Oregon College Wrestling History
We have a rich history of intercollegiate wrestling in Oregon. Our colleges and universities have a history of success competing at conference, regional and national levels, and of participating in international exchanges. From 1967 to 1972, Oregon’s high school wrestling programs produced more NCAA All-Americans than any other state (44 total; 6 more than 2nd most Oklahoma).
In the mid 1970’s, Oregon had the 23 college wrestling programs you see below. Today, we have only 7 intercollegiate mens wrestling programs and 5 womens programs at the schools shown in purple in the list below.
View albums of historical images in the RCWOR archives by clicking on the name of the school in the list below. Only schools with names in blue and purple in the list have albums. We need your help collecting historical images for schools with names in black. Please, if you have, or know of someone who may have, photos and articles you can share then contact us and we’ll arrange to collect what you have and add it to our online archive.
Oregon Public Universities
Eastern Oregon University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon State University
Portland State University
Southern Oregon University
University of Oregon
Western Oregon University (Oregon College of Education)
Oregon Private Colleges and Universities
Oregon Community Colleges
OREGON WRESTLING HISTORY
Greg Strobel, 2x NCAA Champion, USA Olympic Team Coach, & National Wrestling Hall of Fame Member
Courtesy of TheMat.com
As a wrestler, coach, and a leader, Greg Strobel did it all. Strobel’s wrestling story began at Scappoose High School in Oregon. He won three state championships at 191 pounds and, at one point during his senior year, Strobel actually coached the team.
Staying close to home, Strobel wrestled at Oregon State under Hall of Fame coach Dale Thomas. His career with the Beavers was exceptional. Strobel was a three-time All- American, compiling a 124-5-1 record.
As a junior at the 1973 NCAA tournament, Strobel was thrown early in his championship finals match at 190 pounds against Johnny Johnson of Northern Illinois before storming back for an 11-7 victory. He became Oregon State’s first ever recipient of the Outstanding Wrestler for his efforts. He finished the season at 39-0, and continued his unbeaten streak into the 1974 season. Strobel capped his senior season with another NCAA title and winning streak of 77 matches.
Strobel’s impact on wrestling continued as a coach, including head coaching stints at the high school, college, and international levels. He will be best remembered for his career as the head wrestling coach at Lehigh University.
From 1994 through 2008, Strobel’s teams compiled a 189-83-1 dual meet record. He led the Mountain Hawks to six EIWA championships, including five in a row from 2002 through 2006. His wrestlers captured 28 individual EIWA titles and 30 All-American honors. Strobel also coached two NCAA champions: Rob Rohn in 2002 and Troy Letters in 2004.
As an international coach, Strobel was just as successful. Prior to arriving at Lehigh he was the National Teams Director for USA Wrestling from 1983 through 1991. Strobel also joined Distinguished Members Dan Gable and John Smith as head coaches of the 2000 United States Olympic freestyle wrestling team. He advanced the sport through key leadership positions at Lehigh and for USA Wrestling. In 2009, Strobel was named Man of the Year by USA Wrestling.
For his diverse wrestling career that includes success at every level, Greg Strobel is recognized as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Ron Finley, Olympian & History Making Coach
Long-time University of Oregon wrestling coach Ron Finley grew up in Newberg, Oregon and won state championships in 1957 and 1958 wrestling for Earl Gillis at Newberg HS. He went on to wrestle for Dale Thomas at Oregon State placing second at the 1961 NCAA National Championship Tournament at 137 pounds.
Finley placed fourth in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in Greco-Roman at 63 kg. He was also a member of three U.S.A. World Teams, placing fourth in the 1962 and 1963 World Championships in freestyle, and sixth at the 1966 World Championships in Greco-Roman.
Finley was the head coach of the historic 1984 U.S. Olympic Team in Greco-Roman, which won the first Olympic medals for the United States in Greco-Roman wrestling. At the time Finley, Bill Hayward, and Bill Bowerman were the only Oregon coaches to lead Olympic teams. Finlay’s 1984 Los Angeles Olympics team featured gold-medalists Steve Fraser (90 kg) and Jeff Blatnick (HWT), plus silver medalist Greg Gibson (100 kg) and bronze medalist Jim Martinez (68 kg). The previous highest finish by U.S. individuals was fourth, including Finley 20 years earlier in Tokyo.