All-time favorite Hawkeye wrestlers

Mendoza77

HR All-State
Jan 31, 2015
999
2,120
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I'll continue my effort to focus my threads on only Iowa Hawkeye wrestling and keeping things positive on the board (a nice bonus is that the PSU posters stay away :) ). We Iowa fans have been so blessed to have a large number of great wrestlers over the past 50 years.

There have been threads similar to this, for example Best All-Time Lineup, but recently I thought about who my favorite Hawkeye wrestlers have been through the years - not necessarily the best/most successful, just my personal favorites. I thought I'd make a Top 3 or 5 list but that's impossible, though I can say that my #1 is Randy Lewis. I ended up with a Top 12 and an additional 12 (in no particular order). I'd love to write commentary on each of my selections, but I'll refrain from boring you.

Top 12

Randy Lewis
Ed Banach
Lou Banach
Lincoln McIlravy
Barry Davis
Mark Ironside
Jim Zalesky
Tom Brands
Terry Brands
Spencer Lee
Austin DeSanto
Alex Marinelli

Second 12

Chuck Yagla
Mike DeAnna
Chris Campbell
Ray Brinzer
Joe Williams
TJ Williams
Chad Zaputil
Jesse Whitmer
Mark Perry
Brent Metcalf
Eric Juergens
Matt McDonough

Who are some of your personal favorites? Feel free to write some commentary - I didn't because my list is so long! Some that don't make my list but I'm sure are on some of your's -- Alger, Zadick, Mena, McGinness, Steiner, Schwab, Mocco or Leuer.
 

blcoach80

HR All-State
Feb 24, 2018
585
1,846
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Cory Clark
His win over Gross with 1 arm after wrestling an extremely limited senior year is one of my all time favorite Hawk moments. I watched an interview with him somewhere where he said getting runner up the year before about killed him. He was really depressed afterwards and not getting there his senior year would have been devastating. A truly feel good moment, even with the cheesy Brands throw. I soooo wanted Kem to give me de ja vu this year as both their senior years were eerily similar.
 
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aije

Rookie
Apr 3, 2019
30
139
33
Spencer

Full disclosure. I've lived my whole life in Pennsylvania, have never been to Iowa, graduated from the school whose name is not mentioned here (although I've never rooted for its wrestling team), watched Spencer from the time he was in 9th grade and followed him to this board. Now, I'm a total fan of Hawkeye wrestling and it is actually my favorite team, college or pro.
 
Nov 3, 2019
15
33
13
I'll continue my effort to focus my threads on only Iowa Hawkeye wrestling and keeping things positive on the board (a nice bonus is that the PSU posters stay away :) ). We Iowa fans have been so blessed to have a large number of great wrestlers over the past 50 years.

There have been threads similar to this, for example Best All-Time Lineup, but recently I thought about who my favorite Hawkeye wrestlers have been through the years - not necessarily the best/most successful, just my personal favorites. I thought I'd make a Top 3 or 5 list but that's impossible, though I can say that my #1 is Randy Lewis. I ended up with a Top 12 and an additional 12 (in no particular order). I'd love to write commentary on each of my selections, but I'll refrain from boring you.

Top 12

Randy Lewis
Ed Banach
Lou Banach
Lincoln McIlravy
Barry Davis
Mark Ironside
Jim Zalesky
Tom Brands
Terry Brands
Spencer Lee
Austin DeSanto
Alex Marinelli

Second 12

Chuck Yagla
Mike DeAnna
Chris Campbell
Ray Brinzer
Joe Williams
TJ Williams
Chad Zaputil
Jesse Whitmer
Mark Perry
Brent Metcalf
Eric Juergens
Matt McDonough

Who are some of your personal favorites? Feel free to write some commentary - I didn't because my list is so long! Some that don't make my list but I'm sure are on some of your's -- Alger, Zadick, Mena, McGinness, Steiner, Schwab, Mocco or Leuer.
I admittedly am a Penn state fan, but lurk here often and on the rare occasions I have posted here I have made sure to be a good guest ;). That is an amazing list of phenomenal wrestlers. The depth of Iowa greats is unmatched since the Gable era. McIlravy, Lewis and Joe Williams are right near the top for me. What always stood out to me for those three was their combination of pace and technique. That is a tough combination to beat.
 

Mendoza77

HR All-State
Jan 31, 2015
999
2,120
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I admittedly am a Penn state fan, but lurk here often and on the rare occasions I have posted here I have made sure to be a good guest ;). That is an amazing list of phenomenal wrestlers. The depth of Iowa greats is unmatched since the Gable era. McIlravy, Lewis and Joe Williams are right near the top for me. What always stood out to me for those three was their combination of pace and technique. That is a tough combination to beat.
Thanks for the post! Good observation about those three.
 

port3

All-Conference
Gold Member
Feb 2, 2003
346
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1983 Big ten championships in Iowa City was AWESOME !!! I was there and I think we won 8or 9 weight classes! Great memories !!! What a team
 

TNTwrestle

HR MVP
Dec 10, 2006
1,103
2,099
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64
1983 Big ten championships in Iowa City was AWESOME !!! I was there and I think we won 8or 9 weight classes! Great memories !!! What a team
Yes, it was awesome. 9 champs and a 3rd and the B1G (Big Ten at the time) coaches wouldn't give Chiapareeli a wildcard and let us take a full team to NCAA tourney. That sucked.
 
