Most High School Wrestling State Championships
I spent my childhood around high school wrestling thanks to my father's career. He was a high school wrestling coach in Alaska, which meant I spent some really cold winters shuffling from practices to weekend-long tournaments to middle-of-the-week dual meets. My first memories of sports are actually of high school wrestling, cheering for my father's teams and wrestlers as they chased one, all-encompassing goal — take state.
To understand the sacrifice of a high school wrestler is also to understand the importance of what it means to be a state champion, either as a team or as an individual, and what that means to the communities and the schools where those champions come from. In the history of sports in the United States, these high school teams have done it more than any others.
These are the high schools with the most high school state wrestling championships across the country.
20. Waterloo West High School — 17 State Championships
Location: Waterloo, Iowa
State championships: 1942-46, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1959, 1965-67, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1977, 1989
Notable coaches: Bob Siddens, Don Huff
Notable wrestlers: Dan Gable, Jimmie Stoyanoff, Dick Hauser, Tom Huff
All state wrestling championship totals are from NFHS record books and Stadium Talk research.
Bottom Line: Waterloo West High School
Waterloo West's greater claim to fame than owning 17 state championships is being home to arguably the greatest wrestler of all time, 1966 graduate Dan Gable, who was an undefeated, three-time state champion in Iowa high school wrestling.
Gable went on to become a two-time NCAA champion at Iowa State, world champion and gold medalist at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where he didn't surrender a point over six matches. As a coach, Gable led the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA Division I national championships from 1976 to 1997.
19. Millard High School — 18 State Championships
Location: Fillmore, Utah
State championships: 1939, 1941, 1954, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001-04, 2006-10, 2012, 2013, 2019
Notable coaches: Blake Turner, Marshall Sheriff, Jim Porter
Notable wrestlers: Mark Pentz, Wade Eldredge, Eric Searle, McKinley Smith
Bottom Line: Millard High School
The first of five high schools from Utah to make this list, Millard High had a 40-year break between state championships from 1954 until its next title in 1994.
Millard had its most dominant decade in the 2000s, winning four consecutive titles from 2001 to 2004 and five consecutive titles from 2006 to 2010.
Mark Pentz is still the only four-time state champion in Millard history, winning four consecutive titles from 2003 to 2006.
18. Omaha South High School — 19 State Championships
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
State championships: 1931-33, 1935-37, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1956-60, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967
Notable coaches: Beau Haizlip
Notable wrestlers: Richard Brown, Robert Yambor, Russell Newquist, Don O'Connor, Norm Sorenson, Paul Gerjevic
Bottom Line: Omaha South High School
Omaha South remains on this list despite not having won a state championship in 56 years. The last title for the Packers came in 1967.
In Omaha South's heyday, they were the toast of Nebraska high school wrestling, winning multiple titles in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
Despite not winning a state title since 1967, Omaha South still holds the state record with 124 individual state champions.
16. Coventry High School — 20 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Coventry, Rhode Island
State championships: 1972, 1974, 1982-98, 2022
Notable coaches: Charlie Gaffney
Notable wrestlers: Frank Pucino, Hayden Myers
Bottom Line: Coventry High School
Coventry High owns Rhode Island's premiere high school wrestling dynasty, including a staggering 17 consecutive state championships from 1982 to 1998.
Coventry gave its fans a taste of the old ways in 2022, when it won its first state title in 22 years with 11 individual medalists and two state champions under head coach Charlie Gaffney.
16. Skutt Catholic High School — 20 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
State championships: 1998-2010, 2012-18
Notable coaches: Brad Hildebrandt
Notable wrestlers: Kasey Kohl, Todd Meneely, Tyler Sackett, Thomas Gillman, Korbin Meink
Bottom Line: Skutt Catholic High School
Skutt Catholic set the Nebraska state record with 13 consecutive state titles from 1998 to 2010 — not bad considering the school didn't even open its doors until 1993.
Skutt Catholic knocked out its next seven state titles all in a row from 2012 to 2018 and its five four-time state champions are more than any school in Nebraska history. Skutt Catholic also owns the state records for most points in a state meet with 256 (2008) and most state champions in one year with seven each in 2006 and 2008.
Of Skutt Catholic's 20 state championships, 17 came under the leadership of former head coach Brad Hildebrandt, who led the program from 1993 to 2015.
