Gable returning to Iowa staff as assistant coach

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Wrestling great Dan Gable is returning to the Iowa Hawkeyes' staff as an assistant coach, the university said Friday.

Gable, 57, has been working as an assistant to athletics director Bob Bowlsby since he retired as wrestling coach after the 1997 season.

However, the firing of coach Jim Zalesky last month and hiring of Tom Brands opened another option for Gable.

Gable will continue to have department-wide duties and will retain his assistant to the director title.

Gable coached Brands to three NCAA titles during his Hawkeye career. Brands served as an assistant coach at Iowa under Gable from 1993-97.

Brands said he was happy with Gable's decision to join his staff.

"He's been with me every step of the way during my career and this will be no different," he said in a statement. "There's no one in the world who's better at working with wrestlers and I'm glad he's on board."

Gable spent 21 seasons as Iowa's coach, leading the Hawkeyes to 21 straight Big Ten titles and 15 national championships.

He was 118-1 as a wrestler at Iowa State, where he was a three-time All-American. The Waterloo native won a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics without surrendering a point to any of his opponents.

He was named to the U.S. Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985.

"I'm delighted to be back in coaching," Gable said in a statement. "Our goal is to put Iowa wrestling back on top, and I want to do everything I can to make it happen."