*AUGUST "GUS" PETERSON: born in Sweden in 1885, Gus attended the Institute of Chiropractors and Massage in Stockholm before arriving in the U.S. at age 19. He took up wrestling while working two jobs at a NYC hospital. In six years of freestyle competition at 125, 135 and 145 pounds, Gus won national championships and placed second two times. He earned berths on the U.S. Olympic teams in 1908 and 1912, but both times he was forced to remain home, once due to naturalization difficulties; the second by accepting a contract to coach at Princeton.
He then coached wrestling and swimming at Princeton for three seasons, before embarking on a 32-year career as Columbia’s coach from 1915 through 1947. He mentored seven of the Lions’ 20 EIWA champions. After retiring from college coaching at age 63, he joined the Horace Mann staff in 1951 as a trainer. He then initiated intramural wrestling, before earning varsity status for the sport, which he coached for seven seasons. Gus passed away in 1968 at age 83.