Competitors Hall of Fame: Gary Kipfmiller

Hall of Fame – 1998
University of Nebraska
at Omaha

Gary wrestled in the heavyweight division at Buena Vista High School in Saginaw, Michigan. How , then, did he come to Nebraska? It seems that he really enjoyed wrestling and playing football. But he was considering pro-wrestling at the urging of Louie Cline from Michigan. Then there was the chance to try out for the Olympics. In addition, several colleges wanted him due to his great athletic ability in two sports: wrestling and football. His pick was Ames, Iowa to try out for the Olympics. He wrestled both freestyle and Greco-Roman and that is when UNO Coach Don Benning had a chance to catch this young man in action. He immediately offered him a scholarship and Gary came to Nebraska. He wrestled for UNO from 1969-1972 and also played football. There was no break in the seasons, he went from one sport right into the other, which lets us in on the amount of stamina and love for athletics this man had. The South Omaha Sun spoke of him as “the Big Man On Campus” due to his size but his accomplishments also come into play here. He won 63 matches during his college career which was No 4 on the All-Time List and now ranks 39th. He was a 2x All American, finishing 3rd at heavyweight in 1970 and claimed the National Crown in 1972. This event, along with his being drafted by the New York Jets to play football were the highlights of his athletic life. Gary passed away June 6, 1987. His wife, Cathy Kipfmiller, accepts his plaque presented by his former coach, Don Benning (Hall 1985).

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