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NCAA Wrestling Championships History of the D1 Team Race (1920’s to Present)

The Division 1 NCAA Wrestling Championships History starts in 1928 when Oklahoma State won the first team tournament under head coach E.C. Gallagher.

Since that time, a lot has changed with the sport of wrestling. However, the one factor remains the same: the team title race is always fierce.

Take a look at the NCAA Wrestling Championships History from the 1920’s until present day.

Team Tournament History & Results

Below is a comprehensive list of the NCAA Wrestling Championships team tournament history, including champions, runners-up, and point totals.

Please note, there was no tournament from 1943-1945 due to World War II or in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

YearChampionCoachPointsRunner-UpPointsHost/SiteDeficit
1928Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher-Iowa State, Michigan-Iowa State-
1929Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher26.0Michigan18.0Ohio state8.0
1930Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher27.0Illinois14.0Penn State13.0
1931Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher-Iowa State-Brown0.0
1932IndianaW.H. Thorn14.0Oklahoma State11.0Indiana3.0
1933Iowa State / Oklahoma StateHugo Otopali / E.C. Gallagher29.0Lehigh0.0
1934Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher29.0Indiana19.0Michigan10.0
1935Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher36.0Oklahoma18.0Lehigh18.0
1936OklahomaPaul Keen14.0C. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State10.0Washington & Lee4.0
1937Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher31.0Oklahoma13.0Indiana State18.0
1938Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher19.0Illinois15.0Penn State4.0
1939Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher33.0Lehigh12.0Frankline & Marshall21.0
1940Oklahoma StateE.C. Gallagher24.0Indiana14.0Illinois10.0
1941Oklahoma StateArt Griffith37.0Michigan State26.0Lehigh11.0
1942Oklahoma StateArt Griffith31.0Michigan State26.0Michigan State5.0
1943NO TOURNAMENT
1944NO TOURNAMENT
1945NO TOURNAMENT
1946Oklahoma StateArt Griffith25.0Northern Iowa24.0Oklahoma State1.0
1947Cornell CollegePaul Scott32.0Northern Iowa19.0Illinois13.0
1948Oklahoma StateArt Griffith33.0Michigan State28.0Lehigh5.0
1949Oklahoma StateArt Griffith32.0Northern Iowa27.0Colorado State5.0
1950Northern IowaDavid McCuskey30.0Purdue16.0Northern Iowa14.0
1951OklahomaPort Robertson24.0Oklahoma State23.0Lehigh1.0
1952OklahomaPort Robertson22.0Northern Iowa21.0Colorado State1.0
1953Penn StateCharles Speidel21.0Oklahoma15.0Penn State6.0
1954Oklahoma StateArt Griffith32.0Pittsburgh17.0Oklahoma15.0
1955Oklahoma StateArt Griffith40.0Penn State31.0Cornell9.0
1956Oklahoma StateArt Griffith65.0Oklahoma62.0Oklahoma State3.0
1957OklahomaPort Robertson73.0Pittsburgh66.0Pittsburgh7.0
1958Oklahoma StateMyron Roderick77.0Iowa State62.0Wyoming15.0
1959Oklahoma StateMyron Roderick73.0Iowa State51.0Iowa22.0
1960OklahomaThomas Evans59.0Iowa State40.0Maryland19.0
1961Oklahoma StateMyron Roderick82.0Oklahoma63.0Oregon State19.0
1962Oklahoma StateMyron Roderick82.0Oklahoma45.0Oklahoma State37.0
1963OklahomaThomas Evans48.0Iowa State45.0Kent State3.0
1964Oklahoma StateMyron Roderick87.0Oklahoma58.0Cornell29.0
1965Iowa StateHarold Nichols87.0Oklahoma State86.0Wyoming1.0
1966Oklahoma StateMyron Roderick79.0Iowa State70.0Iowa State9.0
1967Michigan StateGrady Peninger74.0Michigan63.0Kent State11.0
1968Oklahoma StateMyron Roderick81.0Iowa State78.0Penn State3.0
1969Iowa StateHarold Nichols104.0Oklahoma69.0BYU35.0
1970Iowa StateHarold Nichols99.0Michigan State84.0Northwestern15.0
1971Oklahoma StateTommy Chesbro94.0Iowa State66.0Auburn28.0
1972Iowa StateHarold Nichols103.0Michigan State72.5Maryland30.5
1973Iowa StateHarold Nichols85.0Oregon state72.5Washington12.5
1974OklahomaStan Abel69.5Michigan67.0Iowa State2.5
1975IowaGary Kurdelmeier102.0Oklahoma77.0Princeton25.0
1976IowaGary Kurdelmeier123.5Iowa State85.8Arizona37.8
1977Iowa StateHarold Nichols95.5Oklahoma State88.8Oklahoma6.8
1978IowaDan Gable94.5Iowa State94.0Maryland0.5
1979IowaDan Gable122.5Iowa State88.0Iowa State34.5
1980IowaDan Gable110.8Oklahoma State87.0Oregon State23.8
1981IowaDan Gable129.8Oklahoma100.3Princeton29.5
1982IowaDan Gable131.8Iowa State111.0Oklahoma & Oklahoma State20.8
1983IowaDan Gable155.0Oklahoma State102.0Iowa53.0
1984IowaDan Gable123.8Oklahoma State98.0Maryland25.8
1985IowaDan Gable145.3Oklahoma98.5Iowa State46.8
1986IowaDan Gable158.0Oklahoma84.3Oklahoma & Oklahoma State73.8
1987Iowa StateJim Gibbons133.0Iowa108.0Maryland25.0
1988Arizona StateBobby Douglas93.0Iowa85.5Iowa7.5
1989Oklahoma StateJoe Seay91.3Arizona State70.5Oklahoma & Oklahoma State20.8
1990Oklahoma StateJoe Seay117.8Arizona State104.8Maryland13.0
1991IowaDan Gable157.0Oklahoma State108.8Iowa48.3
1992IowaDan Gable149.0Oklahoma State100.5Oklahoma & Oklahoma State48.5
1993IowaDan Gable123.8Penn State87.5Iowa State36.3
1994Oklahoma StateJohn Smith94.8Iowa76.5North Carolina18.3
1995IowaDan Gable134.0Oregon state77.5Iowa56.5
1996IowaDan Gable122.5Iowa State78.5Minnesota44.0
1997IowaDan Gable170.0Oklahoma State113.5Northern Iowa56.5
1998IowaJim Zalesky115.0Minnesota102.0Cleveland State13.0
1999IowaJim Zalesky100.5Minnesota98.5Penn State2.0
2000IowaJim Zalesky116.0Iowa State109.5St. Louis6.5
2001MinnesotaJ Robinson138.5Iowa125.5Iowa13.0
2002MinnesotaJ Robinson126.5Iowa State104.0Albany22.5
2003Oklahoma StateJohn Smith143.0Minnesota104.5Kansas City38.5
2004Oklahoma StateJohn Smith123.5Iowa82.0St. Louis41.5
2005Oklahoma StateJohn Smith153.0Michigan83.0St. Louis70.0
2006Oklahoma StateJohn Smith122.5Minnesota84.0Oklahoma City38.5
2007MinnesotaJ Robinson98.0Iowa State88.5Auburn Hills9.5
2008IowaTom Brands117.5Ohio State79.0St. Louis38.5
2009IowaTom Brands96.5Ohio State92.0St. Louis4.5
2010IowaTom Brands134.5Cornell90.0Omaha44.5
2011Penn StateCael Sanderson103.5Cornell89.5Philadelphia14.0
2012Penn StateCael Sanderson143.0Minnesota117.5St. Louis25.5
2013Penn StateCael Sanderson123.5Oklahoma State119.5Des Moines4.0
2014Penn StateCael Sanderson109.5Minnesota104.0Oklahoma City5.5
2015Ohio StateTom Ryan102.0Iowa84.0St. Louis18.0
2016Penn StateCael Sanderson123.0Oklahoma State97.5New York25.5
2017Penn StateCael Sanderson146.5Ohio State110.0St. Louis36.5
2018Penn StateCael Sanderson141.5Ohio State134.5Cleveland7.0
2019Penn StateCael Sanderson137.5Ohio State96.5Pittsburgh41.0
2020CANCELLEDMinnesota
2021IowaTom Brands129.0Penn State113.5St. Louis15.5
2022Penn StateCael Sanderson131.5Michigan95.0Detroit36.5

