Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame announces 2013 class

Ripley, Kenny, Thompson and Kelber are 2013 inductees

Two high school coaching greats and a pair of NCAA champions make up the 2013 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame induction class.

Former Riceville Coach Dave Ripley and former Emmetsburg/AR Coach Bob Kenny, former Janesville state finalist and current University of Northern Iowa assistant Tolly Thompson, who won a bronze medal in the World Championships and an NCAA title for the University of Nebraska and Nebraska NCAA champ Jason Kelber, a three-time state champ from West Marshall will be inducted Monday, April 8 at the annual awards banquet at Cresco Country Club, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Kenny is now an administrator at Mason City High School. He also coached at Maquoketa Valley and Estherville. He was inducted into the Iowa chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010.

Thompson, a volunteer assistant for UNI, helped guide the Panthers to a 15th-place tie last weekend at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Des Moines. UNI had two All-Americans for the first time since 2005.

See the news release below:

Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees 

CRESCO, Ia., March 26, 2013 – Two coaches and two wrestlers with diverse backgrounds will be inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in Cresco on Monday, April 8. The 44th Annual Awards Banquet and Induction Ceremony will begin with a 5:30 social hour followed by a 6:30 banquet at the Cresco Country Club south of Cresco.

Those being inducted this year are David Ripley of Charles City, Tolly Thompson of Cedar Falls, Robert Kenny of Mason City and Jason Kelber of Valentine, NE. They become the 105th, 106th, 107th and 108th members inducted into the Hall since the first class was inducted in 1970.

David Ripley was the Riceville wrestling coach for 33 years. In those years Ripley’s teams won two state titles while also being a runner-up in both the state and dual meet tournaments. The Wildcat teams posted a record of 319-90-1 under Ripley’s tenure. Ripley coached 95 state qualifiers, 51 state place winners and 7 state champions. He was twice named Coach of the Year.

Robert Kenny also had an outstanding coaching career, his at Emmetsburg. Kenny’s teams won six state teams titles and two state dual meet titles while also being a runner-up in three other state tournaments. Kenny’s teams were 289-123-1. He had 88 state qualifiers and 56 place winners. He coached 12 wrestlers to state titles, 12 to second place finishes, 13 to third place finishes and 9 to fourth place finishes.

Tolly Thompson was a three-time NCAA All-American while capturing one NCAA championship for the University of Nebraska. The Janesville native twice placed second in the high school state tournament. Thompson further distinguished himself as he wrestled internationally for eight years after college. Thompson placed third at the 2005 World Championship at 120 kgs/265.5 lbs in Budapest Hungary. Along with the bronze at the World Cup, Thompson placed second at the Cerrod Pelado International and was the Dave Schultz Memorial International Champion.

Jason Kelber, who wrestled for West Marshall High School in State Center, was a three-time state champion who went unbeaten his sophomore, junior and senior seasons (123-3 overall). Kelber also wrestled at the University of Nebraska where he was a 126 pound NCAA champion and a three-time all American.

Banquet tickets are available at the Cresco Chamber of Commerce (563-547-3434) and CIA Insurance in Cresco (563-547-2382). Tickets are $20 and advance registration is required.

The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, which was remodeled and expanded in the past two months, will be open until 6:00 p.m. the day of the banquet.

About the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame - The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame’s sole purpose is the promotion of amateur wrestling in Iowa. We have a rich history of honoring native Iowans at our annual awards banquet and induction ceremony. The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame museum is located in the Cresco Welcome Center, at the intersection of Highway 9 and Elm Street. Visit the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame website at


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