David Carr Receives Third Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year Honor

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Cordova/Cyclone Fanatic

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletic Communications

AMES, Iowa – For the third time in his career, Iowa State wrestler David Carr has been named the Gary Thompson Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year. Carr is the second Cyclone to win the award three times in his career, joining Cael Sanderson (1999, 2001-02).

Carr posted a 27-2 record in 2023-24 and won his second national title to become the 17th Cyclone wrestler to win multiple national titles and the first since 2010 (Jake Varner). David and his father, Nate, are one of four father-son duos in NCAA Division I history to each win at least two national titles.

The Canton, Ohio native won Amateur Wrestling News’ Hammer Award for winning the most competitive weight class at the NCAA Championships. The path to his national title included wins over the No. 1, 2 and 5 seeds, and four of his five opponents in the tournament either finished on the podium or had earned All-American honors at some point in their career.

As the No. 4 seed, Carr defeated eventual All-American Hunter Garvin (Stanford) in the second round, returning two-time All-American No. 5 Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) in the quarterfinals, two-time defending national champion No. 1 Keegan O’Toole (Missouri) in the semifinals and undefeated freshman No. 2 Mitchell Mesenbrink (Penn State) in the national finals.

At the Big 12 Championship, Carr fell to his rival, top-ranked O’Toole of Missouri, in the finals, 8-2. Carr would avenge the loss just two weeks later in the national semifinals on a takedown with 10 seconds remaining to win, 8-6. It capped a historic rivalry where the pair met five times in a two-year span with Carr holding a 3-2 advantage in the series.

Carr owned a 40:3 takedown ratio during the 2023-24 season (80 for, 6 against) and registered 19 bonus-point wins (six falls, nine tech falls, four major decisions). He defeated 10 top-10 opponents, wrested in 14-of-15 duals and led Iowa State with 67 dual points.

Carr helped Iowa State to its first Big 12 team title since 2009 and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Cyclones’ best finish since 2010.

An all-time great, Carr leaves a winning legacy at Iowa State. He finished with a 120-5 career record, tied for the 15th-most wins in school history, and his .960 career winning percentage ranks fourth in program history (min. 100 wins) behind Cael Sanderson (1.000), Dan Gable (.990) and Tim Krieger (.967). Carr never lost a dual match as a Cyclone (67-0).

Carr became the first five-time All-American in program history and the 12th Cyclone to finish on the podium four times at the NCAA Championships. He never placed worse than third at the national tournament, following his 2021 national title with a third-place finish in 2022, a runner-up in 2023 before securing a second title in 2024.

In May, Carr completed his master’s degree in education with a 3.81 GPA. He was named a 2024 National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American.

Carr will be honored at a football game this fall.

Gary Thompson Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year Winners
1947 – Ron Norman, Basketball
1948 – Glen Brand, Wrestling
1949 – Bob Peterson, Basketball
1950 – Bill Weeks Football
1951 – Jim Doran, Football
1952 – Mal Schmidt, Football & Swimming
1953 – Jack Erickson, Football & Wrestling
1954 – Max Burkett, Football
1955 – Chuck Duncan, Basketball
1956 – Gary Thompson, Baseball & Basketball
1957 – Gary Thompson, Baseball & Basketball
1958 – Frank Powell, Football & Wrestling
1959 – Ron Gray, Wrestling
1960 – Dwight Nichols, Football
1961 – Tom Watkins, Football
1962 – Dave Hoppman, Football
1963 – Marv Straw, Basketball
1964 – Gordon Hassman, Wrestling
1965 – Tom Vaughn, Football
1966 – Tom Peckham, Wrestling
1967 – Don Smith, Basketball
1968 – Don Smith, Basketball
1969 – Dan Gable, Wrestling
1970 – Dan Gable, Wrestling
1971 – Otto Stowe, Football
1972 – George Amundson, Football
1973 – Chris Taylor, Wrestling
1974 – Doug Fitzjarrell, Gymnastics
1975 – Al Nacin, Wrestling
1976 – Pete Galea, Wrestling
1977 – Wayne Stanley, Football
1978 – Mark Trippel, Gymnastics
1979 – Mike Land, Wrestling
1980 – Mike Schwartz, Football
1981 – Ron Galimore, Gymnastics
1982 – John Quinn, Football 
1983 – Nate Carr, Wrestling
1984 – Bob Verbeeck, Track & Field
1985 – Barry Stevens, Basketball
1986 – Mark Diab, Gymnastics
1987 – Stewart Carter, Wrestling
1988 – Eric Hansen, Swimming
            Jeff Grayer, Basketball
1989 – Tim Krieger, Wrestling
1990 – Mike Busch, Baseball & Football
1991 – John Nuttall, Cross Country and Track & Field
1992 – Obinna Eregbu, Track & Field
1993 – Jonah Koech, Track & Field
1994 – Eric Akin, Wrestling
1995 – Fred Hoiberg, Basketball
1996 – Dmitry Drozdov, Track & Field and Cross Country
1997 – Chris Bono, Wrestling
1998 – Dwight Hinson, Wrestling 
1999 – Cael Sanderson, Wrestling
2000 – Marcus Fizer, Basketball
2001 – Jamaal Tinsley, Basketball
            Cael Sanderson, Wrestling
2002 – Cael Sanderson, Wrestling
2003 – Seneca Wallace, Football
2004 – Zach Roberson, Wrestling
            Jake Sullivan, Basketball
2005 – Ellis Hobbs, Football
2006 – Nate Gallick, Wrestling
2007 – Trent Paulson, Wrestling
2008 – Chris Baker, Golf
2009 – Jake Varner, Wrestling
2010 – Jake Varner, Wrestling
2011 – Jon Reader, Wrestling
2012 – Nate McCoy, Golf
2013 – Scott Fernandez, Golf
2014 – Melvin Ejim, Basketball
2015 – Edward Kemboi, Track & Field and Cross Country
            Kyven Gadson, Wrestling
2016 – Georges Niang, Basketball
2017 – Monté Morris, Basketball
2018 – Joel Lanning, Football
2019 – Edwin Kurgat, Track & Field and Cross Country
2020 – Edwin Kurgat, Track & Field and Cross Country
2021 – David Carr, Wrestling
2022 – Breece Hall, Football
2023 – David Carr, Wrestling
2024 – David Carr, Wrestling

Jacqueline Cordova


Jacqueline graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She has been fortunate enough to have interned for Cyclone Fanatic for 2 and a half years before being promoted to stay on. She currently wears a lot of hats at Cyclone Fanatic: Social Media Director, Iowa State Wrestling beat reporter, and staff photographer. Jacqueline loves reading and watching trash reality TV shows when she's not watching sports. One of her favorite accomplishments is having interned for the Minnesota Vikings and during Super Bowl LII.