Photos: Statue of Wrestling Legend Dan Gable Unveiled Outside of Carver

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IOWA CITY — Former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable stands in a class by himself as a wrestler, coach and ambassador for wrestling.

Now he will stand forever outside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The University of Iowa unveiled a bronze statue of Gable outside the main entrance Wednesday, two days before the start of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the arena.

“Coach Gable stands in a class of his own in terms of the contributions he’s made to the University of Iowa and the sport of wrestling,” University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta said in a news release. “Fifteen NCAA Championships and 21 Big Ten titles in 21 years (as a coach) is a remarkable feat, but his progressive contributions go well beyond the numbers.

“He produced the sport’s greatest wrestling environment inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena and we believe this statue is a fitting and well-deserved tribute that honors his legacy.”

The 7-foot statue was sculpted by Larry Nowlan, the same artist commissioned to create the Nile Kinnick statue located at Kinnick Stadium’s south concourse.

Gable compiled a career coaching record of 355-21-5 from 1976 through 1997, coaching 152 All-Americans, 106 Big Ten Champions, 45 national champions, and 10 Olympians — including four gold, one silver and three bronze medalists.

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