CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – In April 2015, University of Northern Iowa alumna Sandy Stevens (B.A. '62, English teaching) created the Bear and Sandy Stevens Head Wrestling Coach Endowment. Funds from this endowment will be used to support the salary of the UNI wrestling coach position.
"I would not have done this had I not believed in Doug Schwab and the kind of coach he is and the kind of coaches UNI has had and will continue to have," said Stevens. "He has the same high expectations and standards for his wrestlers off the mat as he does on the mat. He is an outstanding example of teaching life lessons but also of caring about the individual, whether that individual is an All-American or someone in the wrestling room working his tail off."
"Sandy's gift is the ultimate legacy," said UNI Director of Athletics Troy Dannen. "Her passion for UNI wrestling is unmatched. There is no doubt that her personal investments in our program will enable UNI wrestling to achieve and sustain long-term success."
Stevens' late husband, Bear (Bob), a UNI alumnus (B.A. ’64, biology and physical education; M.A. ’65, science; Ed.D. '76, Indiana University) wrestled from 1959-63 under head coach Bill Koll. After graduation, Bear taught science and was an assistant wrestling coach. He later became a science teacher and was the first wrestling coach at the newly opened Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids. During his career Bear also served as a junior high and high school administrator.
Stevens went on to lead a nearly 45-year career as a wrestling announcer at NCAA tournaments, the Olympics and other major tournaments. She has received numerous accolades during that time, including the Order of Merit from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Meritorious Service Award from the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the International "Exceptionelle" ranking from United World Wrestling.