Additional Intros by Athletes He Coached: Justin Portillo and Tanner Abbas of Clarion Goldfield Dows
Justin Portillo of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows/Grand View:
Dan Gabrielson. Coach. Doctor. Father and friend. A true hero to many. An underdog. A history maker. Many remember Dan Gabrielson for one reason and one reason only. But there is a lot more to the man than his most iconic 6 minutes on the mat.
Tanner Abbas: Clarion-Goldfield-Dows/Grand View
I started wrestling around 7th grade and Dan Gabrielson had already started the Team Valley Wrestling Club in my hometown of Clarion, Iowa. Dan has always been passionate about wrestling and has always made it a priority of his. What he did for the community, Clarion, and Northern Iowa is incredible and provided me and so many others with an awesome training opportunity by bringing in Carl Valley. Right off of the bat, I had an awesome coaching staff in Dan, Kurt Morgan, Kyle Ruiter, Jordon McLaughlin and Carl as my club coach. Dan kind of steered me towards wrestling in the first place considering my younger brother, Reed had always been pretty good growing up. He definitely had an impact on me before I even got onto the high school scene. I was excited to get into the high school room watching guys like Joel and Jake Haberman, Brady Brott, Taylor Lehman, Matt Odland, and many others scrap really hard and wrestle at a high level. As soon as I got into high school, Dan took me under his wing right away, and he was extremely tough on me the first two years in high school. He definitely helped shapes me into the person I am now from the soft kid I was at the beginning. The way he approached being tough and facing challenges head on was admirable. I frequently remember him and Coach Morgan talking about dual strategies as almost a science.They had every scenario played out in their heads and had guys move up and down the lineup to give ourselves the best chance and we always were in every dual because of this. Not only that, but dan helped create a championship culture within Clarion Wrestling had high expectations each year. He wanted to win badly and I loved that. As I got into my junior and senior year we developed an even better relationship and I got to know him on a level outside of just wrestling. He knew exactly what I needed in matches, told me what I needed to hear, and knew how to coach me. Even after high school he stayed in touch and even guided me towards Grand View. He said that it was a perfect fit for who I was and would allow me to become much much better. He still messaged me after duals or tournaments and he usually follows a long with most of the competitions. Word on the street is that this is his last year being in his prime so he’s training for a match with me at Christmas break or something so we’ll see how that goes 😉. Dan has done so much for the city of clarion and wrestling as a sport in general!
Joshua Swafford (PinDox Owner/Creator):
Last year when I was on the fence about starting a new wrestling website, it was a conversation I had with Dan that officially inspired me to pull the trigger and go forward with it. The first step was naming the site, which for an over analytical person like myself, this was a long, grueling, tumultuous process. I eventually got down to roughly 10 names for the site down from a couple hundred…no joke. I jotted The Pin Doctors down, for I was a huge fan of the band, Spin Doctors as a kid and used to listen to them before wrestling matches. The deciding factor in choosing the name “The Pin Doctors” out of the remaining names was when I thought of what Dan told me before I decided to start the site. He had 100% confidence in my ability to pull it off and I could tell. To be honest, when I brought up the idea of starting a new site, there weren’t many people in my immediate circle who were very supportive of the idea. Most people basically talked about it as if it’d be a waste of time and something I wouldn’t follow through with. Dan was one of the very select few who supported the idea and thought I could do it. Without his words of encouragement, who knows if I ever would have started the site… At that moment, it hit me… The Pin Doctors was the perfect name for the site, for it pays homage to my favorite band as a kid AND the man who inspired me to start it…Dr. Dan Gabrielson… This site was inspired and loosely named after him and I’ve never told anyone except the Portillo twins about that. He has been very, very good to my family. Big thanks, Dan. Also, it impresses me how polite, professional, classy, well-mannered and intelligent EVERY single kid I’ve ever met who has been coached by him turns out to be. Tanner Abbas, Joshua and Justin Portillo, Spencer Trenary,etc. They are all very impressive human beings and it says a lot that Dan has had the influence he has had on them.
What clubs, schools, etc. did you wrestle for?
