November 2016 through March 2017 Appearances

Sunday, October 30th, 2016 | Book Signing, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

November 12 – Mike will be one of the featured speakers at the Jack Van Bebber Lifetime Achievement Celebration held in conjunction with the Perry Memorial Wrestling Memorial event in Perry, Oklahoma. The event begins at 11:30 in downtown Perry and is open to the public. Van Bebber was Olympic champion in 1932 and was an undefeated, three-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma A&M. Other speakers will be John Smith, head coach at Oklahoma State and a 6-time World/Olympic champion, and Lee Roy Smith executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Stillwater. Van Bebber is one of 34 wrestlers profiled in Mike’s popular book “Legends of the Mat,” along with another Perry legend, Dan Hodge.

November 19 – Mike will be appearing at Governor Branstad’s Birthday Bash at the Place Theater at Adventureland Park, beginning at 5 p.m. . He will be signing copes of his book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”. He will also have copies of his historical novel LOWELL PARK for sale. It is the story of an Iowa girl who travels back in time to meet both a young Abe Lincoln in 1832 and a young Ronald Reagan in 1932, in the same location now known as Lowell Park. The movie rights have been purchased by a movie company and it is currently in pre-production status with a noted Hollywood director, Charles Robert Carner, assigned. Matt Bevin, Kentucky Governor, and Tom Cotton, Arkansas Senator, will be special guests at the Birthday Bash. For more information on prices and seating, contact Jake Ketzner at

March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

Thoughts on Muhammad Ali’s Passing

Saturday, June 4th, 2016 | Uncategorized | No Comments

mike-about-aliWith the passing of Muhammad Ali today, I find myself reflecting back on two occasions that I spent time with “The Greatest” They are among the most cherished moments of my 35-year journalism career and I would like to share them with all the Facebook friends of my three children, Jacquie, Jenny and Jason. The picture you see here is of me and Muhammad in Cedar Rapids on June 6, 1982.

In my opinion, Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) is the greatest heavyweight boxing champion ever, and maybe even the greatest sports figure of all time. It has been stated that during his peak years as champion, in the 1970s, his was the best known name on the planet. You could travel to the far corners of the civilized world, or to tiny huts in small African villages, and more people would recognize the name Muhammad Ali than that of any other person alive, including presidents, kings, queens and movie stars.

The first time I was around Ali was in the winter of 1978 when I was managing editor of the Daily Sentinel newspaper in Woodstock, Illinois, about sixty miles northwest of Chicago. One morning at my desk, I read in a Chicago newspaper that Ali was going to hold a sparring session in the Windy City Boxing Club. I turned to my sports editor, Don Doxsie, and said, “Grab your camera …. and let’s go see Muhammad Ali.”

Continue reading…

Upcoming Events for 2016

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 | Uncategorized | No Comments

April 9-10, 2106 – During the Olympic wrestling trials at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Bev and Mike will have a booth with various books, posters and memorabilia for sale. The booth will be part of the WIN Fan Festival in downtown Iowa City, from 2-6 p.m. both days.

April 11, 2016 – At the 47th annual inductions into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame held in Cresco, Mike will introduce his longtime friend Jim Duschen, who is being inducted. Mike and Jim have been friends for over 55 years and are graduates of East Waterloo High School. They wrestled on the same team at the Mare Island Naval Station in 1963 and Jim went on to become an All-American at Iowa State, a Greco-Roman national champion twice, 1973 World team member and a coaching legend in the state of Nevada.

April 30, 2016 — Mike will be the guest speaker at the Charles City Excellence in Education Foundation’s fundraising and awards banquet at the Charles City Elks Lodge on April 30. The event is not open to the public.

May 13-14, 2016 – Mike will be a featured guest at the ceremonies in Perry, Oklahoma, honoring Dan Hodge and Jack VanBebber, both undefeated three-time NCAA champions in college and Olympic medal winners. The city of Perry has created a large area across from the county courthouse to honor Dan and Jack with statues, and all other great wrestlers from the city, one of the top wrestling towns in America. Many dignitaries are attending, including Dan and Dolores Hodge and their family.

July 3, 2016 – The first ever Frank Gotch Catch World Championships will be held in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of the legendary Frank Gotch — and Mike is one of the event organizers. He will have a booth of wrestling memorabilia on display at the event at Humboldt High School, and also many of his books and posters for sale. Catch wrestling is the type of wrestling that Gotch participated in during the start of the 20th Century and involves joint-lock submission holds not allowed in amateur wrestling.

Book Signings with Governor Branstad

Monday, February 1st, 2016 | Book Signing, Books, Radio | No Comments

Mike will be travelling the state to do some book signings with Governor Terry Branstad for the recently released biography about Branstad ““Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story.” Here are some dates:

  • Feb. 2 – Newton YMCA from 11:20 am-12:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 9 – Sullivan Brothers Museum, Waterloo, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.


On Feb. 4, 8:30 am. — Mike will be on the Van and Bonnie radio talk show on WHO (1040) in Des Moines, talking about the book.
On Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m. — Governor Branstad and Mike will be on KXEL radio (1540) in Waterloo taking about the book.

You can listen live to both radio stations on their sites.

Mike’s Latest Book on Gov. Terry Branstad Now Available

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 | Books | No Comments


Holding his latest book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”, Mike Chapman (left) poses with the governor on Dec. 14 at a banquet celebrating Branstad becoming the longest serving governor in American history. Some 1,300 persons attended the event and each was given a copy of the book with their ticket. Mike worked on the book for 18 months and conducted interviews with 33 different people, and had 10 private meetings with the governor. The book can be purchased on Amazon and will soon be available at various book stores around the state. Book signings with the governor and Mike are being scheduled at various locations. It is Mike’s 28th published book.

