Distinguished Member Lincoln McIlravy

By National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum | June 04, 2010, 9:54 a.m. (ET)
Lincoln McIlravy, Iowa City, Iowa
Distinguished Member

One of the most intense competitors ever to step on a wrestling mat, Lincoln McIlravy pursued championships from the time he was a very small boy.

He started his run of national championships early, winning both Cadet and Junior national freestyle titles. He won five state championships for Philip High School in South Dakota and compiled a record of 200-25, piling up school records for most falls, most takedowns and most consecutive falls.

In 1993, he won the NCAA tournament as a 142-pound true freshman, coming from five points down with 45 seconds left in the finals to defeat Fresno State's Gerry Abas, 16-15. As a sophomore he moved up a weight class, won his first Big Ten title and repeated as NCAA champ. As a junior, he was on a 52-match winning streak heading into the NCAA finals when the unexpected happened"ā€¯Illinois' Steve Marianetti scored a 13-10 upset in the finals, depriving McIlravy of the chance to become a four-time NCAA champion.

An Olympic redshirt year in 1996 allowed McIlravy to focus on trying to make the U.S. team for the Atlanta Olympic Games. He finished second in the U.S. Open Freestyle Championships and third in the Olympic trials.

In 1997, returning to collegiate competition, he won his third Big Ten title and his third NCAA title. Overall, he finished his college career as a four-time All-American with a 96-3-12 record.

Shortly after finishing his senior season, he won the first of four National Open Championships and qualified for his first U.S. World team. He won the 1998 Goodwill Games, placed third in the 1998 World Championships and was second in the World in 1999. In 2000, he won a freestyle bronze medal in the Olympic Games in Sydney.

After a stint as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, McIlravy served as USA Wrestling's National Freestyle Resident Coach for 2001-2002.

As a fierce competitor at every level of wrestling, Lincoln McIlravy is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.