Friday, July 30, 2021

Defending the Title: 1964: Those Who Did and Those Who Did Not Defend the Title

 While Dean Lahr of Colorado would repeat as champion, the rest of the 1964 NCAA titlists all won their first DI title. 

1964 Champion 115 
Terry Finn of Southern Illinois-Carbondale 

Finn settled for three silver medals, losing in the state finals three seasons in a row for Oak Lawn high school.  In college, he'd trade those in for three golds. Winning NCAA Division II titles in 1963 and 1964, he added a DI title to his resume in 1964.  

1964 Champion 123 
Fred Powell of Lock Haven 

A Virginia state champion of famed Granby High School, Powell finished with back to back NAIA runner-up finishes in 1962 and 1963. Winning the NAIA title in 1964, he also won the NCAA Division I title.  Getting into coaching post college, he coached at both the high school and collegiate levels.  While at Slippery Rock, he coached 11 wrestlers to NCAA DI All American status and 12 wrestlers to NCAA DII All American status. 

1964 Champion 130 
Yojiro Uetake of Oklahoma State 

Argued by some as the greatest technician to ever step on a wrestling mat, Uetake was near untouchable.  Winning the NCAA title in 1964, he represented Japan at the Olympics later that summer winning a gold medal. He added two more NCAA titles in 1965 and 1966, winning a second Gold at the 1968 Olympic Games. 

1964 Champion 137 
Mike Sager of Oklahoma 

Sager was a sophomore when he captured the NCAA title for the Sooners.  He'd finish 5th in 1965, taking NCAA Runner-up honors in 1966.  He then went on to coach at Cincinnati, Marshall and Colorado. 

1964 Champion 147 
Jerry Stanley of Oklahoma 

Like teammate Sager, Stanley was a sophomore when he won the NCAA title for the Sooners. He did not compete at the NCAA championships in 1965, but he did come back in 1966 to take third place All American honors. 

1964 Champion 157 
Gordon Hassman of Iowa State 

Competing for New Hampton, Hassman would win an Iowa high school state title as a junior in 1960, finishing as the state runner-up in 1959 and in third place in 1961.  Going 90-5 for the Cyclones his collegiate career would mirror his high school career as he won the NCAA title his junior season of 1964.  He finished in 3rd place in both 1963 and 1965. 

1964 Champion 167
Don Millard of Southern Illinois Carbondale 

A two time Illinois State champion for Pekin High school, Millard had a phenomenal season in 1964 winning a Midlands title, a NCAA Division II title and a NCA Division I title.  He went on to coach high school wrestling in Illinois. 

1964 Champion 191
Harry Houska of Ohio 

A three time MAC champion, Houska was the NCAA runner-up in 1963, capturing the NCAA title in 1964 ending his career with a 76-3 record.  He then went on to coach the Bobcats from 1968-1997.  Winning 11 MAC team titles, he coached 69 wrestlers to individual MAC titles.  This included three top 10 NCAA tournament finishes, producing 13 All Americans. 

1964 Champion UNL
Joe James of Oklahoma State 

Yet another NCAA champion that never won a state title.  The best Joe James did for Tilden Tech High School was finish third at the Illinois state tournament.  While competing for the Cowboys, he was a two time NCAA runner-up in 1962 and 1963, winning the NCAA title as a senior in 1964.  Also a two time Midlands runner-up, James captured Pan-American gold in 1963. 


Lahr previously mentioned 

Finn, Powell, Millard, Houska and James all seniors 

Uetake would repeat in 1965 and 1966 

Stanley, Sager and Hassman did not repeat 

1 comment:

  1. One of the best wrestling true "myths"(?) is that when someone asked the OSU coach how good Uetake was, the coach supposedly replied "I don't know. Ive never seen him tested."
    One you can probably believe: another reporter asked a Uetake opponent, decades after becoming infamous for foul action against Uetake and then being crushed by Yojo in a rematch, what happened:
    "He hurt me REAL bad."