Rico Chiapparelli has been named to the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2024 by the Iowa Letterwinners Club and the University of Iowa Athletic Department. Chiapparelli is one of eight athletes that will be inducted into the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony is open to the public and will begin at 5:30 PM CST on Friday, August 30 in the Feller Club Room at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.


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Chiapparelli, originally from Baltimore, Maryland, had 18 pins in his true freshman season in 1983 and became a three-time All American and three-time Big Ten champion. He ended his career with an NCAA National title at 177 lbs. as a senior in 1987.

Rico was one of the more exciting wrestlers that I can remember for Iowa Wrestling. He had his patented move “The Rico Roll” and is one of the best scramblers that I ever watched in the Black and Gold of Iowa Wrestling.

In International competition Chiapparelli was a USAW national champion at 180.5 lbs. in 1989.

Chiapparelli founded RAW (Real American Wrestling) in 1996 and was a pioneer in Mixed Martial Arts. Fighters competing for RAW included UFC champions Randy Couture and Dan Henderson. RAW was the dominant camp in the early days of the UFC when MMA was a new and upcoming sport.


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Rico Chiapparelli, Wrestling (1983, 1985-87)

1987 National Champion at 177 pounds… three-time All-American… also finished fourth at NCAAs at 177 in 1986 and fifth at 177 in 1985… three-time Big Ten champion (1985, 1986, 1987)… held Iowa to three NCAA team titles (1983, 1985, 1986) and four Big Ten titles (1983, 1985-87)… recipient of the Mike Howard Award, presented to Iowa’s Most Valuable Wrestler, in 1987… had 18 pins during the 1983 season, a total that ranks in top 10 in program history… had 49 career falls, which are tied for fourth in the record books.

Congratulations Rico “The Baltimore Butcher” Chiapparelli for being named for this prestigious award.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!