Lake in the Hills, IL- ISI’s Jim Herff suggested we do a feature on local wrestling and football great Rich Powers. Little did we know that not only was Rich a great interview but he is the Kevin Bacon of USA wrestling. Much like Six Degrees of Bacon, we reveal our own Six Degrees of Rich Powers, a family wrestling game.
We will get Rich’s insight on John Derango, Steve Patton, Tim Haack, Don Penza, Mike Garvey, Jim Patton, Mark Schultz, Dave Schultz, John DuPont and many more.
1986-87 was a great year at Marian Central Catholic HS for Rich. He followed up his 1985-86 IHSA wrestling championship at 167 pounds with a repeat performance. Powers and his fellow Hurricanes went 12-2 and also won the 2A IHSA football crown. It was pleasure meeting Rich, enjoy!
Click here to listen to Panther and Hurricane wrestling great Rich Powers:
Rich Powers finished his Panther wrestling career tied for the most wins in school history with 134 and was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American. Powers, a native of Harvard, Ill., put together a career mark of 134-25-1 from 1988 through 1992. Powers also notched 54 career falls to rank third on UNI’s all-time pins list – trailing only Kirk Myers (61) and Justin Greenlee (57). In his freshman season, he earned a spot on the Amateur Wrestling News’ Freshman All-America team. Powers went 25-9-1 in the 1988-89 season, which included seven wins by fall and five by technical fall. He won his first NCAA West Regional title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 11 seed in the 177-pound weight class. Powers earned his first All-America honor as a sophomore with a fifth-place finish in the 177-pound bracket. Powers entered the 1990 NCAA Championships as the No. 6 seed in College Park, Md. He won his first match but dropped his second before righting the ship and producing four straight wins to clinch his first All-America honor. He was ranked in the top-10 throughout the entire season. He notched a team-best 18 pins, which is the fourth-highest single-season total in program history. Powers came back in 1991 as a junior with an overall mark of 44-4 and took fourth place in the NCAA’s 177-pound weight class. His 44 wins are tied for the second-most in a single-season in UNI’s history. He won his third consecutive NCAA West Regional title and was named the regional’s Outstanding Wrestler. Powers entered the 1991 NCAA Championship meet seeded No. 2 in his weight class in Iowa City. Powers would reach the semifinals after winning his first four matches of the tournament. Powers defeated Iowa State’s Matt Johnson in the NWCA All-Star Meet, 4-2. Powers spent the first half of his junior season ranked No. 1 in the nation at 177 pounds. Powers completed his senior season with a mark of 29-4 and another fifth-place tally in the 177-pound bracket. Powers entered the 1992 NCAA Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla., seeded No. 1. Powers again reached the national semifinals before dropping a decision. Powers fought his way back in the back draw and notched a fall in 1:33 in his final collegiate match against No. 10-seeded Steve Williams (North Carolina State) in the fifth-place match. Powers is one of nine UNI wrestlers to be a three-time NCAA Division I All-American. He won his fourth consecutive NCAA West Regional title, and was named the Outstanding Wrestler for the second straight year. He recorded 19 falls as a senior to rank as the third-highest single-season total in UNI history. *
* Courtesy of UNI Panther Athletics