HUMBOLDT — Kevin Dresser knew he was coming home to Humboldt for a wrestling dual on Sunday.
Dresser had no idea what else the high school had planned.
The 1981 Humboldt High School graduate brought his eighth-ranked Cyclones into the Wildcat gym for a matchup against top-ranked (NAIA) Grand View. Iowa State, which was competing in Humboldt for the second straight season, cruised to a 40-0 win over the Vikings.
During the meet’s intermission, Humboldt honored Dresser as the first-ever Wildcat placed in the school’s wrestling Hall of Fame.
Joining Dresser in the inaugural Hall of Fame class is former Wildcat state champion Justin Hanson.
The crowd also shared a moment of silence for Humboldt graduate Frank Marchant, another ex-Wildcat champ who recently passed away.
Marchant had a career record of 126-20. He was a two-time state placewinner.
Dresser laughed about being the last to find out about Humboldt’s plan.
“I just found out a day or two ago,” Dresser said on Sunday. “I think they just put me in because I was here for the weekend.
“In all seriousness, though, It’s an honor.”
During his high school career, Dresser compiled a record of 112-11-1. He was a four-time time medalist, winning state championships his junior and senior year.
“I’ve been back home more in the last five years than entire time since I graduated,” Dresser said. “I didn’t come home much from 1981 until 2017. Humboldt is home and it’s great to be here.”
Dresser wrestled at the University of Iowa for Dan Gable, and was a two-time All-American. He was a Big Ten champion in 1985 and 1986, and an NCAA champion at 142 pounds in 1986.
Dresser was a member of five NCAA championship teams, and was named the Hawkeyes’ Most Outstanding Wrestler in 1986.
Dresser then coached high school wrestling in Virginia, where he led Grundy High School to eight state titles. He was the Christiansburg High School coach for 10 years, winning five state crowns.
The Humboldt native was hired at Virginia Tech in 2006. He coached seven All-Americans, and in 2013, was named ACC coach of the year.
Dresser has been the Iowa State head coach since 2017.
Hanson joins Dresser in the inaugural class for Humboldt.
“I’m humbled and honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Hanson said. “Humboldt has a long tradition with the sport of wrestling. I looked up to guys like Frank (Marchant) and Kevin (Dresser).
“They paved the way for guys like me.”
The 2004 graduate broke Dresser’s career wins mark in the program, finishing his career at 135-11. Hanson was a four-time medalist for the Wildcats, winning state twice and reaching the finals three times.
Both Dresser and Hanson are in the North Central Conference record books together. Dresser was the second four-time NCC champion, and 23 years later, Hanson was third.