CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – UNI alumna Sandy Stevens will be the first woman inducted into Iowa’s Wrestling Hall of Fame, joining alumni Joel and Justin Greenlee in this year’s class.
The Greenlee brothers will be the sixth set of siblings to be inducted in Cresco, Iowa, April 10.
Stevens is considered one of the top ambassadors for the sport of wrestling. She is recognized globally as the voice of wrestling, but she has never forgotten her UNI roots. Stevens announced at the NCAA Division I Championships for 34 years, multiple world championships, numerous independent and high school tournaments along with a pair of Olympic games (1984 – Los Angeles; 1996 – Atlanta).
Stevens helped create the Bear and Sandy Stevens Head Wrestling Coach Endowment at the University of Northern Iowa. Funds from this endowment will be used to support the salary of the UNI wrestling coach position. Stevens also was the lead donor in the wrestling room renovation project in the West Gym and has endowed two wrestling scholarships.
Stevens is a board member of both the UNI Foundation and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. She continues to represent UNI in the Chicago area in a variety of capacities, including assisting UNI’s admissions counselors in recruiting Chicago-land residents to attend UNI.
UNI’s Joel and Justin Greenlee become the 122nd and 123rd inductees into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, joining five other families with brothers inducted. That group includes Doug and Mark Schwab, Terry and Tom Brands, Jim and Joe Gibbons, Dave and Paul Martin and Don and Harold Nichols.
Both Joel and Justin were state champions at Waverly, All-Americans at UNI and successful international competitors. Joel is in his 20th year as the head wrestling coach at Ohio. Justin is a research veterinary pathologist for the USDA at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa.
Prior going to Ohio, Joel Greenlee was an assistant coach at the University of Northern Iowa from 1989-97. While at Northern Iowa, the Panthers compiled a 70-58 record.
Joel Greenlee also had a stellar wrestling career in his own right. While competing as a heavyweight at Northern Iowa, he was a two-time All-American, finishing second in 1989 and fourth in 1988. In 1989, Greenlee was champion at the prestigious Midlands Tournament and Midwest Championships and was named the Outstanding Wrestler at both meets. Joel still holds the highest winning percentage in school history with a 127-16-4 (.878) career record. He also holds the Panther records for dual victories (58) and dual victories in a season (20 in 1986-87).
He has also enjoyed success at the international level. He finished second at the U.S. Olympic team trials in 1992 and was selected as a training partner for the Olympic team. He won the Cerra Pelado Tournament in Cuba in 1993 and the Cuban All-Star Tournament in 1992. He placed third three times at the John E. du Post World Team Trials.
Justin Greenlee was a three-time Division I All-American and a two-time NCAA tournament finalist at UNI and a Pan American Games champion in 1993. He reached the NCAA tournament finals at heavyweight as a junior in 1994 and again as a senior in 1995 after finishing eighth as a sophomore in 1993. Justin is one of nine three-time Division I All-Americans in program history. He still holds seven places in UNI’s top-10 records. Among them:
- 3rd for career wins (129)
- 2nd for career falls (57)
- 2nd for most falls in a season (20)
Also being inducted is Mike Mann, head wrestling coach at Marshalltown High School.
The 48th annual banquet and ceremony set for April 10 will begin with a 5:30 social hour followed by a 6:30 banquet at the Cresco Country Club south of Cresco. Banquet tickets are available at the Cresco Chamber of Commerce (563-547-3434), Farmers Mill, and CIA Insurance in Cresco (563-547-2382). Tickets are $25 and advance registration is required.
The inaugural banquet was held in 1970. After this year’s banquet, the Hall of Fame will include 125 individuals for their contributions to amateur wrestling.