Eric Akin (Photo/Danielle Hobeika)
WATERLOO, Iowa -- Ten NCAA All-Americans, three state championship high school coaches, a record-setting high school wrestling team and five world team members will be inducted into the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa on Friday, June 19, 2020.
Located inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, the Glen Brand Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to honor native-born Iowans and those who wrestled or coached for an Iowa school who have made an impact on wrestling on a national level or who have done extraordinary work in Iowa.
The Class of 2020 is Jason Kelber, Daryl Weber, Marv Reiland, Eric Akin, Alli Ragan and the 1982 Bettendorf High School wrestling team.
The Carr Family will be presented with the Bowlsby Family Legacy Award while Josh Stephens will receive the Bob Siddens High School Coaching Excellence Award and Corky Stuart will be presented with the Russ Smith Community Impact Award.
A banquet honoring the Class of 2020 will be held at Prairie Links Golf & Event Center in Waverly on Friday, June 19, 2020. For more information, contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Kelber was undefeated for three years while wrestling for West Marshall High School in State Center, Iowa. After a runner-up finish at 98 pounds as a freshman, he won three consecutive State Championships, finishing first at 105 pounds as a sophomore and junior, and at 118 pounds as a senior. Kelber was a three-time All-American, and a National Champion for the University of Nebraska. In 1991, he was named Outstanding Wrestler at the Big Eight Tournament and a National Wrestling Coaches Association First-Team Academic All-American. Kelber currently resides in Valentine, Nebraska, and has served as a volunteer coach.
Daryl Weber wrestled for Dan Mashek, who was inducted into the GBHOF in 2008, at Don Bosco High School in Gilbertville, Iowa. Following a 3rd place finish as a sophomore, he won back-to-back State Titles at 135 pounds in 1990 and at 145 pounds in 1991. He was a three-time All-American, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion for the University of Iowa, and finished second at the U.S. Open and won the Sunkist Open in freestyle. Weber coached wrestling at Christiansburg (Virginia) High School, leading his teams to 14 State High School Championships with 42 individual State Champions and 33 state-placers.
Marv Reiland wrestled for Dave Harty, who received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award from the Iowa Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003, at Eagle Grove (Iowa) High School, qualifying for state as a senior. He was a two-time Division II All-American and a Division I All-American at Northern Iowa where he wrestled for Chuck Patten, who was inducted into the GBHOF in 2008. Reiland returned to coach his alma mater and led the Eagles to a 129-62-5 record with 3 State Tournament Team Titles, a dual meet State Championship and 2 runner-up finishes. In 20 seasons he coached 14 State Champions, 14 state runner-ups and 71 state qualifiers.
Eric Akin was a three-time Big Eight champion and a four-time NCAA finalist for Iowa State, which named him "Male Athlete of the Year" in 1994. He represented the United States in the World Championships in 1999 and was an eight-time national champion. Akin was a Silver Medalist at the 2000 World Cup and twice was an alternate for the Olympics. He was a three-time state champion for Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, Kansas, and currently is the head coach for Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kansas.
Alli Ragan, who currently trains with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, is the first female to be inducted into the GBHOF. She wrestled at Carbondale (Illinois) Community High, compiling a 130-29 career record and qualifying for the boys state tournament, while also lettering in soccer and volleyball. Ragan was a bronze medalist at the Junior World Championships in 2011 and 2012 and won a silver medal at the 2013 World University Games. She was a two-time national champion and a four-time Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association finalist for King University. Ragan competed for the U.S. in the World Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Won Silver medals in 2016 and 2017.
Coached by Franc Freeman, who was inducted into the GBHOF in 2009, the 1982 Bettendorf High School wrestling team was 12-0 in dual meets, won every tournament, set the all-time points record and were ranked fourth in the nation. Every team member qualified for state and all 10 placed in the Top 5, led by Brian McCracken's State Championship at 185 pounds. The closest dual for the Bulldogs was a 34-13 win against Clinton High School, which finished third in the state.
The Carr Family, which included nine boys and seven girls, will receive the Bowlsby Family Legacy Award. Every boy in the family (Willie, Fletcher, Joe, Jimmy, Jerry, Nate, Solomon, Michael and Mark) wrestled and Fletcher, Joe, Jimmy, Nate and Michael earned All-America honors. A Junior World champion at 15 years old, Jimmy placed sixth at the 1971 Senior World Championships as a 16-year-old and competed in the 1972 Olympics as a 17-year-old high school junior, becoming the youngest American wrestler to compete in the Olympics. Nate, a Distinguished Member inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003, who is also a member of the GBHOF, was a three-time national champion for Iowa State and won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics. Nate's son, David, is wrestling at Iowa State and was the national winner of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award in 2018 and captured the Junior World title in 2019. The Bowlsby Family Legacy Award is named after the Bowlsby Family from Waterloo. John and Bob wrestled for legendary coach Bob Siddens at Waterloo West High School while their parents, Bob and Pat, and sisters, Ann, Sarah and Jane, were instrumental in their careers.
Corky Stuart will receive the Russ Smith Community Impact Award, which is presented to individuals who demonstrate exceptional local impact on wrestling in Iowa. Stuart was a three-time state qualifier and a fourth-place finisher for Charlton (Iowa) High School. He was a three-time Midwest Conference champion and three-time NCAA qualifier for Cornell College. Stuart taught and coached wrestling for 45 years at BGM High School in Brooklyn, Iowa. He began the wrestling program at BGM and also coached softball, football and volleyball while serving as leader of the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Stuart was named Junior High Wrestling Coach of the Year in 2002.
Joe Stephens will receive the Bob Siddens High School Excellence Award, which is presented to a current Iowa high school wrestling coach who exemplifies the high standards that Siddens set during his coaching career at Waterloo West. Siddens was inducted into the GBHOF in 2003 and was the inaugural recipient of the coaching award in 2012. Stephens was an assistant coach at the University of Northern Iowa from 1996 to 2000 before becoming an assistant coach at Underwood (Iowa) High School in 2005. He became the head coach in 2010 and has led his team to 8 Top-10 finishes and 5 Top-5 finishes while coaching 7 state champions and 5 state runner-ups. Stephens was a three-time state qualifier, finishing fourth and second, at Centerville (Iowa) High School. He was a 2X national qualifier for the University of Nebraska before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa, where he also qualified for nationals.