University of Iowa Women’s Wrestling head coach Clarissa Chun has been named for the 2024 National Wrestling Coaches Association Trailblazer Award. The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) announced that Chun along with Gary Abbott and Ashley Flavin are members of the inaugural group to be named for this honor.

This award is to recognize those who have championed the sport of women’s wrestling at the collegiate level.

The Leadership Group from the NCAA and NAIA voted for the Trailblazer Award.

The 2024 Trailblazer Awards will be presented at the Celebration of Women in Wrestling on July 27 as a part of the 2024 NWCA Convention in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.


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From USA Wrestling:

Clarissa Chun, the first women’s wrestling coach at Power 5 institution and head coach of the 2024 NCWWC Champions in the Iowa Hawkeyes, was the first girl’s high school wrestling state champion in Hawaii in 1998. After a collegiate career at Missouri Valley College, she went on to represent the United States at 48 kilograms at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. Chun won the bronze medal in London, and also wrestled at five Senior World Championships, taking the gold medal at the 2008 Worlds in Tokyo.

One of only four females to earn Distinguished Member honors as a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, Chun won five U.S. Open titles. She was a 2011 Pan American Games silver medalist and won four gold medals at the Pan American Championships. She was a runner-up at four U.S. World Team Trials and three U.S. Opens, in a career which spanned 18 years competing at the Senior level. After retiring from competition, Chun became an assistant coach for the USA Wrestling women’s national team from 2017-2021, helping lead the US to 17 World medals, including seven gold, four silver and six bronzes, as well as an Olympic gold, Olympic silver and two Olympic bronzes.


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The University of Iowa became the first NCAA Division I power five conference college to add women’s wrestling in 2021 and Chun was named the program’s first head coach on November 18, 2021.

In Iowa’s inaugural season, Chun led the Hawkeyes to a 16-0 record in dual competition and broke the world attendance record for women’s wrestling in their first dual inside of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa won NCWC National Duals and the NCWWC national team title. The Hawks had six individual national champions and 12 All-Americans.

Congratulations Coach Chun for being named for this prestigious award.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!