Belmond kids program, Belmond Klemme high, Central college.
What year did you graduate?
Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
I grew up next to the Yoder family. John was head wrestling coach at Belmond and they are like my second family. My dad wrestled in high school (coached by Don Jones). My moms family is Kinseth, Bruce is her first cousin. So when you find out that your cousin is Bruce Kinseth and he was a D 1 champ at Iowa pinning his way through big tens and nationals….and maybe Olympics talk?!? Well….I just figured I should do this!! Cory and Colby Yoder were my first partners and I started when Bruce was finishing up….maybe 1980. 5 or 6 years old
Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
I just mentioned Bruce Kinseth national champ and state champ. My late father, Mack Gabrielson was 18-3 his senior year but didn’t make it to state. My nephews, the Tenold twins look just like him and built like him as well. Carson (2, 2) and Cade Tenold (4, 2). My step brother Jay Lefevre and his son Tyler. And then my youngest son Bradan was a 2x SPW champ, IA FS champ and multi-national placer as a youth. He is in 10th grade but put the shoes up after 8th grade.
What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
I wrestled 8th grade year at AAU and was 5th at 95 pounds. Corey Kammerer beat me in semis and won it. 2nd place was Paul Peterson who I beat 3 or 4 times as a youth from cedar rapids Prairie. Not many opportunities to wrestle bigger tourneys. I lost to Chad Kraft in emmetsburg tourney. Beat Will Smith who was known to be the stud in our area in 8th grade and I didn’t lose in junior high. MY biggest rival was 2 years behind me and he almost never lost to anyone…I think he won about 200 straight. IT WAS My training partner and best buddy, Colby Yoder. He won AAU in 8th grade and was 5th as a 6th grader losing to Jeff McGinness, 3- 0 in semis. Jeff won it the next year in high school and of course made history after that. But little colby, 2 grades behind, gave him a tussle!! I never lost to colby in our matches but I am certain it was the older brother mentality. He gave me plenty of fits in the room and as an 8th grader was better than any kid I wrestled my 10th grade year…..by the way I placed 4th.
What was your record in HS?
124-17 losses 10, 4, 3, and 0
How did you place at state every year?
SQ, 4th, 2nd, 1st
What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
1. Weight cutting in college became a bit legendary. 126 was a bit tough at 6 feet. Not sure how I made weight my freshman year at nationals but I owe alot of people. Made it and won in the semis to become a national runner up, as a skinny immature 18 year old.
2. I think most people would want to know about the challenge to beat Ike Light. We were at the same weight all 4 years. But I will be honest it really wasn’t even on my radar until he beat me my junior year in the finals. I was just trying to win a title and help our team be better! I will discuss some of the Light stuff a little later, but I really had a lot of respect for what Lisbon was doing at the time. Losing my 10th grade year in the semis changed me forever, which I will describe in a bit as well.
3. The biggest hurdle that I have dealt with in all of my years with wrestling is my home town high school, Belmond-Klemme. It was both heart breaking and emotional for me. I started coaching Clarion in 2008 because Kurt Morgan asked me to be the head assistant and I just built a house in between Belmond and Clarion. It is in the BK district. It now is one of the worst decisions I have made. We go on to have some pretty good success coaching CGD. Multiple attempts to have them share with us were met with angry, bitter outbursts. I had my son coming up and they knew that. Our club trained many of their kids for years for free. I personally invested many nights with these kids. Their most recent teams were in shambles. And to this day I can not think of anything I ever did to one person in that town? Of course saying that, will be met with, “we dont like him…..” and why? Because our team destroyed you, because we won, because you are jealous?? It will always boggle my mind that your last two state champions, myself and Jordan McLaughlin, would be cast aside like enemies of the state because we wanted to help. OH, And by the way, coach my son!! Like it was such an awful thing to do. So, my son, didn’t want to transfer before high school. He wrote a letter to the superintendent and school board and said he would not wrestle if we did not share. There is literally like 10 kids that are out and very few that have any real wrestling background. I told him I would quit coaching and, he is very mature…..he said, “dad you love it more than me. I had fun and great success as a little guy but it hasn’t got me excited for quite awhile.” To clarify, my ex-wife also lives in and works for BK district. Its behind us and Bradan is doing awesome and is smart as a whip!!!
