1996 Hall of Fame Inductee
The "cradle" was Brad Hansen's bread-and-butter move on the mat, and he used it to help BYU win three consecutive WAC wrestling titles.
The 6-1, 167-pounder fashioned an impressive 125-14-1 career record to become the winningest collegiate wrestler in the history of not only the state of Utah but also the WAC. Brad posted a 21-6-1 record as a freshman in 1975-76, put together identical 37-3 records during both his sophomore and junior campaigns, and went 30-2 as a senior. He helped BYU to 20th-, 12th-, 6th-, and 14th-place NCAA team finishes.
Brad was the fifth of six Hansens - the sons of Ivy Mae and Frank Hansen of Tetonia, Idaho - to wrestle at BYU. He was preceded by Mike, Laron (a 1986 BYU Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee), Mark, and David and followed by Ronnie - all of whom won WAC titles. Growing up, Brad likely found wrestling a welcome escape from the rough-and-tumble life of a younger brother in a family of wrestlers, not to mention the rigors the family shared raising alfalfa and potatoes. The competition and the comradery among the Hansen brothers continues today.
Twice in 1979, his senior year, Brad was ranked number one in the nation by the Amateur Wrestling News. He remained unbeaten throughout the season, going 29-0 before losing a match midway through the NCAA Championships.
That same year Brad was forced to withdraw from the East-West matches in Corvallis, Oregon, when an elbow he'd fractured three months earlier finally got so bad he could no longer wrestle. In one of his last outings before the East-West matches, he was trailing Oregon's Mike Miller 11-7 with 36 seconds left. Brad won the match on points, 12-11, with a reversal, a near fall, and an escape. Miller got off easy; over the course of his career Hansen pinned more than 45 of his opponents.
Brad was the first wrestler in the then 17-year history of the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association to win four MIWA crowns. The three-time conference champion also set the WAC record for career tournament victories, 69-13-0, and became the first Cougar and only the third wrestler in league history to be ranked number one nationally. He also set the Western Athletic Conference record for most season dual meet victories (18).
After he finished competing for BYU, Brad coached wrestling at Spanish Fork High School from 1984 to 1990. His program produced 21 individual state champions, nine of whom went on to the college level. Brad's teams finished among the state's top five teams five times, winning the state championship in 1988.