Upcoming Events for 2015 and 2016

Sunday, December 6th, 2015 | Book Signing, Speaking | No Comments

December 10, 2015 – Mike will be part of the Pints and Politics program hosted by The Gazette newspaper of Cedar Rapids to discuss the legacy of Governor Terry Branstad. Mike has written the governor’s biography and will be one of several panelists discussing the governor’s record-setting career. The event will be held Dec. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lion Bridge Brewing Company, 16th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids. The public is invited but seating is limited.

January 12, 2016 – Mike has been invited to discuss his popular book “Triumph and Tragedy” at the noon luncheon of the Altoona United Methodist Church at 602 5th Avenue in Altoona. The book was written in 2010 and tells the story of four legendary football players from the state who met tragic ends. They are Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-American football player who was killed in combat along the Western Front in World War I; Jack Trice, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a 1923 football game for Iowa State University; Nile Kinnick, Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner who was killed on a pilot training mission off the coast of Venezuela on June 2, 1943, and Drake’s Johnny Bright, who was the top offensive player in the nation before being injured in a foul play during a game in 1951, knocking him out of the running for the Heisman Trophy. Mike has given the speech numerous times around the state, emphasizing the great qualities in these men and explaining why their stories are so relevant yet today.

January 29, 2016 – Columbia University in downtown New York City is celebrating “Nat Pendleton Night” at the wrestling dual meet against Harvard, and Mike will be the guest at a book signing and will give a speech on Nat’s role in the history of wrestling in America. Mike is the author of a new book called “Pendleton: The Amazing Story of Columbia’s Wrestling Olympian and Star of Hollywood”. Nat Pendleton was born in Iowa in 1895 and became one of America’s first amateur wrestling stars, winning two national titles and a silver medal in the 1920 Olympics. He then moved to Hollywood and appeared in nearly 100 movies, from the 1920s through the 1940s.

April 30, 2016 — Mike will be the guest speaker at the Charles City Excellence in Education Foundation’s fundraising and awards banquet at the Charles City Elks Lodge on April 30. The event is not open to the public.

July 3, 2016 – The first ever Frank Gotch Catch World Championships will be held in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of the legendary Frank Gotch — and Mike is one of the event organizers. He will have a booth of wrestling memorabilia on display at the event at Humboldt High School, and also many of his books and posters for sale. Catch wrestling is the type of wrestling that Gotch participated in during the start of the 20th Century and involves joint-lock submission holds not allowed in amateur wrestling.

SPECIAL NOTE: As the author of the forthcoming book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”, Mike will be appearing with Governor Branstad at select book signings around the state. Dates have not yet been set but will be included here when the schedule is announced.

Upcoming Events for Mike for 2015

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 | Book Signing, Books, Movie Scripts, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

May 18 – As the author of 27 books, Mike will be speaking to a creative writing class at West Waterloo High School, talking to young students about the joy of writing and how to get started as a writer. He will also discuss his latest adventures in Hollywood, with two movie projects under way. Mike has talked to these West Waterloo writing classes five times in recent years for Donna Huff, teacher extraordinaire (and wife of wrestling coaching legend Don Huff) and enjoys it very much.

June 27-30 – One of the biggest wrestling events of the summer is set for June 27-July 2 in Orlando, Florida, where the Scholastic Duals Wrestling Tournament will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Over 1,600 wresters are expected to compete. The AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame banquet will be held on June 29, and Mike will be the featured speaker at the banquet. Mike was inducted into the AAU hall of fame in 2005 but this is the first year he has been able to attend the event. Mike and Bev will have several tables of wrestling items for display and for sale during the wrestling tournament.

July 11 – Mike and Bev will be the guests at the 2015 Midwest National Wrestling Tournament in Bloomington, Illinois. The event will be held at the Shirk Center on Illinois Wesleyan University campus, with over 1,000 wrestlers expected to compete. Mike and Bev will have several tables of memorable items for display and books, posters and card for sale. Plan to stop by and visit them.

Sept. 15 – On this date, Mike will be the featured speaker at the “Golden Opportunities” program for senior adults at the First Baptist Church in Marshalltown, beginning at 11 a.m. He will talk about his books “Triumph and Tragedy” and “Lowell Park”, as well as his overall writing career.

Mike on No Holds Barred: Nat Pendleton, Catch and College Wrestling Star

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 | Books, Radio, Wrestling | No Comments

Mike was a guest on No Holds Barred, hosted by Eddie Goldman, discussing his recently completed book on undefeated college wrestler, 1920 Olympic silver medalist wrestler, pro catch wrestler and shooter, and Hollywood actor Nat Pendleton

The conversation covered Pendleton wrestling for Columbia (which had the first college wrestling program in the country), where he never lost a match; his national tournament titles; his Olympic silver medal; and his days as in the pro wrestling world.

The conversation also covered a legendary pro catch wrestling match which Nat Pendleton had in 1923 with the great John Pesek, which is one of the last real, or shoot, matches in pro wrestling. Held in Boston with heavy newspaper coverage, Pesek was able to defeat Pendleton by submission in two straight falls.

Finally, there was discussion on the legacy of Nat Pendleton for college wrestling and his alma mater, Columbia; the lessons of the devolution of catch wrestling last century into a staged spectacle; what the re-emerging catch wrestling movement of today has to learn about good governance of the sport and the battle against corruption from the tragedy of the real sport’s demise in the past; and much more.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Source: Podomatic

Listen to more No Holds Barred on Podomatic or iTunes.

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