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TNTwrestle

HR MVP
Dec 10, 2006
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I was going to skip this one like the Favorite Matches thread, because there are just too many. But Chief's format got me to thinking, and even that is very hard to narrow down, but I set a limit of five per decade. Then I put together wildcard guys that were never champs or 1-time champs but were favorites or really fun to watch. They're not necessarily the next best after the top five, but they were fun. A non-champ or two even made my top fives, so here goes;
1970s
Chris Campbell
Bruce Kinseth
Chuck Yagla
Dan Sherman
Mike DeAnna
Wildcards
Brad Smith
Dan Glenn
Tim Czewski
John Bowlsby

1980s
Ed Banach
Royce Alger
Barry Davis
Randy Lewis
Jim Zalesky
Wildcards
Greg Randall
Rico Chiapparelli
Brad Penrith

1990s
Tom Brands
Lincoln McIlravy
Joe Williams
Terry Brands
Troy Steiner
Wildcards
John Oostendorp
Chad Zaputil
Bart Chelsvig
Mike Mena
Daryl Weber
Mike Uker

2000s
Eric Juergens
Steve Mocco
Brent Metcalf
Mark Perry
Jody Strittmatter
Wildcards
Cliff Moore
Dan Dennis
Jessman Smith
Phil Keddy

2010s
Spencer Lee
Matt McDonough
Cory Clark
Derek St John
Tony Ramos
Wildcards
Montell Marion
Bobby Telford
Sam Stoll

2020s (so Far)
Austin DeSanto
Alex Marinelli
Michael Kemerer
Wildcards
Kaleb Young
Tony Cassioppi

All-time wildcards (83%ers);)

Joey Slaton
Brody Grothus

A lot of great wrestlers, multi-time champs and multi-time AAs didn't make this list, but I still loved watching them. It took a great guy to make the '80s and 90's Top 5 when people like Lou Banach and Mark Ironside, TJ Williams, and Jeff McGinnis didn't make it
 
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Nov 3, 2019
15
33
13
I was doing some research on the top individual team point scorers in NCAA D1 history and found this article on theopenmat.com at the end of the 2018 season. Top 200 Individual Point Scorers at the DI NCAA Wrestling Tournament Ed Banach was #3 at 102.5 points. Logan Stieber was #2 at 103.5 and Cael was #1 at 107.5. I was trying to find Spencer's NCAA team point total through his first three NCAA tournaments, but didn't locate anything. For those who know Spencer's current total, if he wins it next year with his historical amount of bonus, where would that put him on the list? And finally, Penn State has the Penn State Wrestling Club site that is a great repository for Penn State wrestling stats, history, etc. Does Iowa wrestling have a similar site? Thanks
 

HawkFan1986

HR MVP
Mar 26, 2019
1,176
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Iowa
Oh man where to begin….Tom and Terry Brands, they were ruthless and helped bring Iowa back on top after a short hiatus during the Gable Era.

Lincoln Mac. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent learning the boot scout. Still one of the prettiest and easiest looking skills a wrestler can do. Let me tell you, it ain’t easy.

Ironside and DeSanto. Both were pit bulls on a bone with an empty stomach. Ironside had a more diversified attack, and I think DeSanto milked every bit if skill he could have out of his fireman’s.

Last but not least. Spencer freaking Lee. In my opinion the most talented top wrestler that has ever existed in college wrestling. His top game completely overshadows his A++++ attack. He’s an absolute pleasure to watch.

That’s my top five (actually 6), but grandpa would hip toss me to the floor from his grave if I didn’t give Lewbo an honorable mention.
 

Rick Sanchez

Rookie
Feb 23, 2022
44
54
18
Just going recently Lee, Desanto and Kemerer. Oh and Cass. Still amazed by his body transformation and the dedication to his diet that took.
 
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Kinnick.At.Night

HR Heisman
Jun 27, 2018
9,068
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Ironside. Sheer motor, determination and tenacity. I’d like to give a shout out to Mike Evans as well. He had the crazy factor that makes wrestling so much fun to watch. I saw him at an airport once and he looked at me like I was a hamburger.
 

GoHawks1996

All-Conference
Feb 17, 2021
484
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I was doing some research on the top individual team point scorers in NCAA D1 history and found this article on theopenmat.com at the end of the 2018 season. Top 200 Individual Point Scorers at the DI NCAA Wrestling Tournament Ed Banach was #3 at 102.5 points. Logan Stieber was #2 at 103.5 and Cael was #1 at 107.5. I was trying to find Spencer's NCAA team point total through his first three NCAA tournaments, but didn't locate anything. For those who know Spencer's current total, if he wins it next year with his historical amount of bonus, where would that put him on the list? And finally, Penn State has the Penn State Wrestling Club site that is a great repository for Penn State wrestling stats, history, etc. Does Iowa wrestling have a similar site? Thanks
Unfortunately he was limping through his last championships and had all sorts of stuff going on the year before that which hurt his bonus production, but he's currently at 76.
 

MarionHawk

HR MVP
Dec 21, 2001
1,697
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When I first started loving Iowa wrestling around 10 or 11 years old, my favorite was Duane Goldman, loved watching him take guys down, let them up and take them down again.

Then I moved towards Royce and Brands due to their brutal style of wrestling.

And then it was Troy Steiner because his style of riding guys wasn't anything I remembered seeing at Iowa.

Then Steve Mocco, that foot sweep at HWT, wow!

Then probably Borschel and Matt McD because I was a L-M grad.

Followed by Spencer Lee of course.

But a couple sentimental ones, Mike Mena-just loved seeing him get a front headlock because we all knew what was coming next. And Daryl Weber-not even for his championship senior year but for finishing 6th in his sophomore year by being the ultimate team guy and dropping down from 158 to 142 pounds. I'm not even sure in today's rules if he could have done it.
 

edquinn06

HR All-American
Sep 25, 2014
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IA-IL-WI
Doug Schwab stalling out Henson in Hilton was a pretty big moment for me as a kid. Or I could be remembering wrong. I was introduced to this thing called beer and I find that my memory hasn’t been as good since…