Lou Banach

February 06, 1960 - Present

In the midst of Iowa's string of nine consecutive NCAA championships, Hawkeye fans rocked the arena by greeting their heavyweight with thunderous chants of Lou ... Lou ... Lou! Although he seldom weighed more than 210 pounds, Lou Banach overpowered behemoths more than twice his weight.

Not only did the one-two punch provided by Lou and twin brother Ed lift Iowa wrestling to new heights of achievement and excitement, it also brought the USA a double harvest of gold in the 1984 Olympics.

Banach was a two-time NCAA champion at Iowa, 1981 and '83, and a three-time All-American, placing third as a junior. He and Ed helped coach Dan Gable establish a new collegiate wrestling dynasty.

Lou was a state high school champion at Port Jervis, N.Y., and won two Big Ten titles with a collegiate career record of 90-14-2. His first trip to the NCAA finals ended in victory by a fall over Bruce Baumgartner, who became an American legend in World and Olympic competition.

At home in the 220-pound class of international wrestling, Lou won the Olympic title at Los Angeles with four falls-each in the first two minutes-and an 11-1 decision (the only point scored against him). The final, against an American competing for Syria, lasted 61 seconds.

After serving as an assistant coach at West Point during four years of military service, and later on the staff at Penn State, Banach became a banking executive in Wisconsin while operating a part-time business promoting wrestling through clinics, posters and sports cards.

Raised by foster parents, Lou, Ed and older brother Steve got a late start in wrestling, but soon took their places among the elite. Lou posted a 65-2 record and won the state high school title in 1977. Pride, determination and a strong work ethic were the foundation of his athletic skills.

As an extraordinary athlete, and a positive role model for the youth of our country, Lou David Banach is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Awards:

Year
2002
Award
Glen Brand Inductee
Chapter/Region
National
Year
1994
Award
Distinguished Members
Chapter/Region
National

All American Awards:

Season
1983
School
Iowa
Tournament
Division I
Weight
UNL
Place
1
Season
1982
School
Iowa
Tournament
Division I
Weight
UNL
Place
3
Season
1981
School
Iowa
Tournament
Division I
Weight
UNL
Place
1

College Season Records:

Season
1983
School
Iowa
Class
Senior
Bouts
35
Wins
33
Losses
2
Ties
0
Falls
15
Win PCT.
94.29
Place
1st
Season
1982
School
Iowa
Class
Junior
Bouts
18
Wins
15
Losses
2
Ties
1
Falls
8
Win PCT.
83.33
Place
3rd
Season
1981
School
Iowa
Class
Sophomore
Bouts
30
Wins
26
Losses
4
Ties
0
Falls
11
Win PCT.
86.67
Place
1st
Season
1980
School
Iowa
Class
Freshman
Bouts
21
Wins
15
Losses
5
Ties
1
Falls
10
Win PCT.
71.43
Place
DNW
Season
Career
Bouts
104
Wins
89
Losses
13
Ties
2
Falls
44
Win PCT.
85.58

All Rankings:

Season
1983
Rank Date
11/29/1982
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Iowa
Season
1983
Rank Date
12/13/1982
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Iowa
Season
1983
Rank Date
01/17/1983
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1983
Rank Date
01/31/1983
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1983
Rank Date
02/14/1983
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1983
Rank Date
02/28/1983
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1983
Rank Date
03/10/1983
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1982
Rank Date
11/21/1981
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Iowa
Season
1982
Rank Date
12/14/1981
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Iowa
Season
1982
Rank Date
12/31/1981
Weight
UNL
Rank
1
School
Iowa

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