Clarion University Wrestling Room to be Named for Former Head Coach Bob Bubb

CLARION, Pa. – For decades, the name Bob Bubb has been synonymous with Golden Eagle wrestling.

(Photo courtesy of National Wrestling Coaches Association)

From the summer of 1966, when he accepted the position of head wrestling coach, to the final time he walked off the mat in 1992, Bubb and his student-athletes accomplished things even the most loyal Golden Eagle fans may have thought impossible.

On January 30, his name will no longer be just symbolically linked with Clarion wrestling. It will be permanently affixed, as the wrestling training facility in Tippin Gymnasium is officially renamed for the legendary coach. The unveiling will occur between dual matches on that day, prior to the start of the match against Kent State.

“I am thrilled that Coach Bubb’s name will forever be part of our Tippin Gymnasium,” said Clarion president Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson. “He has made an impact on not only our program, but also all of collegiate wrestling. The stories that I hear from his former student-athletes tell of a man who was concerned with not only building great wrestlers, but also great men. He and Marsha’s continued support of Clarion, both for the university and our community, truly cannot be measured.”

“We are pleased to announce that our wrestling training room will be officially named for Coach Bubb,” said Clarion Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Wendy Snodgrass. “He has made countless contributions to Clarion University – first as a coach, and later as a tireless advocate and promoter of our student-athletes. I am proud to say that his name and legacy will remain a permanent fixture for all who walk these halls, and will serve as an example for what it means to be a Golden Eagle.”

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In his 26 years as Golden Eagle head coach, Bubb led Clarion wrestling to its greatest heights, turning them from a small and relatively unknown program to the so-called “Little Giants of Wrestling.” The Golden Eagles burst onto the scene in the early 1970s, when Clarion produced five Division I national champions from 1972-73. Wade Schalles won back-to-back national titles in those years, while Bill Simpson, Don Rohn and Garry Barton also reached the top rung of the podium. Bubb would later go on to coach Kurt Angle to national championships in 1990 and 1992, with Angle eventually winning Olympic gold in 1996.

As a team, the Golden Eagles competed with some of the very best in the nation. They recorded four top-10 and eight total top-15 team finishes at the NCAA Division I Championships. His squads combined for 27 Division I All-American honors, 29 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) individual championships and 68 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) individual championships. The team won three EWL dual meet championships (1980, 1981, 1986) three EWL Team Tournament Championships (1980, 1994, 1995) and 11 PSAC Tournament championships. Because of these successes at the conference level, Bubb was three times voted the EWL Coach of the Year and twice the PSAC Coach of the Year.

In his 26 years at the helm of the Clarion program, Bubb amassed a coaching record of 322-121-4, giving him a 72.5 winning percentage. In 1986 he was voted the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year after the Golden Eagles went 17-0-1. When he retired in 1992, he was one of only four coaches in wrestling history to surpass 300 career wins.

After his time coaching the Golden Eagles, Bubb went on to become the Executive Director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) from 1995-99, as well as the Secretary Rules Editor to NCAA Wrestling. He has been honored by a slew of Halls of Fame in his career, including the Clarion Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010.


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