President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dan Gable in the Oval Office of the White House on Monday. Photo by Doug Mills/UPI/Pool | License Photo
Dec. 7 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday to Olympic wrestling gold medalist and collegiate coaching great Dan Gable.
Gable won a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich and finished his collegiate career at Iowa State with a record of 117-1.
Gable later went on to become one of the most successful college wrestling coaches of all-time over a span of 21 years at rival Iowa. His Hawkeye teams won 15 national championships and he coached a total of 152 All-Americans before retiring in 1997.
"Mr. Gable is undoubtedly one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time," the White House said in a statement. "Gable has earned many well-deserved accolades for his unmatched accomplishments."
A member of the United States of America Wrestling Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, Gable said being named a recipient of the presidential medal was emotional.
"It was one of those emotional times, and I was looking at a picture of my family and it broke me up," Gable said. "It's one of these things that when I walk around the yard and talk to myself, I might cry a little bit."
Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands, who wrestled under Gable as a student-athlete there, said he learned a lifetime of lessons from the legendary coach.
"My brother and I are keen on the lessons we learned from him," Brands said. "That will never change. This award is awesome because it puts Dan Gable in context and brings him back front and center. Gable was a winner. He did not lose."
The Medal of Freedom is one of the nation's two highest civilian honors, which pays tribute to an "especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Trump gave the Medal of Freedom to former college football coach Lou Holtz on Thursday.