1980 Olympian Chuck Yagla = NWHOF Distinguished Member

NWHOF – Chuck Yagla was a three-time All-American, a two-time national champion and the Outstanding Wrestler at the 1976 NCAA Championships for the University of Iowa. He was an alternate on the 1976 Olympic team and earned a spot on the 1980 team but did not compete when the United States boycotted the Olympics in Moscow.

Yagla was a four-time National Open champion and won gold and silver medals at the World Cup while also placing second at the prestigious Tbilisi tournament in Russia.

He stopped competing but did not step off the mat, as he began a career as an NCAA official in 1983. He earned the respect of coaches and competitors while working NCAA Division I Championships from 1996-2007, including five finals matches. Yagla officiated six NCAA Division II Championships and worked the Big Ten and Pac-10 Championships for over 20 years, working as head official for each conference four times. He refereed two National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star meets and was selected to work the National Duals 12 times.

He stepped off the mat following the 2007 NCAA Championships, but continued to be involved in officiating as Coordinator of Wrestling Officials for the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences. Yagla received the Meritorious Official award from the Hall of Fame in 2009 and was inducted into the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa in 2004.

Here’s a video from his induction ceremony:

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