The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 8,1993 - Page 3
The legendary coach discu
his 17 years of Iowa wrestling
Since taking over Iowa's
wrestling program 16 years ago,
Dan Gable has established himself
as the premier coach in college
wrestling. He has won 16 straight
Big Ten titles and 11 national cham-
pionships, including nine straight
from 1978 to 1986. His 1986 team
set records for total points (158),
margin of victory (73.25) and num-1
ber of individual national champions
(5). He has coached four undefeated,
untied clubs - in 1979, 1982, 1985
and 1992. He earned NCAA Rookie
Coach of the Year honors in 1977,
and he was named NCAA Coach of
the Year in 1978 and 1983. No other
coach has so dominated a sport in
Gable has also excelled outside
the environs of college wrestling. He
coached the United States Olympic
teams of 1980 and 1984, and he led
the American squad in the 1986
Goodwill Games to a bronze medal.
Most recently, he assisted on the
1989 World Team which competed
In addition to his coaching ac-
complishments, Gable made waves
in his own youth. He compiled a
118-1 record at Iowa State, and he
won a gold medal in the 1972 Sum-
mer Olympics. He was named to the
U.S.A. Wrestling Hall of Fame in
1989 and to the U.S. Olympic Hall
of Fame in 1985. The AAU named
him the nation's outstanding
wrestler in 1970, and the U. S.
Wrestling Federation did likewise in
1971. In 1970, the Amateur
Wrestling News awarded him the
Man of the Year.
Daily Sports Writer Michael
Rosenberg spoke with Gable at this
weekend's Big Ten Championships
Daily: Are you confident going
into this year's NCAAs?
Gable: Well, I guess I am as
confident as anybody. The so-called
experts said that Penn State would
have a better chance of beating us
+ here than at the NCAAs, and they
didn't beat us here. So from that per-
spective, yes, I am confident.
D: You have won the Big Ten ti-
tle every year since you became the
Iowa coach. Has any one thing been
G: Well, I think it's a certain
style of wrestling that you incorpo-
rate into your program. I think that's
a real key. The other thing is, I think
you get inside the kids' heads from
an attitude point of view. Those two
things make up what Iowa wrestling
is all about.
D: How does this year's team
compare with previous years?
ourselves in the practices more than
D: Would you say that your nine
straight NCAA titles are more im-
pressive than your twenty straight
Big Ten titles?
G: Yeah, I would.
D: Do you think that some of the
other coaches and wrestlers are in-
timidated by Iowa's success'?
G : Well, I think they are
(intimidated) a little bit. I think that
at the same time, you have to look at
the program. A lot of them have
Iowa coaching influences. I think
that it changes a little bit when you
have Iowa people there.
D: Has the number of legitimate
contenders for the national title
changed in the time since you started
G: I think it's increased, yes.
D: Do you think that the growing
popularity of wrestling in high
schools has caused more schools to
be able to recruit top wrestlers?
G: Well, I just think that there are
a lot of good coaches in the sport
right now, and that makes things
D: In basketball, a lot has been
made of the fact that an inordinate
number of the participants are Black.
In wrestling, an inordinate amount of
the participants are white. Why do
you think that is?
G: I don't know. That's a hard
D: Do you think coaches look at
race when they recruit or do they
just want to win? Do they look only
at the wrestler's ability?
G: I don't think so, necessarily. I
think they also look at attitude. Atti-
tude has as much to do with it as
D: Has there ever been a time
where you kicked a wrestler off the
team or you stopped recruiting a
wrestler because of his attitude?
G: Definitely. There have been
times after a kid's visited when we
would sit down and say, "This kid
ain't for us."
D: Is Iowa so good that you can
tell a top wrestler you're no longer
interested in him?
G: Well, we're not going to come
out and tell him that. It comes to a
point where the kid realizes the
program's not for him and we realize
that the program's not for him. So
I'd say right now we can do that.
D: Can any other school in the
country do that?
G: Well, I think any school in the
country can't afford not to do that.
