Brand was a standout athlete at Clarion High School and gained national attention at Iowa State University in the late 1940s. He was a three-time All-American for the Cyclones with an overall record of 54-3, earning a reputation as a fierce competitor and pinner.
In 1948 he was NCAA champion at 174 pounds. The crowning moment of his career came later in 1948 when he won a gold medal at 174 pounds in the Olympics Games in London.
Graduating from Iowa State with a degree in engineering, Brand has owned and operated Brand Hydraulics in Omaha for many years. He has won numerous honors and awards for his wrestling achievements, and for his support of wrestling through the years.
The Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa is named in his honor.