Photo: Sam Janicki

Navy welcomes former Olympian Davis to coaching staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy wrestling head coach Cary Kolat announced the addition of Barry Davis to his staff as an assistant coach on Wednesday.

Davis comes to Annapolis following a 25-year stint as the head coach at Wisconsin. During his tenure with the Badgers, he coached three national champions, 26 All-Americans, 62 NCAA qualifiers and eight Big Ten champions. He is Wisconsin's all-time winningest coach (227-167-11) and led the Badgers to 15 top-20 finishes at the NCAA championship, which included a fourth-place finish in 2010 that tied the best placement in school history. Davis was named the National Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association for his team's finish during the 2009-10 campaign.

"With the rapid changes in recruiting trends over the past few years, I'm excited to announce that coach Barry Davis will be spearheading our recruitment with the Naval Academy wrestling program. Barry has a wealth of experience as both an athlete and a coach," said Kolat. "He has been an assistant coach for Dan Gable at the University of Iowa and then eventually led his own program at the University of Wisconsin. Coach Davis will make a significant impact on our program. His addition to our coaching staff not only strengthens our team, but will enhance the experience of our athletes here at the Naval Academy. He will bring valuable contributions to our program and I'm excited to welcome him aboard."

Davis is well known for having top-level talent in the 165-pound weight class.

He coached two-time 165-pound NCAA champion Donny Pritzlaff (2000, '01) at Wisconsin. Along with his two national titles, Pritzlaff was named an All-American at 150 pounds (sixth) in 1998 and 165 pounds (fifth) in 1999. Additionally, he won three Big Ten titles at 165 under Davis (1999, 2000, '01).

Davis aided Andrew Howe to his first NCAA Division I title at 165 pounds and a perfect 37-0 overall record in 2010. Howe also garnered All-America distinction in 2009 and 2011 for placing second and third, respectively, at nationals. Howe dominated the Big Ten during his three years as a Badger, winning the 165-pound conference title in 2009, '10 and '11.

Isaac Jordan claimed All-America accolades four times under Davis' guidance. He placed seventh in 2014 (157) and 2015 (165) before finishing as the runner-up at 165 pounds in 2016. He capped off his career with a fourth-place effort at 165 pounds in 2017. Jordan also won a pair of Big Ten titles (2015, '16) while working with Davis.

Davis' additional national champion was Jeff Walter, who won the heavyweight title in 1996.

Another big name for Davis during his time with Wisconsin was Tyler Graff, who was named an All-American at 133 pounds four times (2010 - 5th; 2011 - 5th; 2013 - 3rd; 2014 - 2nd).

Davis began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Iowa, during the 1986 and 1987 campaigns. He later served as an assistant coach with the Hawkeyes from 1988-92 before heading to Madison. During his coaching tenure in Iowa City, he helped Iowa win three national championships (1986, '91, '92) and seven-straight Big Ten titles (1986, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91, '92).

Davis is also one of the most decorated athletes in collegiate wrestling as a three-time national champion and a four-time NCAA All-American at Iowa. He won the 118-pound national championship in 1982 and the 126-pound titles in 1983 and 1985. Additionally, Davis was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the 1985 NCAA Championship. His efforts helped the Hawkeyes claim four national team titles (1981, '82, '83, '85).

Davis also led Iowa to four Big Ten championships. He was crowned a champion all four years he competed in the conference tournament and is one of only 18 wrestlers to win four Big Ten titles.

Following his historic senior season, Davis was named the 1985 Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year. He finished his career with a record of 162-9-1. He still holds school records for victories in a single season (46 in 1982) and career wins (162) and is fourth in career-winning percentage (94.5). For his accomplishments, Davis was inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in September of 1998. He was later recognized by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a distinguished member in 2007.

Davis' success in college led to multiple opportunities to wrestle internationally. After winning the gold medal at the 1983 Pan American Games (125.5) as a member of the U.S. World wrestling team, he redshirted the 1984 season to compete for the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team. Davis won a silver medal at 125.5 pounds at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He went on to win a bronze and silver medal at the 1986 and 1987 World Championships, respectively, at 125.5 pounds. Davis was also a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team.

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Davis won three state championships for Prairie High School and compiled a record of 102-6-1. He graduated from Iowa in 1985 with a degree in general studies. Davis is married to Andrea Davidson and has two daughters, Amanda and Amy.