When you talk about wrestling history in Minnesota the name of Dan Chandler has to be mentioned. This 12-Time National Greco Roman Champion, 3 Time Olympian, 3-Time World place winner (6th place twice and 5th once), twice 2-time Pan American Games Champion (1975, 1979) and a wrestler with 11 international medals would be enough to qualify him as legendary proportions in Minnesota Wrestling. However, his many contributions go well beyond his former status as a Greco Roman Wrestler.
Chandler is a 3-time Olympic Team Coach. He has coached the Senior Greco team since 1982. He has coached the likes of Minnesota greats Jim Martinez – 1984 Olympic Bronze Medalist Dennis Kozlowski – 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist Brandon Paulson – 1996 Olympic Silver Medalist Garrett Lowney – 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist Mike Houck – 1985 World Champion Mike Foy- 1989 World Runner-up
He is a member if the Bartelma Hall of Fame (1992) named 5 times as USA Wrestling National Coach of the year (1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000); US Olympic committee ‘Coach of the year’ for the 2000 Olympics and is a gold level coach with the USAW named in 2004. He has served as Minnesota USA coach for several years and also volunteered his time as a coach on the Minneapolis Park and Rec. program since 1989. He also served as head coach at the University of St. Thomas. Currently he serves as State Coach and General Manager for Minnesota USA Wrestling, Inc.
Chandler got his start as a high school wrestler at Anoka under Coach Ron Malcolm. He went on to the University of Minnesota where he placed 3rd and 4th in the Big Ten and served as Team Captain his senior year for Coach Wally Johnson’s Gopher Teams.
Longtime North Dakota State University Coach Bucky Maughan says, “Dan Chandler is one of the real leaders in making Minnesota wrestling as good as it is. He’s been a major player.” Obviously statements like that show the high regard for Chandler’s contributions to the sport of wrestling. However, the respect he has from the wrestlers he’s coached is phenomenal. Wrestler, Mike Fiedler, says, “When he (Chandler) talks everybody listens. Everybody freezes and watches him. Anything he says a wrestler will do or try to do. You want to impress him.”
Coach Chandler has brought Greco Roman Wrestling to a higher level pf achievement as USA Olympic coach. He coached Rulon Gardner to one of Olympic history’s most historic victories in winning his gold medal by defeating the Russian, Alexander Karelin, a 3-time Olympic Champion! Dan has helped put Minnesota wrestling not only on a national scene but the world scene. He is truly one of the greatest contributors as an athlete and coach to Minnesota Wrestling success and recognition throughout the country and world.
SOURCE: National Wrestling Hall of Fame
1975 Pan American Games Team Member (Mexico City, Mexico), 82kg Gold Medal
1975 World Team Member (Minsk, USSR), 82kg
1976 Olympic Team Member (Montreal, Canada), 82kg
1977 World Team Member (Gothenburg, Sweden), 82kg
1978 World Team Member (Mexico City, Mexico), 82kg
1979 Pan American Games Team Member (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 82kg Gold Medal
1979 World Team Member (San Diego, Calif.), 82kg
1980 Olympic Team Member (Moscow, USSR), 82kg - boycott year
1981 World Team Member (Oslo, Norway), 82kg
1983 Pan American Games Team Member (Caracas, Venezuela), 82kg, Bronze Medal
1983 World Team Member (Kiev, USSR), 82kg
1984 Olympic Team Member (Los Angeles, Calif.), 82kg,
1988 Olympic Team Coach (Seoul, South Korea)
1992 Olympic Team Coach (Barcelona, Spain)
1996 Olympic Team Coach (Atlanta, Georgia)
2000 Olympic Team Coach (Sydney, Australia)
2004 Olympic Team Coach (Athens, Greece)
2008 Olympic Team Coach (Beijing, China)
2012 Olympic Team Coach (London, England)