2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Ho! Ho! Ho! The holidays are upon us!

Feel cornered as to what to get the wrestlers, coaches and fans on your gift list? No worries! You've got this... Just take a look at some of these great gift ideas ...

For youngsters new to wrestling ...

Wrestling: A Boy's First Book

Want to introduce a youngster to all that's great about the sport of wrestling? You could spend hours searching the internet for an appropriate book, shell out some money for it (along with shipping and handling), then wait for it to arrive in the mail. Or you can take the easy way ... by downloading "Wrestling: A Boy's First Book." This age-appropriate book is written for young boys and girls ages 7-9 who might be interested in the sport ... and is designed to be read to potential wrestlers by their parents, grandparents or other caring adult. First published in 2009, it's proven book that's already in use in thousands of homes, now available as a FREE download for you to print out ... or read on your tablet or other device.

To Be The Best -- Young Readers' Edition

The award winning three-novel wrestling fiction series has expanded to include versions more fitting for readers in grades four through seven. The young readers editions follow the same story of triumphs and tribulations as brothers Ron and Nick Castle pursue their dreams of becoming state wrestling champions but situations that are too intense for younger readers have been toned down. A special edition volume includes the second and third books and the TO BE THE BEST: PREQUEL story which appeared as a series in WIN and USA Wrestler magazines. Books can be ordered at a discount at Use coupon code INTERMAT to receive 20 percent off any order of $25 or more through December 31, 2018.

Fresh off the press: New books for 2018

Icon by Michael Fessler

Over the past half-decade, wrestler/writer Mike Fessler has penned books that bring together Christianity and wrestling (including "Faith and Wrestling"). His most recent is "Icon: The Value of Faith and Wrestling." As Fessler told InterMat this summer, "It's important to compare the idea of 'idol' vs. 'icon.' An idol attracts and absorbs attention, while an icon is reflective -- a gift to share with others... In wrestling, I think it's important to compete in such a way that's beyond yourself. We as icons can point to God, in, for example, how we treat others."

Pathfinder 2 by Kevin Emily

"Pathfinder Vol. 2: The Journey Continues" by Kevin Emily is a follow-up to his original "Pathfinder: The Journey of the African-American Wrestler" that told the stories of pioneering African-American wrestlers who paved the way for thousands of athletes in subsequent decades. "Pathfinder Vol. 2" carries on the legacy of Emily's first book by sharing the stories of more recent black wrestling stars -- including Marcus LeVesseur, Greg Jones, Tab Thacker, Bobby Douglas, Jordan Burroughs, J'den Cox and more -- in a very informative yet conversational style that even young readers will enjoy.

A Saint in the City, 2nd Edition by Scott Glabb

The U.S. wrestling community loves an "overcoming adversity" story -- whether it's directly wrestling-related, or about overcoming poverty, a violent neighborhood, or an abusive childhood, too. These types of challenges -- and more -- have faced Scott Glabb and his wrestlers at Santa Ana High School in suburban Los Angeles since Glabb took the head coaching job at the impoverished, inner-city school in 1990. Nearly a decade ago, Glabb shared some of these stories in his original book "A Saint in the City: Coaching At-Risk Kids to Become Champions." Now Glabb shares new, uplifting stories of how he, his staff and his wrestlers overcome adversity on and off the mat with his new second-edition book, titled "A Saint in the City: True Stories of Champions Living in the Barrio." As Glabb wrote in his introduction in the new 2nd edition, "My hope is that this book changes you, inspires you, and motivates ou to make a positive difference in someone's life …"

Wrestling with Ramos: Behind the Stare

Here's what said about this 700-plus page biography of former University of Iowa wrestler Tony Ramos: "Follow the life and journey of American wrestling's modern day anti-hero, Tony Ramos, from his kids' club days, all the way through high school, college, and onto the United States World Team. No other wrestler has been more loved, hated, and misunderstood than the brash, open, and honest Ramos in recent years. In this, his official biography, as he has always done, Ramos does not hold back on himself or others … The rise and fall of Tony Ramos has been one of the most talked about and critiqued incidents since his interview at the 2016 Olympic Team Trials after he lost to fellow Hawkeye Wrestling Club teammate, Daniel Dennis, in a best-of-three finals match-up at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Unfiltered, emotional, honest, and now exposed, take a look into Ramos' life and discover the man behind the stare."

Ready references you'll rely on ...

