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As with many young boys in Iowa, Ben Hupke got hooked on the sport of wrestling at a young age.  The story goes that as an 8-year old young Ben called his dad after competing in a neighboring town’s Saturday wrestling tournament. He had actually traveled to nearby Marcus, Iowa with neighborhood friends and entered on his own.

Over the years, Hupke organized trips with his hometown Cherokee wrestling buddies to Veterans’ Auditorium, a.k.a. the “Big Barn” and the state wrestling meet in Des Moines.  This may not seem like a big deal, but Hupke started when he was still an “ankle-biter,” a sixth grader.  A lucky chaperone turned out to be a long-time Cherokee booster and wrestling fan, Stan Sitzmann saying, “It was quite an experience.  Ben organized everything.  He knew just what we were doing every second we were there. We got there and we’d evaluate each match.” 

The tradition of wrestling in his family started with his father, the first wrestling coach at Bishop Heelan Catholic School in Sioux City, IA.  A multi-sport coach, his father instilled techniques at an early age and taught them about Dan Gable.  Family pictures show the Hupke sons with their football chinstraps taped to their ears, “grappling” on the floor at ages 3 and 4. “Ben was drawn to wrestling because of his intensity and desire for competition,” his father Leo recalls.

Wrestling, a “family” sport due to the extreme commitment drawn from every family member, is also one where you see a lot of the same last names.  For years, Iowa legendary Coach Dan Gable spoke of his interest in recruiting brothers because of their intensity.  This was true in Hupke’s case, as he and his two brothers competed daily at home.  He won the only head-to-head “official” brother match. It was a 11-1 triumph over his younger 7 year-old brother who today confesses threw the match to make the older look good. As they grew, it was an intense brother rivalry that made each other better.  “Some of the best matches I’ve seen these guys wrestle took place on our living room floor.  Course, they broke some stuff, but it was them cutting their teeth.” 

His high-school conference, the Lakes Conference featured teams like Sheldon, Spencer, Estherville, and Emmetsburg.  The Lakes Conference was the dominate powerhouse in gutsy Class 2A Iowa wrestling during the 1970’s and 80’s.  Incidentally, Hupke prepped at the time when Tom and Terry Brands were starting their successful careers at Sheldon High School.  Other notable wrestlers went on to successful Division I careers at the University of Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa.

A four-sport letter winner his junior and senior years of high-school, Hupke found statewide success on the mat twice qualifying and placing third as a senior.  He later was recruited at Division III powerhouse Wartburg College where he was a four-year letter winner.

Upon graduation, Hupke put his Mass Communication degree to work in the radio and television field.   He left after several years to pursue a more lucrative career in business.  However, the competitive fire and passion for wrestling never went away and after several successful years in the insurance industry he got back to radio and sports broadcasting, to be close to the sport he loved.  Doors quickly opened at the local, state and national level.

It was 2005, and his athletic experience, combined with radio and television reporting were all proving the right mix for success in broadcasting the sport of wrestling.  He was living in wrestling rich Northeast Iowa and the Cedar Valley.  This is one of Iowa’s most fertile wrestling areas for dominate high-school wrestling in the Midwest.

Hupke’s collegiate broadcast experience ranges from the National Wrestling Tournament to the National Duals.  He also produced the weekly Brad Penrith Show during his stint as the “voice” of UNI Wrestling. Hupke’s also a broadcasting regular at one of the nation’s premier high-school wrestling tournaments, the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament.

“Ben’s exceptional pre-match preparation is his strength.  Of course he sounds great but he does great work in his pre-match interviews.  He’s always very careful to dignify the athletes and coaches while doing what a broadcaster must, being honest.” Mike Allen, Hall of Fame NCAA & Iowa High School Wrestling Official 

For the past three season’s Hupke served as the hold-by-hold voice for the University of Northern Iowa Wrestling Program.  One of only three Division I programs to consistently broadcast wrestling on the radio, UNI administration determined to eliminate the coverage.

But as every wrestler that has achieved success will attest, it’s not whether you get knocked down, but when you do, will you get back up.

Today, Hupke travels the state of Iowa promoting wrestling!

Success in wrestling is like success in life, it’s a journey not a destination.  There are always greater and greater opportunities before us, if we just keep our focus, and get up one more time.

We hope that throughout the course of the season you enjoy the broadcast of the oldest and greatest sport the world has ever known, as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.

All of the productions and commitment to its excellence are inspired and dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Hupke’s niece, Bailey Elizabeth Hupke.

Division I Wrestling Sports Announcer

  • University of Northern Iowa Wrestling
  • 2007-2010 Season
  • Dual Meet, Regional and National Competitions
  • Brad Penrith Weekly Promotional Show

Division III Wrestling Promotions and Announcing

  • Wartburg College Wrestling
  • 2006, 2007, 2008,2009, 2010 IIAC Conference Wrestling Championships
  • 2006 NCAA III National Wrestling Championships
  • Coach Jim Miller

Iowa High School Wrestling Promotions and Announcing

  • Waverly-Shell Rock High School 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Don Bosco, Nashua-Plainfield, Waterloo Columbus
  • Iowa State Wrestling Tournaments
  • Live coverage of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 tournaments

Successful Officiating Career (College Division III, IHSAA, and Youth Wrestling Official)

  • Selected to work Premier National Wrestling Events
  • Tulsa Nationals, Tulsa, OK
  • Reno Nationals, Reno, NV

Lifelong Development of Wrestling (College, High School, Youth)

  • Division III Athlete, Wartburg Wrestling
  • Assistant Wrestling Coach, South Sioux City Nebraska
  • Hupke’s Youth Club Wrestling Academy, Northwest Iowa
  • Clinician Youth Wrestling Camps