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Saturday, June 22
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

A Hawkeye turned Hoosier, Duane Goldman has built IU’s wrestling program

IU wrestling coach Duane Goldman demonstrates a move Monday afternoon at Assembly Hall.

To IU wrestling coach Duane Goldman, the Hoosier wrestling program has taken great strides in the last 17 years, but he hopes that equal steps have been taken toward enriching the lives of all of his athletes.

Goldman, who is in his 17th season at the helm of IU wrestling, is what many would call a “lifer” of the sport.

Beginning his wrestling career at just 10 years old in Colorado Springs, Colo., Goldman started his involvement with the sport at a local YMCA.

“My dad wrestled at the University of Wyoming and got me involved in it,” Goldman said.
Goldman’s accolades began accumulating as his career got underway at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs. Winning the state championship twice and earning a runner-up spot his junior year, Goldman compiled an 82-25 record at Cheyenne Mountain.

After Goldman’s high school career ended, he was unsure where the best place to continue wrestling would be.

“I had offers from Oregon State, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa State,” Goldman said. “My high school coach’s brother was best friends with Coach (Dan) Gable at the University of Iowa.”

Gable is a name familiar in the wrestling world.

Serving as coach at Iowa from 1977 to 1997, Gable went 355-21-5 (.932) during his tenure as head coach. He amassed 21 Big Ten titles while coaching 152 All-Americans and 45 NCAA Champions. One such champion was Goldman in 1986.

“Iowa at the time was winning national titles, and I wanted to be the best wrestler that I could possibly be,” Goldman said.

It didn’t take long for Goldman to realize he would be pretty good at the collegiate level. He recalled the most memorable moment of his wrestling career was during his freshman year at Iowa when a dual meet at Iowa State came down to his match.

“I came in at 9-and-6,” Goldman said. “My opponent was an All-American, and I ended up winning that match, and it gave us the opportunity to go on and win that meet. From then until the NCAA finals, I didn’t lose,”

Goldman would finish second each of the next two years before winning the 190-pound (class) NCAA National Championship.

But an NCAA title still couldn’t keep Goldman from hitting the mats after college.
Participating on the USA National Team, Goldman’s body began to feel the effects of competing in the sport for over a decade.

“The training aspect was getting burdensome, and I started to have some nagging injuries,” Goldman said.

It was then that IU came calling, offering the young wrestler an assistant coaching position.

At first Goldman declined, electing to serve as an assistant at West Point.

However, after just a year the Hoosiers targeted Goldman again. This time he accepted.

“After that first year, I decided to go to Indiana, and two years later was fortunate enough to become the head coach,” he said.

Since accepting the position, Goldman has transformed IU wrestling into a nationally recognized program at a school more known for its basketball and soccer programs.

IU assistant coach Pat DeGain attributes Goldman’s success to the intangibles. DeGain lettered three years for the Hoosiers while taking third place in the heavyweight class at the 2005 NCAA Championships.

“He’s a great motivator and has an exceptional understanding of how to read the athletes,” DeGain said. “He’s a scary and intense guy, but you know he’s going to get the job done and be successful at whatever he does.”

It’s Goldman’s ability to read athletes that has landed him many highly ranked recruiting classes.

Trevor Perry, who is currently ranked No. 15 in the 174-pound weight class, is one wrestler Goldman recruited.

“He played a big role in my coming here,” Perry said. “I liked the fact that he was straight to the point and is a very honest man.”

To Goldman, success on the mat is only part of why the job is so rewarding.

“When I got here, IU wasn’t respected on a national level,” Goldman said. “I think we’ve built a program that is respected on that level.”

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