How would you describe your wrestling style?
Great on the mat!! Always was a work in progress on my feet. But #1 was being in great shape, better as the match went on!!
How many guys in high school did you go back and forth with or exchange wins with?
I wrestled Jeff Pederson from lake mills 8 times my 9th and 10th grade. Was 3 and 5 against him and he never made state. He was 2 years older, super athletic but I found a way at the end of year to beat him….especially my 10th grade year. Peter Taft was a stud. My good friend dusty rhodes. Both, state champs, they gave me 5 losses. And I never beat them. 10th 4 losses (2 to Pederson, 2 at state, jamie cochran and brad Canoyer, 2 to dusty and 1 to Ike junior year. Nobody senior year.
Who was your most influential coach?
John Yoder HS coach was tough as nails and a great motivator for me!! He grew up in Woolstock and went to Eagle Grove where his best friend was Marv Reiland and also Denny Christiansen. Of course the wrestling world knows their sons Mark and Jason as ICW and SEP Hall of fame coaches. I remember Mark coming in our room and helping. Jason went to Central a few years ahead of me but we were both coached by….Kevin Azinger. He was an absolute stud, technically. Knows the sport very well and I improved on my feet with his help. Both John and Kevin are still very active in my life and I speak to them often. I had some good assistants, Mike Sinwell, Joel Griner, Ed Severson and Kevin Braner in high school and Matt Diehl in college. Grew up going to Al Baxter camps!! Great man!!
Was your team competitive in HS/college?
High school teams were Belmond’s best dual teams by far. 10th and 12th grades made regional duals. Senior year lost to Rock Valley in a heart breaker. Only 4 teams made it back then so technically we were top 8. My junior year we had our best team but a returning place winner and senior HWT had season ending injuries. We easily beat West Hancock in a dual, but they had some great individuals and beat us at sectionals. Eagle Grove won the dual title that year. They beat Lisbon and I would’ve liked to see us wrestle both in duals that year. We were very balanced. College years we had some really decent kids. We were 3rd in conference and had guys like Brian Reece, Lance Eidem, Brent Dunlap, Perry Numendahl, Brent Lawrenson, Chad Jensen, Jason Coy, Darren Glenn, and other quality wrestlers. We really missed out on some good recruits because the college was going a different way in those years. Wartburg was just starting to be dominant and Central was the last team to win conference.
Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
Belmond guys were Mike Shimp, Shane Baum, and Cory Yoder. Mike won a title in 9th grade and was a hammer. He went 2nd and 3rd his last two years losing to paul kreimier and Greg Randall. Shane was 2nd and 3rd 11th and 10th and top guy his senior year, but was beat at districts and it was the most devastating thing I witnessed. He went on to san Jose state and was looking to do great things at 167 and they dropped the program. He and I reconnected and I am part owner in his very successful eye wear business, Baumvision. We produce leisure society frames and also distribute TOMS frames. Cory is like a brother to me and placed 5th and 3rd. I really loved the Steiner Brothers and other Hawks!!
Who would you consider the GOAT Iowa HS wrestler?
I think the most college ready, world ready guy was Jeff McGinness!! I mean he trained with the Hawkeyes….won everything and was my grade and same weights….so of course I am biased. I really think its hard to say that the smaller guys are the GOATs…..I mean in boxing the hwt champs are the greatest ever. ALI, TYSON,etc. My nephews are always ranked (grade rankings) behind some of the smaller guys and I am not sure how. Carson went 2nd and 2nd at 160 and 170 as a 9th and 10th grader and Cade 4th and 2nd. Honestly, it doesn’t make a lot sense. 3x champs Austin Blythe, Brian Moretz, Sindlinger, and some other big cats would smash the smaller dudes!!
Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
Of course, all my current kids I coach at CGD. My nephews at bosco. And then guys scrapping at the college level that I have rolled with… Tanner Abbas, Spencer trenary, Portillo twins, Teske, Lara, Leisure, Sam Cool, Drew Bennett, Slade, Moose, and all our Team Valley club kids!!