The History of Collegiate Wrestling: A Century Of Wrestling Excellence

The most comprehensive guide to the history of collegiate wrestling with stunning photographs and timeless stories that provide a year-by-year look at the sport and those who make it great. Originally compiled by legendary mat historian Jay Hammond, this volume is a must-have for serious wrestling fans.

Pennsylvania Wrestling Handbook, 2018-2019

Compiled by award-winning wrestling writer Tom Elling and updated each year, "Pennsylvania Wrestling Handbook" is the go-to source for the sport in the Keystone State. Features every PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) returning wrestler who was in PIAA or PIAST series tournaments, including won-loss records, weight, graduation year and tournament placement. In addition, you'll find every PIAA placer since 1938, as well as placer results for major tournaments featuring Pennsylvania wrestlers.

Stories of late, great Hall of Fame coaches to inspire you

Two all-time great high school wrestling coaches who earned a place in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame -- Bob Siddens, and Mike Milkovich -- both passed away this fall. However, their inspiring stories live on in these compelling biographies.

Siddens! Win with Humility, Lose with Dignity -- But Don't Lose! By Don Huff and Mike Chapman

Biography of Bob Siddens, long-time coach at Waterloo West High School in Iowa who led his "lads" to eleven state team titles and 51 individual championships. One of Siddens' Wahawks was none other than Dan Gable.

Mustang by Jim Kalin

When naming the storied high school wrestling programs in the U.S., 2009 Dellinger Award-winning Amateur Wrestling News writer and second-generation Ohio State wrestler Jim Kalin makes a powerful case in his book "Mustang" that Maple Heights High School in suburban Cleveland and its head wrestling coach Mike Milkovich should be included in any list of all-time legacy mat programs.

Learn from the old-school greats

The website offers affordably-priced reprints of old-time books not otherwise readily available... including these old-time how-to-wrestle books from all-time greats of the past.

Wrestling by Ed Gallagher

Ed Gallagher is considered to be "the father of modern college wrestling." He coached the Oklahoma State Cowboys to numerous individual and team titles from the end of World War I to just before World War II... despite never having wrestled himself. This book was one of two classic instructional books written by "the Knute Rockne of wrestling" whose name adorns the arena at Oklahoma State.

Scientific Methods of Wrestling by Paul Prehn

Born on a farm in Mason City, Iowa, Paul Prehn taught hand-to-hand combat in World War I, then made a name for himself as wrestling coach at the University of Illinois in the 1920s (one of his students was 1928 Olympic gold medalist Allie Morrison, first Iowa native to win an Olympic gold medal).

Wrestling and How to Train by Frank Gotch

Frank Gotch was a professional wrestling champ from 1908-1913. The Iowa native's popularity helped encourage the growth of high school and college wrestling throughout the nation. This book is a primer on catch wrestling (not amateur wrestling).

The Complete Science of Wrestling by George Hackenschmidt

George Hackenschmidt -- aka the Russian Lion -- was a world champion professional wrestler known for his muscular physique and ability to put away opponents quickly. This 1909 book provides Hack's instruction for catch wrestling in words and photos.

Shop the Hall, not the mall

Winning gift ideas for wrestlers and fans direct from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa as well as the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.

Iowa: The State of Wrestling poster

Display your love of wrestling in the state of Iowa with this limited edition poster from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum, showcasing some of the state's great wrestling coaches. Poster measures 24 x 36 and is only $20 plus shipping. To order, contact Melissa at (319) 233-0745 or

Glory Beyond the Sport; Wrestling and the Military

The relationship between the Armed Forces and the sport of wrestling dates back thousands of years. Many of the stories on these pages detail those who have helped shape our country.

Family Ties: An American Wrestling Tradition

Family Ties: An American Wrestling Tradition documents 138 families that meet an established criterion: immediate family members who were NCAA Division I All-Americans, Senior World Team members, or Olympic Team members. What's more, the book explores unique aspects of wrestling as it relates to family.

The Wrestling Presidents from Pins to Patriots

Thirteen United States Presidents -- Washington, John Adams, Jackson, Taylor, Pierce, Lincoln, Garfield, Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Coolidge, and Eisenhower -- have wrestled. The Wrestling Presidents presents in first person the life story of each wrestling Chief Executive, with special focus on their "great (or not so great)" scuffling exploits.

Hungry for more gift ideas?

To win over the toughest mat stars of today and yesterday this holiday season, check out these Holiday Gift Guides of the recent past for more possible gifts, including 2017 Holiday Gift Guide ... and the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide.


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