smith brought home the only gold medal in wrestling that year.
Smith graduated from the Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in 1951. While wrestling at the College, he was a two-time All-American, winning first place at the Championships in 1949 and 1950. Along with Nelson, Leeman, and Koll, he was also named to the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Pan American Games
- Mike McCready-- 1975 Gold Medal
McCready received his B.A. from UNI in 1972 and his M.A. in 1975. At the heavyweight level, he won three conference titles, the heavyweight title in the 1972 Championships, and was All-American two years. After earning his B.A., he won the U.S. Wrestling Federation National Championships in 1973 and 1974, finished second in the World Cup in 1973, placed second in the Tblisi International Tournament in 1973, and been a member of the U.S. National Team in 1973-74. He returned to UNI and was an assistant wrestling coach while studying for his M.A.
- Mark "Bam" Pustelnik--1990 Silver Medal, 125.5
Mark "Bam" Pustelnik earned his B.A. in Health Education from UNI in 1991. A four-time Panther letter winner, Pustelnik won the silver medal in the 125.5 pound division at the 1990 Pan American Games. He lost to Olivera Gonzales of Cuba, who had placed third in the world championships the previous year. Pustelnik qualified for the Games by winning the National Open Tournament at the end of April 1990.
- Justin Greenlee-- 1993 Gold Medal, heavyweight
Greenlee earned his B.A. from UNI in 1995. During the 1993 season, he placed eighth in the NCAA Tournament and won the West Regional in the heavyweight division. The following year he placed second at the NCAA Championships and the Tropheo Milone Tournament, and won the West Regional and Olympic Festival. In 1995, Greenlee again placed second at the NCAA Championships. All three years he was named an All-American.
Compiled by Jonathan Russell and Susan A. Basye
Special Collections and University Archives