Class of 2015
Though born and raised in Iowa, Mike worked on three different newspapers in Illinois, for a total of nearly 15 years. His last job in Illinois was as executive editor of Sauk Valley Newspapers in Dixon, from 1988 to 1998. While there, he created WIN magazine, the nation’s top wrestling publication; the WIN Memorabilia Show, held each year during the NCAA Division I tournament with crowds of 10,000 or more, and the Dan Hodge Trophy given each year to the nation’s top collegiate wrestler.
Mike is the author of 27 books, 17 of which are about wrestling. He is a member of the following halls of fame: AAU National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Orlando, Florida); National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Stillwater, Oklahoma); Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame (Cresco, Iowa); Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa (Waterloo, Iowa); Sombo National Hall of Fame; Excel Wrestling Hall of Heroes, East Waterloo High School Hall of Fame.
In addition, he is the recipient of the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC), which is a national organization of former wrestlers, boxers and show business people, and in 2007 was given the Iowa Wrestling Coaches President’s Award. In 1999, he was given the WIN magazine Impact of the Year Award and it has since been named in his honor. He was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by Missouri Wrestling Review in 2010.
In 1998, he and his wife, Bev, created the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa. In 2008, it was moved to Waterloo, Iowa, and was renamed the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. He was executive director for 11 years, retiring in 2009.
As an athlete, Mike competed in wrestling, judo, sombo and bench press contests.