Barry Davis (wrestler)

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Barry Davis
Personal information
Full name Barry Alan Davis
Born September 17, 1961 (1961-09-17) (age 57)
Bloomfield, Iowa, U.S.

Barry Alan Davis (born September 17, 1961) is an Olympic silver medalist and World champion medalist in freestyle wrestling. From 1994 until 2018, he served as head wrestling coach at the University of Wisconsin.

Early life

Davis was born in Bloomfield, Iowa to Elmer and Carol Davis, and grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He credits the support and work ethic of his parents as contributing to his drive to succeed in athletics. Davis attended Cedar Rapids Prairie High School, where he was a three-time state wrestling champion (the second individual from the Cedar Rapids metro area to achieve that distinction), and earned a career prep record of 102-6-1.

College career

At the University of Iowa, Davis wrestled on coach Dan Gable's team. During his college career, Davis was a four-time NCAA Division I all-American, and a three-time Division I champion wrestler. He was named NCAA Outstanding Wrestler in 1985, and was also named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year that same year. Barry Davis' career record at Iowa was 162-9-1. As of 2007, he continues to hold University of Iowa records for season victories (46 in 1982), and career victories (162).

International competition

Davis was champion in freestyle wrestling (125.4 lb) at the 1983 Pan American Games, and a member of the 1983 U.S. World wrestling team. In 1984, he took a redshirt year from college athletics, to compete on the 1984 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, winning a silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Davis competed in World championships again in 1986 and 1987, earning a bronze medal and a silver, respectively. In 1988 he was once more a member of the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, but did not earn a medal.

Coaching career

Barry Davis served as graduate assistant coach at the University of Iowa from 1986–1987, and as assistant coach from 1988–1992. In 1992, he attempted a third-time membership in the U.S. Olympic team, but did not achieve a place on the team. Davis has been head wrestling coach at the University of Wisconsin since 1994. On March 5, 2018, Davis announced that he would resign as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers at the end of the 2017-18 season.[1]

Davis was married to Nan Doak in 1986. Nan also attended University of Iowa where she was a six-time All-American in track and field and cross country prior to becoming a United States national champion in the marathon.[2][3]

Athletic achievements

  • Three time Iowa state high school champion in wrestling
  • 1982 NCAA Division I Champion, 118 lb class
  • Two-time NCAA Division I Champion, 126 lb class (1983, 1985)
  • 1983 Pan American Games champion, freestyle, 125.4 lb
  • 1983 Member of U.S. World wrestling team
  • Four-time NCAA Division I all-American
  • 1984 Olympic silver medalist, 125.5 lb
  • 1985 Big Ten Athlete of the Year
  • 1985 NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler
  • 1986 World championship bronze medalist, 125.4 lb
  • 1987 World championship silver medalist, 125.4 lb
  • 1988 Member of U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team


See also


  • Pilcher, K. J. (2007-12-28), "The Gazette's Top 40 – Our Greatest Athletes: Barry Davis", The Gazette
  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Barry Davis". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.


  1. ^ "Wisconsin wrestling coach Barry Davis resigns". March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

  • Barry Davis at United World Wrestling
  • Barry Davis at
  • Nan Doak-Davis and Barry Davis article from the Des Moines register
  • at the Wayback Machine (archived May 4, 2009)
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