13. Pleasant Grove High School — 21 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Pleasant Grove, Utah
State championships: 1971, 1972, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1991-97, 2011-16, 2018-20
Notable coaches: Darold Henry, Brock Moore
Notable wrestlers: Brian Blain, Rocky Smart, Rangi Smart
Bottom Line: Pleasant Grove High School
Pleasant Grove is home to a pair of four-time state champions in Brian Blain and Rocky Smart and won seven consecutive state championships from 1991 to 1997 before winning six consecutive state championships from 2011 to 2016.
Blain and Smart were teammates for three seasons from 1994 to 1996, winning three consecutive state team titles in their time together.
13. Parkersburg High School — 21 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Parkersburg, West Virginia
State championships: 1948, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1957-59, 1962, 1965, 1979, 1971, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1992-94, 2007, 2008
Notable coaches: Bob Dutton, Joe Handlan, Russ Pfalzcraf, Scheny Schenerlein, Jim Scott,
Notable wrestlers: Andy Thomas, Brandon Rader, John Martin Best, Mike Lantz, Jordan Nolan, Doug Rexroad, Lou Thomas, Gary Tuttle
Bottom Line: Parkersburg High School
Parkersburg High head coach Bob Dutton's run produced seven state championships from 1951 to 1976, but those titles deserve much more weight because they came when all of the schools in West Virginia competed in one class.
Parkersburg High's last state title in wrestling came in 2008, meaning the 2010s saw an end to a run of seven consecutive decades with at least one state title dating back to the 1940s.
13. Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School — 21 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
State championships: 1974, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1995-2001, 2003-07, 2009-12
Notable coaches: Lewie Benitz, Scott Benitz
Notable wrestlers: Josh Hansen, Jeff Brundridge, Jim Hamel, Rocky Biegel, Jere Hamel, Travis Tritz, Kevin Tritz, Josh Chappa, Jared Jaminski
Bottom Line: Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School
Wisconsin Rapids won its first 13 state championships under head coach Lewie Benitz, then won its next eight state titles under a combination of either Lewie Benitz and his son, Jason Benitz, as co-head coaches before Jason Benitz took over as head coach in 2010.
Wisconsin Rapids hasn't won a state title in Wisconsin high school wrestling since 2012, and its wrestling dynasty came undone due to an ugly scandal that led to a six-figure settlement in 2014 for a deaf wrestler who was sexually abused, bullied and harassed by teammates.
The lawsuit uncovered a decades-long history of a "win at all costs" culture by the coaching staff and led to criminal charges against several wrestlers.
12. Phillipsburg High School — 22 State Championships
Location: Phillipsburg, New Jersey
State championships: 1983, 1986-89, 1991, 1992, 1995-2000, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2014-16, 2018, 2022
Notable coaches: Rick Thompson, Bob Jiorle, Mike Rossetti, Dave Post
Notable wrestlers: John Barna, Sid Fowler, Dave Boncher, Greg Troxell, Pete Poretta, Jewel Gonzalez
Bottom Line: Phillipsburg High School
The biggest evidence of Phillipsburg's continued success in high school wrestling lies with its head coaches. Since winning its first state title in 1983 under Rick Thompson, all six head coaches have won at least one state title in their time at Phillipsburg, including three different stints by Thompson.
Phillipsburg's latest state championship in 2022 represented the fifth consecutive decade the school has won a state title. Even with all that success, only one wrestler in school history has won three individual state titles — John Barna won three state championships in three different weight classes from 1980 to 1982 but ironically never won a team state title.
8. Wasatch High School — 23 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Heber City, Utah
State championships: 1957, 1960, 1973, 1983, 1984, 1993-97, 2000, 2001, 2003-08, 2015-17, 2019, 2020
Notable coaches: Wade Discher, Steve Sanderson
Notable wrestlers: Cael Sanderson, Cody Sanderson, Steve Cordova, Chauncey Ripple, Cole Sanderson, Trevor Sweat
Bottom Line: Wasatch High School
Wasatch High winning a state title in 2020 — the 23rd in school history — was part of a bigger part of the school's overall dynasty as it represented the eighth consecutive decade with at least one state title for Wasatch dating back to the 1950s.
Wasatch was also home to arguably the greatest wrestler of all time — 1997 graduate Cael Sanderson. Sanderson was a four-time state champion for his father, head coach Steve Sanderson, and went undefeated over his college career at Iowa State, winning four consecutive NCAA Division I national championships before winning an Olympic gold medal in 2004.
