Two Hawkeye wrestlers — Jim Craig, and Royce Alger — are among the five individuals to be welcomed into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame this Sept., the University of Iowa announced Friday.
The induction ceremony for the Class of 2012 will be held at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Convention Center Sept. 14, the night before Iowa football hosts Northern Iowa. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Central, followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. The event is open to the public.
Craig was a three-time letterwinner in wrestling from 1957-59, competing for coach Dave McCuskey. The hirsute Hawkeye was a two-time NCAA All-American, placing third at the 1958 NCAAs at 191 pounds. The following year, Craig won the NCAA championship at 177 pounds in his home gym at Iowa City. Craig placed third at the 1958 Big Ten championships at heavyweight, and was runner-up at 177 in 1959. His Iowa teammates included future Hawkeye head coach Gary Kurdelmeier, and Simon Roberts, the first African-American to win an NCAA title (1957).
A product of Davenport, Iowa, Craig’s involvement in wrestling spans nearly 60 years as a competitor, coach and referee. Just last season, the 74-year-old mat champ served as an assistant coach at Shepard High School in suburban Chicago. Craig was welcomed into the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa in 2009.
Wrestling for legendary coach Dan Gable, Alger was a two-time NCAA champion (1987, 1988), three-time All-American (1986-88), and three-time Big Ten champion (1986-88). He was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Ten Championships in both 1987 and 1988, and finished the 1986-87 season undefeated. Following his career at Iowa, Alger became a two-time Pan American Champion, two-time World Cup champion and a World Games Silver medalist.
A native of Lisbon, Iowa, Alger also served as an assistant coach at his alma mater. He was welcomed into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005.
Craig, Alger and the other three honorees were selected by a vote of all dues-paying members of the National Iowa Varsity Club. All former Hawkeye athletes who have won at least one major letter are eligible for the Hall of Fame. Athletes must have completed their eligibility at least 10 years and coaches/administrators at least five years prior to selection.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet may be purchased for $35 by sending your name and check to the National Iowa Varsity Club, ATTN: HOF Banquet, University of Iowa, 340 CHA, Iowa City, IA, 52242 by Friday, Aug. 31. For more information, contact the Varsity Club office at (319) 335-9438.
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