CEDAR FALLS | Doug Schwab, one of this year's recipients of the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association President's Award, said being raised in Osage made him who he is today.
"It's a special place to grow up in," said Schwab, 41, now the head wrestling coach at the University of Northern Iowa.
Osage High School has produced a lot of great wrestlers over the years, and Schwab said he's proud to be part of that legacy.
"It's a source of pride in the community," he said.
Schwab, along with Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands and Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser, were presented with the President's Award during this year's Iowa High School Wrestling State Championship at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Each year the president of the IWCOA honors an individual or individuals who have made an impact on the sport of wrestling either as a participant, coach or promoter of the sport.
This year's honorees, all Iowa natives, have impacted wrestling as head coaches of the state's three Division I programs and as competitors at both the high school and collegiate levels.
Schwab, who wrestled for Osage High School, won the 130-pound Class 2A state title in 1996, before becoming a three-time all-American and 1999 NCAA champion at 141 pounds at Iowa. He represented the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Schwab also is a member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association's Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Schwab said being at the state wrestling tournament to receive the award brought back a lot of memories, especially seeing the young wrestlers warming up for their matches in the finals.
"There's nothing like it," he said.
Schwab's brothers, Mike and Mark, were also standouts for the Green Devils.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum announced on Feb. 28 that it has selected the Schwab family as this year's recipient of the Bowlsby Family Legacy Award reserved for a family with ties to Iowa that collectively excelled in wrestling.
Mike Schwab was an Iowa state champion in 1981 while Mark was a four-time state champion from 1982-85.
Mike was an All-American for the University of Northern Iowa, finishing eighth at the NCAA tournament in 1987, while Mark was a two-time All-American for UNI, finishing fifth in 1986 and sixth in 1990.
Doug Schwab said his brothers were a big influence on him. So was his sister, Julie, and their parents, the late Phil and Sue Schwab.
Doug described his younger self as "a wild and crazy kid."
He said wrestling gave him a good outlet for his energy.
Schwab, who weighed just 103 pounds when he was a high school freshman, said the sport also gave him an athletic opportunity he would not have had otherwise.
He said wrestling gives "little guys" a chance to participate in sports and "be the hero."
Schwab is in his ninth season as head coach for the UNI wrestling team.
The Panthers are heading into the Big 12 Tournament on March 9-10 with a conference record of 7-1 and an overall record of 7-5.
Schwab said he still pays attention to how the Osage wrestling team is doing, noting they just completed another good season by finishing third in state duals.
He said he's "always going to be part Green Devil."