In 1952 Bill Smith reached the ranks of wrestling’s elite by winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. Four years later, Smith qualified for the 1956 Olympics but was stripped of his opportunity to compete because of the strict amateur policy in place. He had taken money for being the head high school wrestling coach and this was unallowable at the time.
Smith wrestled collegiately for State College of Iowa (now Northern Iowa). Smith won two NCAA titles in 1949 and 1950 and posted a 52-0-2 career record. Because he wrestled a few matches as a freshman, Smith was declared ineligible for his senior year, taking away his chance at becoming a three-time NCAA champion. Smith was also a three-time national AAU champion.
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Smith served as the Canadian Olympic wrestling coach in 1968.