What music would you listen to back in the wrestling days?
Whatever the other guys wanted
What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
Without question was my 10th grade year in the semis. Jamie Cochrane is a great guy and his son won the title not too long ago and I had a chance to congratulate him right after!! But that night I was up 5 to 3 with short time and was wrestling a pretty smart match. John Monroe was the ref and I tend to shoot like 50 times a match. He was notorious for calling stalling especially against the guy that was WINNING and also in tight matches. I shot a single and got dinged with 20 seconds left. How in the world could you call stalling on the guy that shoots? Then I shoot again and with no time left Jamie jumps around to try and hook an ankle which he really didn’t and I kind of kelly through and he got 2 points and I lost 6 to 5. THE only match of my entire career that I have ever said I “should of won” or “got screwed”. It motivated me like nothing else ever had before. I have watched alot of old matches that you have posted and am still struck by how John Monroe could be that ridiculous with stalling when a guy was behind and a few others use to do that as well. Glad things have mostly changed for the better.
If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?
Winning that semis match!! Other than that I got out of it what I put into it and would not change much of anything!!
What was your best wrestling memory or accomplishment?
Without question winning the state title. It’s such an emotional relief and satisfaction. Let’s be honest, most of wrestling and sports end with a loss. I am happy to have ended my high school and college careers with wins. My sophomore year at Central I was 5th and had a nagging shoulder, but zinger talked me into competing and I am glad he did as I won that match. It would be my last competition.
Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
High School: Ike Light, Dusty Rhodes, brad Canoyer, Peter Taft, chris Jones, Jeff Pederson, Jamie Cochrane, Frank Kisley, Mickey Yilek
College: Jesse Armbruster, Dusty Rhodes, Scott Steffal, Chris Ristau, Raphael Wilson(best i ever touched), Kurt Schneck Nate Skaar
Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
Mostly seasonal but did more year round the last couple of years.
Elephant in the room… To this day, how often are you asked about your semifinal match from your Senior year?
Often I am asked about the Light match our senior year. It has faded a touch, but came up again this past year after Aidan Noonan beat Adam Allard. Crazy thing was that I went matside to watch my nephews and was sitting by Rhanavardi’s dad and I look behind me and the Noonan stud is right there. I took a picture and I am sure he was thinking, “this CGD coach was a good wrestler?” He probably had no idea that for the past 27 years I was essentially defined as the “ONE” that stopped a guy during his last try at winning 4x. As Ike responded, I too kind of felt a relief for both of us. I am sure he was tired of it and to be honest I sometimes was irritated that so many felt that it was some crazy upset. I was ahead, the year before, most of the match. I went on to be a national D3 runner up as a true 18 year old freshman backed it up the next year by jumping a weight and placing 5th, losing a close one in the semis to the national champ. So, it wasn’t like I was some chump that tossed him and got a little lucky. Ike, was very slick and and hard to wrestle, but I think I was too. We both handled all the strong kids pretty easily. Did I have a little luck in beating him?? Maybe… but it wasn’t controversial. I was down 2 and body locked him to his back for 5 with 20 seconds left. So as much as he got irritated with all the interview requests, I was understandably beaten down hearing that it shouldn’t have happened. I was pretty close to winning 3 titles…that 10th grade semis loss would of given me a good chance that year against him and I was very big at 112. I honestly hope the talk of it…is now just historical and over. I have nothing but respect for Lisbon, the lights, and how they competed.
How long have you been coaching? How would you compare and contrast how it feels being on the mat and being matside?
This will be my 4th year as head coach for Clarion Goldfield Dows. I was head assistant, with Kurt Morgan, the 9 years prior.
