University of Oregon, United States Marine Corps
Greg Gibson. . .Oregon All-America. . . PAC-10 Wrestler of Year in 1976. . . 1977 USA Wrestling National Freestyle Heavyweight Champion. . . 1980 Greco-Roman World Cup Gold Medal. . . Greco-Roman Silver Medal at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. . .22 Armed Forces Wrestling Titles. . .Born November 20, 1953, in Redding, California . . .Retired Master Sergeant (USMC) ...
Many athletes rise to glory only to fade overnight, but few can be feared and respected over the course of four decades.
Greg Gibson was born on November 20, 1953, in Redding, CA. In high school, Gibson excelled at football and wrestling. After High School Gibson attended Shasta College where he once again dominated both sports and was subsequently noticed by the coaches at The University of Oregon.
He has been called the "most versatile wrestler anywhere, ever" since his collegiate days at Oregon, but he was a pretty amazing football player. He started two seasons at defensive tackle for the Ducks, and though he dreamed of being a professional football player, life led him to wrestling.
Gibson may have been too small as NFL defensive lineman, but his physical stature was perfect as a heavyweight on the wrestling mat. In 1975, he won the PAC-10 Conference title, carrying Oregon to its first-ever team crown, and finished second in successive NCAA Championships, earning All-American Honors each year.
Gibson was named the PAC-10 Wrestler of Year in 1976 and won the 1977 USA Wrestling National Freestyle Heavyweight Championship.
After college Gibson tried out with the National Football League's Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49er's, and Philadelphia Eagles. In 1978, Gibson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. While at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, his athletic prowess made him the talk of the base when he broke the time record for completing the famous Marine Corps obstacle course.
After completing corrections specialist school, Gibson was stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico where he made the All-Marine wrestling team.
As a Marine, Gibson became the first American to win a gold medal at the 1980 Greco-Roman World Cup Wrestling Tournament in Trellborg, Sweden. Gibson dominated the tournament by pinning everyone he faced including the world champion. He went on to capture two more World Cup Greco-Roman Titles in 1984 and 1985.
Between 1981 and 1984, Gibson became one of the most dominant wrestlers in the world, medaling ten times at four International Championships in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman. In 1982, Gibson became the first wrestler to medal in all three wrestling styles when he captured the gold at the Sombo World Cup Tournament. In 1983, Gibson captured the freestyle gold medal at the Pan-American Games and was crowned the Freestyle and Greco-Roman Champion at the World Military Wrestling Championship in France.
Gibson's incredible talent as a wrestler reached an apex when he won the Greco-Roman Silver Medal at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.
Following his stellar performance at the Olympics, Gibson finished the 1985 season winning the USA Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships. In addition, he placed second at the World Greco-Roman Championship, and won his third gold medal at the Greco-Roman World Cup Tournament.
After the 1985 season, Gibson coached the Marine Corps Wrestling Team and also competed for at the Armed Forces Championships.
During Operation Dessert Storm, Gibson deployed as a corrections specialist to Saudi Arabia to help build facilities for U.S. Forces.
After returning from the war, he continued to assist and wrestler for the Marine Corps Wrestling team.
Gibson dominated Armed Forces wrestling, capturing the Armed Forces Wrestling title an unprecedented 22 times in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. In 2001, Gibson won the silver medal during his final career match, launching the Marines to claim their first ever team championship. The 48-year-old Marine showed the heart of a champion as he pinned his Army opponent who was almost half his age.
Throughout his military career, Greg Gibson worked the Marine Corps Recruiting Command making appearances and promoting the Marine Corps proudly. He was named the Marine Corps Athlete of the Year a record three times and was named the Armed Forces Athlete of the Year in 1981.
In May 2003, Greg Gibson retired from the Marine Corps as a Master Sergeant and currently resides in Fontana, California.