You can't have that kind of attitude
in your program. Otherwise, you
can't build your program.
cagers keep the faith
Late on a Saturday evening, Trish Roberts and Stacie McCall are
tired. Exhausted, really. Tired after a long game. Tired of losing. And
tired of talking about losing.
But still there is the postgame press conference. So they put on their
game faces. The questions come, and they both are ready for them.
They watch the speaker politely. They smile. Then it is their turn to say
Yes, it is frustrating to lose all the time.
It's not so much that the answers are rehearsed. That's not it at all.
It's just that there's only so many ways to respond to the same question.
But no, we haven't given up.
They have said it a million times.
The record now stands at 1-24. One win in 25 tries. And none in 16
Big Ten games this season. They have two more left after dropping a
pair at home this past weekend - to Illinois on Friday (92-70) and to
Northwestern on Saturday.
The Wildcats left town Saturday night - an excited group with very
real hopes of a NCAA tournament bid - after trouncing a downtrodden
Michigan team, 98-58. The score was 50-25 at halftime.
'Well, I tell them they
have two more games
left,' Michigan coach
Trish Roberts said with
a smile and a laugh. It
is all she can do at this
point. Laugh and
Legendary Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable looks on as his team wins its
20th straight Big Ten title. Gable has led the Hawkeyes for 17 seasons.
G: It's not like last year, when I
looked and said, "Who can beat us?"
And then I thought, "Well, no one
can beat us." We started out with
four returnees. We had new
wrestlers at six different weight
classes. I would say that this team
has made me prouder than any other
team that I've had because we've
had sixty percent new starters.
D: Has there ever been a point
when you thought about retiring be-
cause you had accomplished just
about everything you could accom-
G: I don't know about accom-
plishing everything I can, but I'm
probably not going to be a coach that
stays at it forever.
D: Do you have a timetable for
when you want to retire?
G: I don't know ... well, yeah I
do, but I don't want to tell you.
D: Has your recruiting gotten to
the point where you can walk into a
recruit's house and it is really easy
to recruit because you've had so
G: I think it depends on what
you've got going for you at that par-
ticular time. As long as you've got a
lot going for you, and you look
good, then you can recruit. The other
thing is, I can get in a lot of doors,
but a lot of doors are going to close
on me just because there's some
D: Is it tough to recruit because a
It's not like last year,
when I looked and
said, "Who can beat
us?" And then I
thought, "Well, no one
can beat us."
recruit can look at Iowa's roster andr
think, "I'm not going to wrestle until
I'm a junior or a senior"?
G: It depends on who you're re-
cruiting. If a kid has that attitude,
then you probably don't want him on
your team anyway. If he doesn't
want to come because of that, he
probably better go somewhere else.
D: Are your practices tougher
than anyone's in the country?
G: I'd say that we probably make
"They can play," cautioned Northwestern's coach Don Perrelli af-
terwards. Northwestern, Perrelli explained, went to double overtime
with Michigan State on Friday night, a team that the Wolverines twice
lost to by only three points earlier in the season.
"So you can't just walk in the door and walk out with a win," he
Of course you can, though, when you jump out to an 11-0 lead and
spend most of the game with more than double your opponents' tally.
"You certainly don't want to embarass them," Perelli said. "But you
can't tell your kids, 'Don't play."'
They knew it would not be easy. There were only seven games in
the win column at the end of last season. They tied for last in the Big
Ten with only three conference victories. A far cry from the the 20-win
season that Michigan enjoyed in 1989-90. What can you say?
"Well, I tell them they have two more games left," Michigan coach
Trish Roberts said with a smile and a laugh. It is all she can do at this
point. Laugh and continue plugging away.
When Bud VanDeWege resigned after last season and Roberts was
hired away from a successful five-year stint at Maine, everyone knew it
would be a long process. You don't rebuild overnight. That much was
So there was no pressure. Those around the program were eager and
excited, but not brimming with great expectations. But just one win?
"It's tough," said Michigan's point guard Stacie McCall, a senior
playing in her last home game Saturday. "You know, as a freshman -
when you're not getting much playing time - you always point to your
senior year. You always want to go out on a winning note."
See NIYO, Page 5
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