This is my favorite question. I certainly had zero plans to ever coach…but I always said if someone asked it would be hard to say no. Kurt asked, and I really jumped all in. I get more into the kids success then I ever did my own. Its easy to control yourself. But coaching and getting kids to believe that they can be better then they think is a real challenge!! When I won, or had success, it seemed more of a relief and that the next step was to do it again. I don’t know if wrestlers always appreciate some of the moments, hence giving us such crazy disgust when we lose, or don’t achieve what we believe we can. Heck, all wrestlers eventually quit. You look at like a Terry Brands and his awesome accomplishments, but when Kendall Cross beat him he literally about jumped off the train. Maybe not literally, but we all know the story. I try not to live life with these life and death momemts…its not healthy.
So, coaching… What coaching does for me is give me moments of deep emotions and tears of what a kid may have done. Not just our state champion teams, or kids, but every little thing. We had a heavyweight that started one year for us in 2016. We jumped to 2a that year and nobody thought we had a chance at the dual title. This kid worked his tail off and when you looked at him…I am sure people said, “omg this kid will fall over,etc.” We have a semis meet against #1 New Hampton and Nick Heman puts out a great kid who was coming back from knee injury. I am certain everyone thought this wasn’t going to be close. You know what? That kid won 1 to 0 and we won that meet!! He didn’t wrestle varsity his senior year as we had a pretty good kid named Spencer Trenary, but when I spoke about him at our year end banquet my tears were real and that kid may have proved to me more than anyone that sometimes the very little “wins” are the best!!!!
I have toned down some of my craziness since the 2012 stud team lost first round at duals. I think We are the only number 1 seed to ever lose first round. Horrible coaching mistakes and we were very willing to take THE blame….and then things just kept getting better!! We now have a program that is highly competitive, year in and year out, and the kids understand where I stand so my loud angry moments are much less. Although, not completely gone!!
What are some success stories from coaching that have brought you the most joy?
See above….too many more to tell but here is a few.
1. You can’t talk about success without the highest achievements. Winning back to back dual titles in 2014 and 2015 confirmed all the work!! We had kids that would not give in, whether it was not getting pinned, or giving up a major, or getting the bonus points. They just wanted to do it as a team!! Beating my good friends at Don Bosco both those years and at a dual in 2012, in Gilbertville, helped our kids believe, and got the kids thinking. “why not us?!” Those two titles came with quite the hatred as the Portillo twins moved to town in December of 2013. Guess what? 7 years later Gino Portillo is still living in Clarion. Thinking back to all the mean things said, death threats (likely from a crazy kid), Pocahontas mom accosting me at districts, Belmond coach(Tony Andrews) throwing a water bottle at Josh [the St. Edmond kid beat your child, not Josh], Ray Fox and Schares saying and doing some childish things (although I still love Ray!!), Lake Mills assistant berating us without putting his name to things, Williams’ dad from Lisbon completely being inappropriate, North Central Conference coaches completely losing their minds, and culminating into a couple state investigations I would say our team handled things pretty well!! Lol Through it all nobody heard from me until now….the thing is they moved here, they still live here, I didn’t buy them a house (only did that for my ex wife and my current wife), and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to help change those kids lives!!!
(Editor’s Note: I think Dan was being nice to me by not mentioning my name since I run the site and he and I have talked things out and what-not, but I won’t let myself off that easy. Not when I know dang well that I was more asinine than anyone on the forums in that situation. Mepo had a stacked team and I was so salty that CGD had something that had potential to (and did) beat us if we were to meet up. I publicly, vocally and actively rooted against every one of their guys at the time and for putrid reasons. 3 people from CGD were hurt as a result of my ignorance and hypocrisy and all 3 of these people have ironically helped me out a ton with this site. I have regretted this deeply since and it was a valuable lesson I learned… Don’t say mean things about anyone… especially if it’s someone you haven’t met. You never know what kind of damage your words can do to someone and if you have a conscience, you’ll regret it.just thinking that).
2. The Portillos were not shoe ins to win titles. Justin wasn’t on varsity in Ohio and was the main reason they were wanting to leave. Josh did not make it to state as a 9th grader. They were definitely awesome but the combination of Carl Valley, kurt, myself, our other club kids from dirty dodge and the clear lake trio and are own kids in the room….Haberman, Brott, Lehman, Abbas, as well as a better living environment enabled the success!! Josh beat 2 kids that could of been 4x champs, West and Blockhus and Williams who could have won 3. Justin won his second title on a torn MCL during the semis. They are unbelievable students, great humans, and likely to finish their careers as 4x AAs. I could not be prouder of them and our relationships!!
