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Nacin, Gibbons Family Honored By Glen Brand HOF

Courtesy: cyclones.com
Release: 09/25/2013
         
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WATERLOO, Iowa – The 2014 Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame class was announced earlier today. Former Cyclone grappler Al Nacin will be inducted as a distinguished member of the 2014 HOF class.

Nacin, who wrestled at Iowa State from 1970-75, was the Cyclones’ first four-time All-American on the mat. The 1970-71 season was the first season freshman were eligible to compete at the collegiate level. Nacin’s redhisrt was lifted when All-American 167-pounder Keith Abens suffered a broken ankle.

Head coach Harold Nichols moved All-American 177-pounder Rich Binek down to the 167 pounds, and called on Nacin to fill the void at 177 pounds. He shocked the wrestling world and advanced to the NCAA title match where he fell 10-3 to in the 177 pounds NCAA title match to the No. 1 overall seed, Geoff Baum of Oklahoma State. Nacin proved early he would be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

Nichols opted to redshirt Nacin the following season in 1971-72 to prepare him for the move up to 190 pounds. Nacin, a native of Burbank, Ill., went on to finish fifth in 1973 and third in 1974 at 190 pounds.

Nacin finished his Cyclone career on top, as he won the 1975 190-pound NCAA title by way of an 8-4 decision over Iowa’s Greg Stevens. His 39-2 NCAA title season earned him 1975 ISU Athlete of the Year honors.

Nacin’s 109 career victories were the most in Iowa State wrestling history when he graduated in 1975. He now sits tied at No. 23 with David Zabriskie and Kurt Backes. Nacin was inducted into the ISU Letterwinner’s Club Hall of Fame in 2008. He is one of 11 four-time All-Americans in the storied history of Cyclone wrestling.

Also to be honored at this year’s induction ceremony is the Gibbons family, as it receives the 2014 Family Legacy Award. All four of the Gibbons’ sons (Jim, Joe, Jeff and Tim) doned the Cardinal and Gold. Jim, Joe and Jeff all had outstanding careers at Iowa State.

Jim, the oldest son, was a three-time All-American and won the 1981 NCAA title at 134 pounds. After his wrestling career was over, Jim went on to become Harold Nichols predecessor, guiding the Cyclones to the 1987 NCAA team title and six top-five finishes in his seven years at the helm.

 Joe was a four-time All-American and the 1985 NCAA champion at 142 pounds. Jeff was a two-time All-American and a key member of Iowa State’s 1987 NCAA title team. All three brothers won multiple state championships at Ames High School.

The Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame, established in 2002, honors the people who have made an impact on the sport of wrestling on a national level, or who have done extraordinary work in the state of Iowa.

Brand was a three-time All-American at Iowa State in the late 1940s. He was the 1948 NCAA champion at 174 pounds and then went on to win Olympic Gold  in London that summer. Brand was Iowa State’s first Olympic Gold Medalist.

A banquet to honor all the inductees in this year’s HOF class and award winners is set for Saturday, June 7 at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo, Iowa.  For more information contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745. 

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