Bobby Douglas 2005
Bobby E. Douglas
Bobby Douglas’ passion for the sport of wrestling is perhaps best exemplified by the amount of attention he is able to bring to it through his leadership, ability, and advocacy. His outstanding successes as Iowa State University’s head wrestling coach have brought honor and respect to ISU, helping the university remain among wrestling’s elite programs and bringing worldwide recognition to ISU, the state of Iowa, and the sport he loves. This year, he was part of a dedicated group of advocates who worked to help ensure that Des Moines would win its recent bid to host the NCAA Wrestling Championships in 2008-2011, bringing further recognition to the tradition of wrestling excellence in the state.
Douglas’ resume speaks for itself. He is one of only four Division I wrestling coaches to amass 400 career wins. His best-known pupil is Cael Sanderson (fine arts ’01), whom Douglas coached to a 159-0 college career at Iowa State before also serving on the 2004 Olympic coaching staff that saw Sanderson win gold in Athens. Douglas has produced six national champions in his 13 years as ISU’s head coach. He has coached at various world championships and is a six-time Olympic coach, including a stint as head coach of the U.S. Olympic team in 1992. Douglas also coaches the Sunkist Kids, the most successful wrestling club in the country. In 2004, Douglas was honored for the second time (1992, 2004) as USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year. In addition, Douglas was named USA Wrestling Coach of the Year, which included all wrestling styles, in 1988 and 1992. He has been named conference coach of the year a total of 12 times—nine at Arizona State University, where he built the wrestling program from 1975 to 1992, and three at Iowa State. He was the USA Wrestling’s Man of the Year in 1992 and the National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2000.
Douglas is lifetime member of the ISU Alumni Association.