Wrestling

UNI’s only Olympic champion Bill Smith is the subject of a new documentary

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Wrestling | No Comments

A new documentary, entitled Bill Smith: A Wrestling Legend, tells the story of the life and career of the oldest living Olympic wrestling champion. Mike is the producer of the documentary, which was filmed by Mike Reese of Atlas Media.

Bill Smith grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and became a wrestling star at Iowa State Teachers College, now the University of Northern Iowa. He was NCAA champion in both 1949 and 1950, and closed out his college career undefeated, missing his senior year of competition due to a fluke in the eligibility system.

Bill also won three AAU national freestyle titles, but the crowning moment came when he captured a gold medal in the 160.5-pound class at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

As a coach, Bill led the San Francisco Olympic Club to seven national team titles and also coached high schools in two separate states (California and Illinois) to team titles, one of just three coaches to ever do that.

Click here for ordering details…

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February and March 2017 Appearances

Thursday, February 9th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

February 10, 2017 – The inaugural class for the Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted prior to the Jefferson basketball game and Mike has been asked to represent Larry and Ted Lawrence, who are both deceased. There will be a social in the Jefferson Cafeteria at 4:30 p.m., with a hall of fame ceremony to follow at 5:15 p.m.

There will also be a brief presentation between the girls and boys varsity basketball games in the gymnasium and then a social and greeting time back in the cafeteria.

Larry Lawrence was an all-state football and basketball player at Jefferson and went on to become a star quarterback at Iowa for two seasons. He also played two seasons each in the Canadian Football League and the NFL. Larry died of heart problems in 2012 at the age of 63. Mike and Larry became good friends when Mike was sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in the years 1978 to 1984 and they even co-hosted the Mr. Iowa contest in 1983, when Larry owned Ra Power Fitness Center. They remained in close contact until Larry’s death. His father, Ted, was a legendary high school coach at Jefferson for many years.
 
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, 2017 – 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.

March 29, 2017 – Mike will be the featured speaker at Flag Day held at the Knoxville Library. He will give a talk on “Iowans of Impact”, based on his book of the same name, and on his book “Triumph and Tragedy” which tells the stories of football heroes Fred Becker and Nile Kinnick, who lost heir lives while serving in World War I and World War II, respectively. The talk begins at I p.m. and is open to the public. Contact the Knoxville Library for further details.

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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 Jake@BranstadReynolds.com

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.

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.

Illinois Hall of Fame honors Mike in April

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 | Awards, Wrestling | No Comments

The Illinois Wriwcoaestling Coaches and Officials Association has announced that Mike Chapman will be among those inducted into its Hall of Fame on April 18. The hall of fame is in its 45th year of recognizing outstanding individuals who have impacted wrestling in the state of Illinois.

Though born and raised in Iowa, Mike worked on three different newspapers in Illinois, for a total of nearly 15 years. His last job in Illinois was as executive editor of Sauk Valley Newspapers in Dixon, from 1988 to 1998. While there, he created WIN magazine, the nation’s top wrestling publication; the WIN Memorabilia Show, held each year during the NCAA Division I tournament with crowds of 10,000 or more, and the Dan Hodge Trophy given each year to the nation’s top collegiate wrestler.

“This was a wonderful surprise,” said Mike, when notified of his selection. “I have great admiration for the wresting heritage of Illinois and I am delighted to be a part of it, however small.”

Continue reading…

Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Wrestling | No Comments

June 7 – Mike will be a special guest and exhibitor at a “catch” wrestling tournament held on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The event is being run by “catch” expert Raul Ramirez and is called the “Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth.” It will feature top competitors in the “catch” style from England and America, “Catch’ was the wrestling style popular in the early 1900s and a win can be claimed only by a submission or pin as there are no points awarded. Bouts 20 minutes. This event will be held Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA, at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-1612. More information is available at www.catchwrestlingalliance.com

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2014 WIN Memorabilia Show

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 | WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

March 20-22 – For the 25th straight year Mike and Bev will be participating in the WIN Memorabilia Show during the NCAA Wrestling Championships, this time in Oklahoma City. The show features over 40 exhibitors and many Olympic and World wrestling champions. Mike’s special guests at his tables will be Dan Hodge, undefeated three-time NCAA champion and the man the Dan Hodge Trophy is named for, and Wayne Baughman, winner of 16 national titles and a member of three Olympic teams and eight World Games teams. Also with Mike and Bev will be Don Huff, co-author with Mike of the book SIDDENS, about legendary West Waterloo High School (Iowa) wrestling coach Bob Siddens. The WIN Show will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday between sessions – at the NCAA Fan Festival, in the Cox Convention Center. Among the special guests at the show will be Olympic champions Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, and John and Ben Peterson, and many other top guests.

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Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

  • July 15, 2017 – 2017 Frank Gotch World Catch Tournament, Humboldt, IA
  • August 3, 20172017 Annual Tarzan Dum Dum, Coldwater, MI
  • August 29, 2017 – Winterset Public Library
  • October 5, 2017 – Monticello Public Library

Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, and Heroes – Order Today!

Order today by calling Culture House at 641-791-3072 or online through Paypal by clicking the button below

Super Book of Wrestling Trivia – Order today!

Order today by calling Culture House at 641-791-3072 or online through Paypal by clicking the button below





Oklahoma Shooter – Back by Popular Demand

Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story is $75 plus $5 for shipping and handling. All copies are signed by Dan Hodge and Mike Chapman. You can order by sending a check or money order for $100.00 to Culture House, P.O.. Box 293, Newton, IA 50208, or by calling 641-791-3072.

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