CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Former UNI wrestling head coach Don Briggs received special recognition this fall from the Iowa Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, being selected as one of four recipients of the Lifetime Service Award to Hall’s Wrestling Award.
Briggs joins Glen Wood, Bryan Poulter and Gary Curtis as recipients of the Lifetime Service Award, given to individuals in recognition of years of dedication to developing youth leadership and citizenship through sport. Bruce Kinseth was also honored as an Outstanding American for his contributions to wrestling in Iowa.
Briggs wrestled for four seasons at the University of Iowa where he compiled a career record of 30-5-1, taking third place in the Big Ten championships in 1970 and 1971. He spent nine years as a graduate assistant and assistant coach at UNI, helping to develop 14 NCAA Division II National Champions. He was appointed UNI head coach in 1982.
In his 15 years as UNI head coach, Briggs amassed a dual meet record of 164-98 and coached 15 All-American athletes. Leading the Panthers to 12 consecutive NCAA regional championships from 1986 to 1997, Briggs was also named NCAA West Regional Coach of the Year ten times.
Many former athletes have pointed out that Briggs has surrounded himself with the best of the best assistant coaches, all of whom have been instrumental in developing coaches who have become great coaches themselves. Coach Briggs has been said to embody the mission statement of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as it states “to preserve our history, recognize excellence and inspire future generations”.