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Wrestling Hall of Fame Distinguished Member biography - Terry Brands



Terry Brands elected as Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Two-time World champion and Olympic bronze medalist Terry Brands, who now resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., has been elected as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Terry Brands joins his twin brother Tom Brands, a World and Olympic champion, as a Distinguished Member.

His greatest achievement was winning two World Championship gold medals for the United States in freestyle wrestling, in 1993 in Toronto, Canada and 1995 in Atlanta, Ga. competing at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Only six men athletes in American history have won two or more World freestyle gold medals. Both years that Brands won a World title, the United States also won the freestyle team title, the only two times the USA has won as a team.

Brands won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. After a short retirement, he had made a comeback, defeating Kerry Bowmans in an exciting and dramatic Olympic Team Trials final series. His only loss at the Olympics came in the semifinals, when he was edged by eventual champion Ali Reza Dabir of Iran.

Alongside his brother Tom, also a World champion, he was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, 1993 John Smith Freestyle Wrestler of the Year and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. The Brands brothers became the first U.S. brothers to each win a World title during the same year.

Terry Brands was a two-time World Cup champion and won a gold medal at the 1995 Pan American Games. He was twice a silver medalist at the respected Yarygin Tournament in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Brands won three U.S. Nationals titles, and was runner-up three times. He won the World Team Trials five times, although he missed two World Championships due to injury. He was known as one of the fiercest competitors in the world, always in outstanding condition and always ready to compete at his highest level.

Brands was a three-time finalist and two-time NCAA Div. I champion for the Univ. of Iowa (1990, 1992) competing for the legendary coach Dan Gable. He won three Big Ten titles, as well. Brands ended his career at Iowa with a 137-7 record. He is originally from Sheldon, Iowa, where he was a high school state champion.

He has also developed into a successful and respected coach. Brands served 10 years as an assistant coach on the college level, serving in leadership coaching positions with strong teams at Montana-State Northern, the Univ. of Nebraska and the Univ. of Iowa. He then served three years as the head coach at the Univ. of Tennessee-Chattanooga, helping bring the Mocs program to national prominence.

He is now the National Freestyle Resident Coach for USA Wrestling, working daily with the USA's best freestyle wrestlers. Brands is responsible for the U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athletes who train with him full-time, as well as working with elite athletes who come to Colorado Springs for short-term training programs.

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