- Throughout the season, IUHOOSIERS.com will take wrestling fans back in time into the rich past of IU Wrestling. Since the beginning of the program in 1909, the Hoosiers have produced one National Championship (1931), 10 NCAA Champions (Last: Joe Dubuque, 125 lb., 2005), 66 All-Americans (Last: Joe Dubuque (125 lb.), Brandon Becker (157 lb.), Pat DeGain (HWT)) and 52 Big Ten Champions (Last: Roger Chandler, '97, 142 lb.). Throughout the season, a different year will be highlighted with a brief overview of that year's events. This week, fans are taken back to 1932.
Indiana Wrestling, 1932
Head coach Billy Thom's name is almost synonymous with Indiana wrestling. While directing the Hoosiers, Thom led an NCAA Championship squad (1932), six individual champions and 26 individual Big Ten champions. Under his direction, Thom, who also served as the coach of the 1936 U.S. Olympic team, led IU to a 110-21-3 record.
The 1932 season was a special one for Indiana wrestling. After cruising through the dual meet season undefeated, Thom and his Hoosiers headed to the fifth annual National Intercollegiate Wrestling Tournament with their sights set on dethroning a powerful Oklahoma A&M squad, who had won the national championship the past four years.
When the dust settled, Indiana sat on top of collegiate wrestling. Eddie Belshaw (1st at 134 pounds), Dale Goings (2nd at 145 pounds), Ambrose Rascher (3rd at 174 pounds) and Robert Jones (3rd at 191 pounds) all earned All-American honors to help Thom and Indiana to the NCAA Championship.
Belshaw became the first Hoosier to win an NCAA individual title by defeating Lyle Morford of Cornell at 134 pounds. For his efforts, Belshaw received the National Collegiate Association's Cup, signifying the meet's outstanding wrestler.
Indiana's national prominence continued as Thom and the Hoosiers were always in the national championship picture. Heavyweight Charles McDaniel won NCAA titles in 1935 and 1938, helping Indiana to third place finishes both seasons. Other individual champions under Thom were Pat Devine (1933), Dick Voliva (1934), Chris Traicoff (1939) and Bob Antonacci (1940).