Kevin Jackson

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Kevin Jackson
Coach Kevin Jackson, ISU Head Wrestling Coach (6217569505) (cropped).jpg
Jackson in 2011
Weight82 kg (181 lb)
BornNovember 25, 1964 (1964-11-25) (age 57)[1]
Highland Falls, New York, U.S.[1]
High schoolLansing Eastern
State championships3
CollegeIowa State University
NCAA championships1 Team Championship
StatusHead Development Coach at Olympic Training Center, Former Coach of Iowa State University
Coach Kevin Jackson, ISU Head Wrestling Coach (6217569505) (cropped).jpg
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight199 lb (90 kg; 14.2 st)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout1
By submission3
By submission2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Kevin Andre Jackson (born November 25, 1964 in Highland Falls, New York)[1] is an American retired freestyle wrestler and mixed martial artist, graduated folkstyle wrestler and current wrestling coach at the United States Olympic Training Center.

During his international career, Jackson became an Olympic Gold medalist in 1992, a two-time World Champion (1991 and 1995), a three-time World Cup Gold medalist (1993, 1995 and 1997, bronze in 1994) a two-time Pan American Games Gold medalist (1991 and 1995) and a two-time Pan American Champion (1990 and 1991). In folkstyle, Jackson was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American, thrice for the LSU Tigers and once for the Iowa State Cyclones after the Louisiana State University dropped the wrestling program.[2] He also stepped into the UFC Octagon in four occasions, winning his first two bouts and losing the next two, all finishing via submission.[3] After spending the last four years as USA Wrestling's[4] National Freestyle Developmental Coach, Jackson made the move to Ann Arbor, MI to serve as an Assistant Wrestling Coach for the University of Michigan.[5]


High school[edit]

The native of Lansing, Mich., won two state high school championships for Eastern High School before becoming a Junior National Greco-Roman wrestling champion.


As a college wrestler, he attended LSU and earned All-America honors three times before the school dropped the sport. He transferred to Iowa State for his senior year and captained the Cyclones’ last NCAA championship team (1987), earning another All-America award with an NCAA runner-up finish and registering a 30-3-1 record.


In 1992 he won a gold medal in wrestling and was invited to join "Team Foxcatcher", but was let go the next year when John du Pont started getting paranoid delusions and did not want anything black in his estate, from cars to horses to people. Soon after, Jackson won two Pan American Games titles and was a member of World Championship teams for the United States in both 1993 and 1995. He won three U.S. National Titles and placed second five times. Jackson also became the first American to win the prestigious Takhti Cup (1998) in Tehran, Iran. During his post-collegiate competitive career, Jackson also assisted with the Cyclone Wrestling Club (1989–92) and volunteered with the Arizona State (1997) program.

Jackson participated in mixed martial arts in 1997, when he joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship to become only the 2nd Olympic Gold medalist wrestler to step in the octagon,[6] eventually winning the UFC 14 Light Heavyweight tournament. He fought Frank Shamrock for the inaugural UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC Japan, but lost via armbar submission. He retired from MMA competition in 1998 after six fights.

Jackson's success earned him a number of major awards, including the 1995 John Smith Award as National Freestyle Wrestler of the Year, 1992 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year and 1991 USA Wrestling and USOC Wrestler of the Year. Jackson is a member of the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame, the United States National Wrestling Hall of Fame (as a distinguished member) and the Iowa State University Athletics Hall of Fame. In October of 2019, Jackson was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame and is the only wrestler to be inducted.

Jackson has worked extensively as a wrestling coach. He was head coach of the Sunkist youth development program, National Freestyle coach for USA Wrestling for eight years (2001–08) and the freestyle wrestling coach for two United States' teams at the Olympics. Jackson was the freestyle coach at the Olympic Training Center and head coach for the U.S. Army team at Fort Carson (1998–2001).[7]

In June 2017 Kevin went back to the Olympic Training Center as a US National Team head development coach[citation needed]

Championships and awards[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
6 matches 4 wins 2 losses
By knockout 1 0
By submission 3 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 4–2 Sam Adkins Submission (armbar) Extreme Challenge 18 May 15, 1998 1 4:21 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Loss 3–2 Jerry Bohlander Technical Submission (armbar) UFC 16 March 13, 1998 1 10:23 Kenner, Louisiana, United States Fight of the Year (1998).
Loss 3–1 Frank Shamrock Submission (armbar) UFC Japan December 21, 1997 1 0:16 Yokohama, Japan For the inaugural UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 3–0 Tony Fryklund Submission (choke) UFC 14 July 27, 1997 1 0:44 Birmingham, Alabama, United States Won the UFC 14 Light Heavyweight Tournament.
Win 2–0 Todd Butler TKO (submission to punches) 1 1:27
Win 1–0 John Lober Submission (arm-triangle choke) Extreme Fighting 4 March 28, 1997 2 1:12 Des Moines, Iowa, United States


  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Kevin Jackson". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  2. ^ "Kevin Jackson | National Wrestling Hall of Fame". Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  3. ^ Fighting, M. M. A. (May 1, 2009). "UFC 14 winner Kevin Jackson to coach at Iowa State". MMA Fighting. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "Kevin Jackson's Freestyle Wrestling Fundamentals - Wrestling -- Championship Productions, Inc". Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "Kevin Jackson - Assistant Coach - Staff Directory". University of Michigan Athletics. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  6. ^ "UFC Olympic Gold Medalist wrestlers". Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "Kevin Jackson Named ISU Head Wrestling Coach – Iowa State University Athletics Official Web Site – – The home of Iowa State Cyclone Sports". Retrieved February 10, 2012.

External links[edit]