|KRAFT WRESTLING CENTER|
For his 47 years of involvement with the Northwestern wrestling program, the Wildcats' new wrestling facilities are named in honor of Ken Kraft. Kraft was a four-year member of the Wildcat wrestling squad and NU's head coach for 22 years. He is second all-time among Northwestern wrestling coaches with 124 victories. In 2004, Kraft retired after spending 51 years at NU as an athlete, coach and administrator. He remains active, however, as an integral part of the annual Midlands Championships at Northwestern, the tournament he founded in 1962 that has become one of the most prestigious amateur wrestling tournaments in the nation.
The Ken Kraft Wrestling Complex is part of the new Anderson Hall renovations. It contains three 42'x42' mats, almost doubling the former wrestling room size. It houses coaching offices and locker rooms, features a widescreen television and DVD player for wrestlers to study their opponents, contains a state-of-the-art sound system and has two broadband Internet connections. In 2009, Northwestern added a photo Wall of Fame to the entrance of the facility highlighting the top 20 wrestlers in Northwestern history. The facility opened in the summer of 2005.
"The new facility has a nearby locker room, modern amenities and is among the best in college wrestling," Kraft said.
As a student-athlete at NU, Kraft competed in the 167-pound weight class, winning the 1957 Big Ten Title. After graduation, Kraft took over the head coaching duties, compiling a 128-106-5 record in his 22 years at the helm. During that time, he coached 14 All-Americans, two of which were national champions.
Kraft also spent time in front of the cameras as a commentator for ABC Wide World of Sports during the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. In addition, he has served on the U.S. Wrestling Federation Governing Council and Executive Committee, and was president of the association from 1972-76. In 1998, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.