3. Joel Haberman’s state title win, stopping Hunter Washburn from winning his 3rd title, was one of our greatest coaching moments!! Joel was an incredible athlete who didn’t place in AAU, not even close, he was a 4x SQ placing, 2nd his junior year, champ as a senior and a 4x NCC champ. He was ornery and hated losing. His senior year he thought he was going to dominate at 152(lol)!. Kurt and I slowly put the coaching moves on over the year. First getting him to 138 and then realizing that Happel was going to 138. It mostly left that weight open and we thought our freshman kid, Tanner abbas could place. He did, 4th. So we switched it up and convinced Joel to go to 132. He lost twice in the duals the day before and was not happy, even though we won the title. So, he goes and beats studs in the quarters and semis. Kurt was great at breaking down tape. We convinced Joel to wrestle super strategic. Washburn appeared to never take a shot if his left hand wasn’t free. And we kind of always had Alburnett’s number in duals…..other than 2013. I think we were like 4-1 against them. We always knew they had super studs but always were the bully type wrestlers. Come out hard as hell. Try and bulldog/cowcatcher/strangle you to death. That can get you very tired!!! If you remember the match….the key was us getting out early when we went down. Not giving up late period scores. And then OT we hit a perfect back door leg pass when Hunter was tired. I am not sure if we wrestled him 20 times we could beat him more than once….but that was big time coaching, listening, and competing!! STATE CHAMP!!
4. Spencer Trenary….6 foot 6, 275 pounds wrestled only year round and one of our early Team Valley club kids with a 33 ACT and a 4.0 student!! Really a coache’s dream!! Pinned his way to the title his senior year!! I could go on and on with so many kids and other success stories, but I thought the state champs need to be told!!
At what age did you decide you wanted to become a doctor? How much did your experience in wrestling prepare you for med school?
6th grade I knew I wanted to be a doctor. When working 100 hours per week, or staying up 36 straight, I would often joke to my fellow OBGYN residents, “try doing it not eating!!” Enough said.
Do your nephews, Carson and Cade Tenold remind you of yourself at all when they wrestle?
They talk like me and ask lots of questions. They look like my dad and get their size from both their dad and my dad(their grandpa). We trained them to wrestle like little guys and coach carl Valley had them very prepared!! The Bosco guys like Bart Reiter and Welter’s have really polished it up!! They think they can beat anybody and keep wrestling always which is very similar to me!
How would the guys from your day stack up against the guys today?
Guys now are so much technically better, but definitely not as tough!!!!
Did you wrestle after high school?
Central College. 2nd as freshman and 5th as sophomore…those were the only two years I wrestled for I went to medical school early.
What other sports did you play?
Golf, football, baseball.
What are your favorite sports teams?
Chicago Cubs….was at game 7 when they won the world series!!
What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
Water skiing, snow skiing, golf too much, and entrepreneurship ventures!!
How good does it make you feel to give back to the sport?
For some time, after the Portillo’s came into town, I wondered, “why are there so many mean people in this sport?” It took a little time for me to appreciate that I started a wrestling club, coached for 13 years, donated over a million dollars to the sport I love….I then came to the conclusion I don’t really give a damn about the hurtful things because very few people would of given so much of their time, resources, and energy to make wrestling better and for the kids to have greater opportunities!! Its really that simple!!
How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
If you have read my long winded answers it should be obvious!!!
What do you do now?
I am an OBGYN and own the Gabrielson Clinic for Women at multiple locations in North Central Iowa.
Are you still involved with wrestling?
Head coach CGD, founder of Team Valley wrestling club and will always be a fan.
Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
You can be a part of it whether you make the Olympics or wrestle a few years as a youth!! Try it out!!
Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
I may have done this in my early coaching years!! I pounded all of our CGD and club guys, but Sam Cook got the best of me and I didn’t try and wrestle Big Spencer in a match his senior year. I think those days are done.