8. Jefferson High School — 23 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Jefferson, Georgia
State championships: 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2001-18, 2021
Notable coaches: Jack Keen, Doug Thurmond
Notable wrestlers: Hunter Garner, Kyle Baird
Bottom Line: Jefferson High School
Jefferson High produced both of its four-time state champions in a seven-year stretch with Hunter Garner (2000-2003) and Kyle Baird (2004-2007).
Former Jefferson High head coach Doug Thurmond, who retired in 2019, finished his legendary career with 18 state championships before handing the reins of the powerhouse program to Baird.
Thurmond gave one of the all-time great quotes when he was asked about his retirement in 2019. "In all honesty, I haven't won anything," said Thurmond, who led his team to 18 consecutive team titles from 2001 to 2018. "But our team has won a lot."
8. Granby High School — 23 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
State championships: 1949-61, 1963-71, 1993
Notable coaches: Billy Martin
Notable wrestlers: Olka Johnson, Peter Blair, Abe Martinez, Dan Butler
Bottom Line: Granby High School
Only one high school on this list can claim that it changed the sport of wrestling, and that's Granby High School and legendary head coach Billy Martin, who won 21 state titles in 22 seasons from 1949 to 1970.
Martin was the inventor of the "Granby Roll" — a move that can give a wrestler an advantage from an inferior position and part of the "Granby System" that is still the basis of teaching wrestling all over the country.
Martin was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980, becoming one of the first high school wrestling coaches to be inducted.
8. Uintah High School — 23 State Championships (Tie)
Location: Vernal, Utah
State championships: 1958, 1959, 1968-73, 1975-80, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990-92, 1998, 1999
Notable coaches: Dennis Preece, Leo Conk
Notable wrestlers: Brandon Bowden, Pat Jenkins, Levi Mele, Brian VanTassell, Jared Wallace
Bottom Line: Uintah High School
Uintah High had an amazing run from 1968 to 1970, winning 12 state championships in a 13-year stretch, with Dennis Preece as the head coach during that entire stretch.
Uintah was dominant through the 1980s and 1990s, winning five state titles in each decade, but hasn't won a title since 1999.
7. Parkersburg South High School — 25 State Championships
Location: Parkersburg, West Virginia
State championships: 1975, 1983-85, 1990, 1991, 1995-97, 1999-2002, 2005, 2009-12, 2015-21
Notable coaches: Paul Jackson, Tim McCartney, Rod Oldham
Notable wrestlers: Justin Allman, David Jeffrey, Gavin Quiocho, Braxton Amos, Brad Dornick, Brayden Johnson, Jason Johnson, Luke Martin, Darren Moore, Scott Moore, Brayden Roberts, Rich Underwood, Jim Weatherholt
Bottom Line: Parkersburg South High School
Parkersburg South has produced three four-time state champions since 2009 — David Jeffrey (2009-2012), Justin Allman (2014-2017) and Gavin Quiocho (2018-2021), with Quiocho winning all of his titles in different weight classes.
Parkersburg South is one of two schools from Parkersburg — alongside Parkersburg High — to make the list. Parkersburg South was most dominant in the 2010s, when it won eight state titles, including five consecutive to close out the decade.
6. Paulsboro High School — 33 State Championships
Location: Paulsboro, New Jersey
State championships: 1983-2007, 2009-11, 2016-20
Notable coaches: Paul Morina
Notable wrestlers: Tom Curl, Jermaine Ruffin, Matt Suter
Bottom Line: Paulsboro High School
Paulsboro is the very best high school program in wrestling-rich New Jersey, kicking off its dynasty by winning 25 consecutive state championships from 1983 through 2007, which is one of the longest state title streaks in any high school sport in U.S. history.
Paulsboro's domination in the Colonial Conference also brought it national attention — 307 consecutive wins over 37 years, stretching from 1971 until 2008. In a true testament to its dominance as a team, Paulsboro has never had a three-time individual state champion.
5. Delta High School — 34 State Championships
Location: Delta, Utah
State championships: 1955, 1956, 1961, 1963-67, 1974-81, 1985-93, 2002, 2009-15, 2017
Notable coaches: Ladd Holman, Ronald Petersen, Jim Porter
Notable wrestlers: Allen Lake, Jim Cox, Joel Holman, Justin Penn, Rick Porter, Sean Thomas
Bottom Line: Delta High School
Delta owns the most state titles of the five high schools from Utah to make the list, winning 17 of its 34 state championships in a 20-year stretch from 1974 to 1994.
