CLINTON — Former Olympic gold medalist Dan Gable will speak Sept. 9 at a season tip-off for the Clinton Community College Cougars.

The event, which starts at 6 p.m., will be held in the auditorium at the college, 1100 Lincoln Blvd. Tickets can be purchased for $5 in advance at the college’s student services or by calling 244-7001, or at the door for $10. Proceeds will benefit the college’s scholarship fund. Happy Joe’s Pizza, US Bank and the Clinton Herald are helping to sponsor the event.

Joe Shovlain, athletic director at the college, says the event started as a plan to bring in Gable to give a motivational speech for student athletes on the college’s volleyball and basketball teams, but ended up growing into something bigger.

“It started out to the athletes, but we decided to open it up to the community and give everybody a chance to hear him, and also to build our athletic program,” said Shovlain. “Dan is a great speaker. I think it’ll be an exciting event.”

Gable took home gold in the 1972 Summer Olympics, without surrendering a point to his opponents. As a wrestling coach for the University of Iowa from 1972 to 1997, Gable coached 152 All-Americans, 45 national champions, 106 Big Ten Champions and 10 Olympians, including four gold, one silver and three bronze medalists.

Under Gable’s leadership, the Hawkeyes won 25 consecutive Big Ten championships, and the team captured nine consecutive NCAA Championships between 1978 and 1986. During his time coaching, Gable’s teams averaged more than 17 wins and just one loss per season.

In 1980, 1984 and 2000, Gable served as an Olympic head coach. The 1984 team, which included four Hawkeyes, took home seven gold medals. He also served as an assistant freestyle coach at the 1976 and 1988 Olympics. Gable coached the World Team in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1994 and 1999, along with 10 World Cup teams. He coached the U.S. team to a bronze medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games, and has led all-star teams to overseas competition.

Gable was named to the U.S.A. Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980, and to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985. Gannett News Service named him the top wrestler of the 20th century, and ESPN listed him as one of the top coaches of the 20th century. In 1996, Gable was name one of the “100 Golden Olympians,” an honor given to the top U.S. Olympians in history.

Gable was appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 2002. Currently, he serves as assistant to the director of athletics at the University of Iowa. He lives in Iowa City with his wife, Kathy, and has four daughters and four grandchildren.

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