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?
I hope that Ike Light can be at peace. It was a bit unfair that everyone was cheering against him and the main reason, I believe, was Lisbon’s success. I know in my years coaching we have definitely had a fan base loving to see us lose. Its part of all sports. Maybe he can now appreciate that my only desire was to win a title too!!
Shout out to some of my kids that came from zero wrestling background to big time!! Dillon Anderson 7th in state(didn’t hardly win a match as a kid), Brady Brott state runner-up, 4th and cried after many matches in junior high, Taylor Lehman 3rd and 5th did everything to get better, Tanner Abbas (his title will come), Caleb Hanson, I should never have kicked you out of practice.
Please, fellow coaches, vote the best coaches even if you don’t like them. Kurt Morgan should have been coach of the year as well as Gary Weber and Pete Bush. Those are just 3 that come to mind. Its not a popularity contest….for those 3 and many others not to win coach of the year is absurd!!
Thanks to Kurt Morgan for getting me coaching and all of our late night strategy/recruiting (lol) sessions!! Shout out to Carl Valley for his friendship and truly teaching kids how to wrestle!
Thanks to the Yoder family and my own family, especially my talented son, Bradan!!
Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.
I want to apologize for these long answers, but it was the first and likely the last time you will get any response. Since so much was said about me on The Predicament Boards in the past and Swafford goes on and on about Mediapolis and his brothers, I thought I should join the fun and put in a little extra!!! Haha
Finally, I want the younger generations to understand a little about where this all started. Although Don Bosco and Lisbon have had great success they are relatively babies to the sport. As well as SEP, Waverly, West Delaware and IC West. Add in Rico’s Mediapolis and mostly all the corners of Iowa and wrestling in the above places is kind of new. Why do I say that?? The 1970s or even into the 1980s seems forever ago, but back 50 to 60 years before that the sport really began. It was Humboldt’s Big Frank followed by the great programs in North Central Iowa that really got this going. Clarion hosted the state tourney for 5 years before WW2. You have the Fort Dodge, Waterloos, Eagle Grove, Britt, Algona, Osage, Clarion, Humboldt, etc. teams that really started the sport of Wrestling!! I bring this up so that each of us does not forget the historical perspective of where it really began and the foremost Clarion historical writer, the late Dan McCool!!! Thanks to all who help make the sport so very special!!! Wrestle on….Dr. Dan Gabrielson
We watched our grandsons (Tanner and Reed) become great wrestlers, but most importantly, they became hard working, mature and accountable young men. The nature of the sport can do that for a young man if he’s engaged in the sport at all, but initially, excellent coaching and guidance by Dan, Kurt, and Carl made this all possible. But this article is about Dan, so Darl and I want to personally thank him for the time, tons of money and contribution to our community and kids. He would have done even more for wrestling in general, if he would have been given the opportunity. Bottom line—He loves wrestling. It’s too bad some people’s petty jealousy and arrogance prevented him from contributing more. Not a good life lesson for their young people. Thank you Dan… we will be forever grateful.
Great story and long answers are best
Daniel Mack Gabrielson is my brother. I do not know a man that loves the sport of wrestling any more than he does. To that end, he can probably name every wrestler that has ever competed in the Iowa State wrestling tournament. I would like to publicly thank him for starting Club Valley Wrestling. It has provided kids, in Wright county and beyond with an opportunity to wrestle for a club at no cost. Which is unheard of! We live in a world where people are mean and crazy and don’t always think about the youth and their potential success. My twins were afforded opportunities to wrestle in big tournaments, learn from Carl and wrestle competitively with other kids on a regular basis in practice. Not to mention the lifelong friendships they have developed with wrestlers from the area. Thank you for all you have done for Carson and Cade, Wright County & surrounding areas & the state of Iowa wrestlers, parents and fans. I for one, am so thankful and proud.
Although Dan is a good friend of mine, I didn’t know a lot of these details. He is definitely a great ambassador for the sport of wrestling, and one of the reasons why I encouraged my sons to wrestle.