Before that, Delta won a whopping 159 consecutive dual meets from 1962 to 1971.
In all of its great history, only one Delta wrestler has been able to call himself a four-time state champion. Allen Lake ran the table in his high school career from 1978 to 1981, winning his titles in three different weight classes.
4. St. Edward High School — 35 State Championships
Location: Lakewood, Ohio
State championships: 1978-87, 1989, 1992, 1997-2009, 2011-13, 2015-19, 2021, 2022
Notable coaches: Howard Ferguson, Greg Urbas, John Heffernan
Notable wrestlers: Ryan Lang, Lance Palmer, Collin Palmer, Dean Heil
Bottom Line: St. Edward High School
St. Edward is home to the greatest high school wrestling program in Ohio history and one of the best high school wrestling programs in the nation since the late 1970s.
St. Edward opened its dynasty by winning 10 consecutive state titles from 1978 to 1987 and six consecutive national championships from 1982 to 1987, becoming the first school from Ohio since the 1950s to do so.
St. Edward has won the state championship in Ohio all but two seasons since 1997, only missing in 2010 and 2014.
3. Mount Anthony Union High School— 36 State Championships
Location: Bennington, Vermont
State championships: 1969, 1980, 1989-2022
Notable coaches: Scott Legacy, Brian Coon
Notable wrestlers: Jeremiah Rogers, Scott Legacy, Andy Appleby, Rafael Vega, Steve Forrest, Hayden Gaudette
Bottom Line: Mount Anthony Union High School
Mount Anthony Union High School is on an almost unprecedented run of state championships — regardless of sport — after winning a 33rd consecutive state title in 2022, which is a streak that stretches back to 1989.
In an interesting twist, Scott Legacy won three individual state championships for Mount Anthony from 1979 to 1981 and a team state title in 1980 before returning to become his alma mater's head coach in 1985.
Under Legacy's leadership, Mount Anthony won 27 consecutive state championships before he left to coach at Castleton University in 2015.
2. Bismarck High School — 40 State Championships
Location: Bismarck, North Dakota
State championships: 1960-63, 1965, 1972, 1976, 1978-84, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002-05, 2008-11, 2014-22
Notable coaches: Jerry Halmrast, Scott Knowlen, Mike Schaff, Jeff Schumacher
Notable wrestlers: Travis Lang, Chad Renner, Jeramie Welder, Math Bitz, T.J. Sailer, Scott Glasser, Ryan Blees, Taylor Nein
Bottom Line: Bismarck High School
Bismarck High has won state championships in North Dakota for seven consecutive decades dating back to its first title run of four straight from 1960 to 163 and continuing through its current streak of nine consecutive titles dating back to 2014.
Former Bismarck High head coach Scott Knowlen owns almost every significant coaching record in North Dakota high school wrestling history and is widely thought of as one of the greatest high school wrestling coaches of all time.
He was inducted into the National Association of High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2019.
1. Perry High School — 43 State Championships
Location: Perry, Oklahoma
State championships: 1952, 1955, 1961-66, 1968, 1971-81, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1998-2001, 2004-11, 2013, 2014, 2017-19
Notable coaches: John Divine, Scott Chenoweth
Notable wrestlers: Jack VanBebber, Cecil Beisel, Ladd Rupp, Ian Fisher, Dan Hodge
Bottom Line: Perry High School
Perry High stands above all other high school wrestling programs in the United States. Its 43 team titles are still more than double that of the next closest team in Oklahoma.
Perry's 1973 state championship team is arguably not just the greatest in Oklahoma history but one of the greatest of all time, crowning seven state champions out of 12 weight classes. Perry's 1973 point total at the state tournament would have also beaten the combined scores of the teams who finished in second, third and fourth place.
Perry's record of seven individual state champions stood for 47 years until it was broken by Tuttle High with nine state champions in 2020.
Former Perry High wrestler Dan Hodge was a three-time NCAA Division I champion at the University of Oklahoma and is the namesake for the Dan Hodge Trophy — the wrestling equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Hodge at one point was even on the cover of Sports Illustrated.