West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

...On Bobby Douglas, II

(Author's note: On October 21, there was a trubute to Bobby Douglas, head wrestling coach at Iowa State University, celebrating his induction into the OVAC Hall of Fame. Yours truly was honored to be a principal speaker at the affair, along with Drs. Al Blatnik and Mike Kovalick. This is thesecond in a two-part series of my comments at the joyous celebration of Bobby Douglas' wrestling career).

...The Rest of the Bobby Douglas Story

Now let me tell you a little known story about Bobby Douglas. In 1970, Bobby was nearing the end of his competitive career, and he decided to try out for one more U.S. World Championship team. He made it to the finals of the trials, and was pitted against a young upstart.

The finals involved the best out of three matches. Bobby won the first two matches, which means he made the team. But no, the coach wanted him to wrestle one more bout. That wasn't fair and Bobby didn't like it, but he agreed.

Believe it or not, that one more match turned into five more matches. The result: Bobby won 6 of the matches, while one match ended in a draw. But there's more to the story.

That opponent in that series was none other than Dan Gable. Yes, Bobby Douglas beat Dan Gable six times in one day. And Dan says he was only beaten once by Larry Owings.

Thank you, Bobby Douglas, for not only being a great wrestler and coach, but for being a great builder of men. You are the pride of OVAC wrestling. And I am personally honored to say I am a friend of bobby Douglas.

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Updated March 25, 1999