WATERLOO (KWWL) — Legendary wrestler and coach Bobby Douglas was the guest of honor at a reception at the Dan Gable Museum Saturday evening.
A 2-time Olympian, Douglas was the first African-American to wrestle in the games and eventual entered coaching leading both Arizona State and Iowa State. Douglas’ most famous pupil, Cael Sanderson finished a 4-year college career undefeated before winning multiple titles as head coach at Penn State.
Sanderson gives Douglas a lot of credit for his accomplishments as well.
“He was ahead of his time in the sport of wrestling just with what he was teaching,” said Sanderson, “A lot of what we’ve been able to be successful with is stuff that came directly from coach Bobby Douglas. I don’t think there’s any secret to that.”
Douglas, meanwhile, credits the wrestlers he coached for the honors he’s received.
“They made a great coach out of we, and I was so proud to be their coach,” he said, “American wrestling is so much better because of these young men, and American wrestling has such a great future because they’re the ones taking over and leading the American wrestling program.”
Saturday night Douglas became the first ever to sign the wall in a new Gable Museum.