Best Teams of All-Time

In the history of NCAAs, only 12 teams have ever won the tournament. Oklahoma State has won the most NCAA team titles (34), followed by Iowa (24), and Penn State (10).

Program success has ebbed and flowed over the years. Oklahoma State started as a powerhouse program in the early days of wrestling (1920s-1950’s) until Iowa rose to dominance under Coach Dan Gable (1970’s-1990’s).

Over the past decade (2010’s-2020’s), Penn State has proven to be the “team to beat.” The Nittany Lions are the current reigning NCAA Champions.

Best Wrestling Coaches

The winningest coach in the history of the tournament is Iowa’s Dan Gable, who won 15 titles. Gable coached some of the best Iowa Hawkeyes of all-time.

This includes nine straight titles from 1978-1986. Oklahoma State’s E.C. Gallagher won 11 titles, and Penn State’s Cael Sanderson may soon catch them with 9 current team titles.

All-Time Records

Even with rule changes throughout the years, NCAA Wrestling teams continuously challenge the tournament and set new records. Below is a sampling of those impressive feats:

  • Most Team Titles by Program: 34 by Oklahoma State
  • Most Team Titles by Coach: 15 by Dan Gable
  • Most team points scored: 170 by Iowa (1997)
  • Most All-Americans: 10 by Minnesota (2001)
  • Most NCAA Champs: 5 by Iowa (1997, 1986) Oklahoma State (2005), and Penn State (2017, 2022)

50+ Bucket List Items for Wrestling Fans

  • ✅ Go to NCAAs
  • ✅ Witness Iowa vs PSU
  • ✅ Meet John Smith
  • ✅ & 50+ other activities

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