One could only dream that a 112-pound wrestler winning the State of Ohio title in his class in late 1950s would rise to the top of the wrestling world. That is exactly what happened to Bridgeport, Ohio's own Bobby Douglas.
After graduating in 1961 from Bridgeport High School, Bobby attended West Liberty College for one year before transferring to Oklahoma State University, where he won the Big Eight Conference 147-pound crown. The Cowboys never lost a dual meet with Douglas in the lineup and captured a pair of conference championship as well as the 1964 NCAA team title.
As a coach, he is only one of four college coaches to win more than 400 dual meets. He also won an NCAA team national title at Arizona State. His numbers are astounding with 13 NCAA Championships and mentoring 110 All-American performers, coupled with 68 conference titles. He built upon his legacy by coaching Cael Sanderson to a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Beside Sanderson, considered one of the finest grapplers of all-time, the personable Douglas has coached many Olympians who have placed in the top three spots in world competition. He coached for many years at Iowa State before stepping down in favor of his star pupil, Sanderson, in 2006, leaving a legacy of five national titles.
On a personal level, he had a fourth place finish at the 1964 Tokyo games and was named captain of the U.S. Olympic freestyle team in Mexico City. In addition, he captured silver and bronze medals and a fourth-place showing in the World Championship games.
He has authored countless books on wrestling and is only one of a handful of gold certified U.S coaches.
A 1967 graduate of Oklahoma State, he earned his Master’s Degree in 1981 at Arizona State University. Bobby is a proud supporter of the Jason Foundation, a nationally recognized leader for youth suicide prevention.Bobby and his wife, Jackie, also a Bridgeport High School graduate, have one son, Bobbo. They make their home in Ames, Iowa.