Barry Davis

Barry Davis is in his 15th season officially at the helm of the Wisconsin wrestling program. His Badgers finished the 2008-09 dual season with a 9-8-0 overall mark and 3-5 mark in the Big Ten. Davis recorded his 150th career win with an 18-15 victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 21, 2008. He became just the second UW coach to do so, joining George Martin who coached for 32 years and finished 182-163-12. This year marked the 11th time (and 10th-consecutive year) Davis's teams have won at least nine duals.Davis was installed as the 15th head coach in Wisconsin history on March 4, 1994, after serving as the program's interim head coach for the 1993-94 season. In his 15 seasons leading the Badgers, Davis has firmly instilled his values of commitment, intensity, loyalty and energy on the UW program. During his tenure, Davis has coached seven individuals to 11 Big Ten titles, including the latest, Andrew Howe, who captured the 165 lbs. title as a true freshman. Howe is the only true freshman during Davis's tenure to win a Big Ten title. Davis also coached Donny Pritzlaff (165 pounds, 1999, 2000, '01), Keith Davison (190 pounds, 1994), Matt Hanutke (118 pounds, 1994), Eric Jetton (126 pounds, 1997, '98) and Kevin Wilmot (167 pounds, 1997) Tom Clum (125 pounds in 2004 and 133 pounds in 2006) to conference championships. Additionally, 20 of Davis' wrestlers have earned All-America honors while two have claimed NCAA titles. Pritzlaff won back-to-back national championships in 2000 and 2001 and Jeff Walter won the 1996 heavyweight title. Fifty-nine wrestlers have qualified for the NCAA championships under Davis' direction, including current Badgers Zach Tanelli, Kyle Ruschell, Trevor Brandvold, Andrew Howe, Dallas Herbst and Kyle Massey.

CHAMPIONSHIP MENTALITY As a collegian at the University of Iowa, Davis was the winningest wrestler at the winningest program at the university level. Davis graduated in 1985 with a career record of 162-9-1 (.945). He still holds school records for wins in a season (46 in 1982) and career wins (162) and is fourth in career-winning percentage. For his accomplishments, Davis was inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in September of 1998. Davis competed at 118 pounds in 1981-82, at 126 pounds in both the 1982-83 and 1984-85 seasons, and was a redshirt during the 1983-84 season to compete in the Olympics. He dominated the Big Ten, becoming one of only nine wrestlers in history to win four league titles. The Iowa teams on which he competed were equally dominant, winning Big Ten championships in each of Davis' four years. The 1983 Iowa team had an unprecedented nine Big Ten titlists. After his senior season, Davis was honored as the Big Ten's Athlete of the Year, one of only two wrestlers to win the prestigious award. On the national level, Davis was a four-time All-American and a three-time NCAA champion. After placing seventh as a freshman, Davis won national titles in 1982, 1983 and 1985. Iowa won NCAA team titles all four years that Davis competed. Following the 1985 NCAA Championships, Davis was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament.

THE NEXT LEVEL Taking a year off from collegiate competition paid off for the senior-to-be when he earned a silver medal (125.5 pounds) at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Davis was also a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team that competed in Seoul, South Korea. He attempted to make his third Olympic team in 1992, but was eliminated at the U.S. Trials. Davis was also runner-up at the 1987 World Championships after winning the Olympic Sports Festival.

COACH DAVIS' BEGINNING A 1985 graduate of the University of Iowa, Davis began his coaching career as a graduate assistant to legendary head coach Dan Gable from 1986-87. Davis was an assistant coach at Iowa from 1988-92, helping guide the Hawkeyes to four top-six finishes, including NCAA championships in 1991 and 1992. He coached current UW assistant coach Bart Chelesvig from 1987-92. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he captured three state titles and posted a 102-6-1 career record at Prairie High School, Davis was born on Sept. 17, 1961. He married the former Nan Doak in 1986. Nan is a former NCAA champion long distance runner at Iowa and was an alternate on the 1988 United States Olympic team (10,000 meters). Barry and Nan are the parents of two daughters, Amanda and Amy.


  • Born Sept. 17, 1961
  • Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Graduated from Iowa in 1985 with general studies degree
  • Married to Nan and father of two daughters, Amanda and Amy

    Davis' Career Highlights
  • 1983 Pan-Am Gold Medalist
  • 1983 World Team Member
  • Two-time Olympian (Los Angeles, 1984 & Seoul, South Korea, 1988)
  • 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist at 125.5 lbs.
  • Three-time NCAA champion (1982, '83, '85)
  • Four-time All-American
  • One of nine wrestlers to win four Big Ten titles
  • 1985 Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year
  • Member of the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame
  • 1986 World Bronze Medalist
  • 1987 World Silver Medalist
  • Coached six Big Ten champions (Keith Davison, Matt Hanutke, Eric Jetton, Donny Pritzlaff, Kevin Wilmot and Tom Clum)
  • Coached 17 All-Americans (Kevin Black, Tony Black, Kole Clauson, Tom Clum, Keith Davison, Ryan Flaherty, Matt Hanutke, Craig Henning, Dallas Herbst, Grant Hoerr, Eric Jetton, Kyle Massey, Donny Pritzlaff, Tyler Turner, Cory Wallman, Kevin Wilmot and Jeff Walter)
  • Coached two NCAA champions (Donny Pritzlaff and Jeff Walter)
  • Coached 58 wrestlers to a total of 85 NCAA appearances in 14 seasons at Wisconsin
  • Recognized by National Wrestling Hall of Fame as 2007 Distinguished Member
  • Has the second-most wins of any Badger coach and reached the 150-win milestone during the 2007-08 season.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT BARRY DAVIS "From the very beginning, no one has ever questioned Barry's loyalty and intensity with wrestling and life in general. Because of these inherent and developed qualities, he continues to move forward in his personal and professional life." --Dan Gable, Iowa Head Coach, 1976-97 "I would like to commend Barry Davis for his relentless pursuit of serving, promoting, and protecting the sport of amateur wrestling. He has been extremely supportive of many National Wrestling Coaches Association initiatives that have positioned amateur wrestling to thrive in this new Millennium." --Mike Moyer, National Wrestling Coaches Association

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