PINDOX PROFILE: WILBUR NEAD; Iowa Hawkeyes/West Delaware Wrestling Coach
Ok, after reading this one, I have officially read it all, I think. This man’s career is like none other that I’ve heard of before.
Wilbur went to HS in Gilman, IA where he was class valedictorian. And how did he do in HS, you ask? He didn’t wrestle…
Ok, so this guy didn’t wrestle in HS… So why are we discussing him?
Because he didn’t start wrestling until he was a Sophomore at the University of Iowa.
Ok, so he started wrestling as a Sophomore at Iowa… Was he a good practice dummy for the starters at least? NOPE! He wasn’t! He presumably beat the crap out of the majority of the other guys he faced in the room, for he accomplished a lot while wrestling for Iowa. He won the Senior Collegiate Championship and Big Ten Championship in 1938. He was named Captain of the team as a Senior in college.
Wilbur also won the spot for the US Olympic Wrestling Team in 1940, but did not compete, for World War 2 put a wrench in things that year.
Wilbur also competed in football and track while at Iowa.
He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1941 to 1945 as Lieutenant J.G. In 1943, he was elected captain of the U.S. Coast Guard Wrestling Team and was the U.S. Navy Heavyweight Champion. In 1944, he graduated from the US coast guard academy.
Wilbur Nead accumulated six battle ribbons including one bronze star while serving in WW II. From 1949 to 1954, he also served as athletic director for the American Armed Forces in Europe.
Wilbur spent some time performing in “Professional Wrestling” as well for a while.
And it doesn’t end there…
Nead was a coach and teacher at Salem, IA from 1940-1941. From 1954-1978, he was a coach and teacher in the Manchester-West Delaware school district. His job as a wrestling coach began in 1958 and continued until his retirement in 1978. During this period, he had 18 winning seasons. In dual meet competition, Nead’s lifetime record shows 154 wins and 71 defeats for a .685 winning mark. He helped the Manhawks win four conference titles and post eight runner-up finishes. A highlight of Nead’s coaching career came near the end when he was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling coaches and officials association “Hall of Fame” in his 18th year of wrestling on February 28, 1976 during the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.
Wilbur Nead was known in the community as a quiet, gentle coach. He sat on the sidelines at wrestling meets and all he had to do was yell one word – “move” and his wrestlers responded. Coach Wilbur Nead died unexpectedly May 31, 1982 of a heart attack at 66 years of age.