Olympic champions Brand and Smith to be honored at World Team Trials in Council Bluffs, Iowa, May 30th
USA Wrestling will honor a pair of local heroes who won Olympic gold medals in freestyle wrestling during the World Team Trials, presented by the U.S. Marines, in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday, May 30.
The late Glen Brand, a 1948 Olympic champion, along with 1952 Olympic champion Bill Smith will receive the prestigious USA Wrestling Lifetime Achievement Award.
The awards will be presented on the center mat in the Mid America Center between the first and second matches of the championship series round of the World Team Trials.
Smith will be there to accept his award, while representatives of the family will accept the award on behalf of Brand posthumously. The championship series round begins at 6:30 p.m. with the award ceremony approximately an hour later.
The World Team Trials, presented by the U.S. Marines, will be held at the Mid America Center, May 30-31, featuring the nation's top competitors in men's freestyle, women's freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Champions from the World Team Trials will represent the United States at the 2009 World Wrestling Championships in Herning, Denmark, Sept. 21-27. For ticket information, visit www.theworldteamtrials.com
Brand hailed from Clarion, Iowa, where he was coached in high school by his cousin Dale Brand, a 1936 Olympian. After serving in the U.S. Marines, Brand attended Iowa State, where he was a 1948 NCAA champion and three-time All-American. Brand won the gold medal at 174 pounds at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, England.
After his career, Brand settled in the Omaha area, where he was a hydraulics engineer. He was a YMCA wrestling coach for more than a decade, working with area youth. Another legacy of Glen Brand is the Kaufman Brand College Wrestling Open, the largest single day college wrestling tournament in the nation
See video tribute to Glen Brand
Read Glen Brand's Hall of Fame biography
During the ceremony for Glen Brand's Lifetime Achievement award, another special presentation will be made. Glen Brand's family will be presenting his Olympic gold medal to Iowa State University. Accepting the gold medal from the family will be the new Iowa State head wrestling coach Kevin Jackson, who also wrestled for Iowa State and was a 1992 Olympic champion.
Bill Smith attended Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson High School, and went on to win two NCAA titles for the Univ. of Northern Iowa (then Iowa Teachers College) in 1949 and 1950. Smith never lost a college match, and led his team to the NCAA team title in 1950. Smith also won three AAU National titles in freestyle. He went on to win the gold medal at 174 pounds at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
Smith became a championship coach at many levels. As a high school coach, he led teams to state team titles in Rock Island, Ill. and Concord, Calif., one of the few to ever coach state team champions in more than one state. Smith also coached at the Univ. of Nebraska, as well as with the Olympic Club of San Francisco. He also coached U.S. wrestlers on the international level.
See video tribute to Bill Smith
Read Bill Smith's Hall of Fame biography