June 20, 2014
MADISON, Wis.—Former Wisconsin wrestling standout Jim Jordan will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for the class of 2014 on Saturday, June 21 at the 38th-Annual Honors Banquet and Induction ceremony in Stillwater, Okla.
The Hall of Outstanding Americans demonstrates wrestling's pride in those who have used the disciplines of the sport to launch notable careers in other walks of life, such as science and technology, business and industry, government and the military, and the arts and humanities. New classes are inducted annually.
“It is humbling to be honored in such a way by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame,” Jordan said. “Through the sport of wrestling, I learned lessons about hard work and discipline that I have carried with me throughout my life. I’ve been blessed to have the support of a loving family and great coaches throughout my life, but I am particularly thankful for my experience in Badger wrestling and what it has meant to me and so many others who have been a part of one of the best programs in history.”
Jordan, a native of Champaign County, Ohio, graduated from Graham High School in 1982 as a four-time state wrestling champion with a record of 150-1. Jordan wrestled for the Badgers at 134 lbs. from 1982-1986 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics. During that time, he was a three-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion.
Jordan finished his career with a 156-28-1 collegiate record and still holds the record for most career wins in school history. His 49 victories in 1985-86 also set the Wisconsin single-season record. Among his many other accomplishments, Jordan was a two-time Big Ten conference titlist and a 1985 National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star. His career was highlighted by his defeat of eventual six-time World and Olympic champion John Smith of Oklahoma State in the 1985 NCAA finals to win his first of two NCAA crowns.
“It’s a very elite status,” current Wisconsin head coach Barry Davis said of Jordan’s HOF induction. “He deserves it for his wrestling and his service in congress. He also deserves it for what he’s done to save Olympic wrestling.”
After graduating, Jordan returned to his home state to serve as an assistant coach at Ohio State from 1986-94 where he also earned his master’s degree in education and then later earned a law degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Jordan was elected to the Ohio General Assembly in 1994 and served three terms as a state representative of the 85th Ohio House District. In 2000, he won a seat in the Ohio Senate by a margin of 88 percent. He has represented Ohio’s 4th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since January 3, 2007. Jordan has received several awards during his tenure as a congressman, including National Legislator of the Year, the Freedom Fighter Award and the Thomas Jefferson Award.
Jordan’s brother, Jeff, also wrestled at Wisconsin and was a two-time All-American, Jim’s son Ben was an All-American in 2012 and son Isaac is a current member of the Badgers.
Jordan becomes the fourth former Badger to be elected into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the first to be inducted into the Hall of Outstanding Americans. Other Badgers in the Hall of Fame include Russ Hellickson, Lee Kemp and former head coach George Martin.