Robert S. Siddens

April 29, 1925 - September 27, 2018

He will always be remembered as "Dan Gable's coach," which isn't a bad way to be remembered. But there's much, much more to the outstanding career of Bob Siddens.

As a high school coach of exceptional stature, as a nationally recognized referee, as a respected clinician both on technique and on officiating, as an author, teacher and counselor, he made notable contributions to the sport for three decades.

He was a successful wrestler at Eagle Grove High School in Iowa, then at the University of Northern Iowa, where he helped launch the Panthers to national prominence. Upon graduation, he coached one year at Eagle Grove, then embarked on a 27-year term at West High School in Waterloo.

His teams there won 327 dual meets, 88 in a row, and lost only 26. The Wahawks won 11 state team championships and placed second or third 10 other times. They enjoyed 14 undefeated seasons. During that span, high school wrestling in the state of Iowa grew from 28 schools to more than 300.

Siddens' wrestlers went on to capture 19 Big Eight titles, nine NCAA championships and an Olympic gold medal. In the 1968 collegiate nationals, two of his proteges - Dale Anderson of Michigan State and Dan Gable of Iowa State-won consecutive NCAA crowns.

Long respected as one of the nation's finest collegiate referees, he officiated at two dozen NCAA championships, more than any other official. He traveled thousands of miles to conduct clinics for wrestlers and for officials, and published many articles on the sport.

In recognition of his fabulous coaching career and his long years of service to the sport, Robert Saunders Siddens is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Awards:

Year
2012
Award
Bob Siddens Iowa High School Coaching Excellence Award
Chapter/Region
National
Year
2003
Award
Glen Brand Inductee
Chapter/Region
National
Year
1980
Award
Distinguished Members
Chapter/Region
National

Our Mission: To honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary individual achievements, and inspiring future generations