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Mike Chapman. (COURIER FILE PHOTO)

WATERLOO - Mike Chapman, the executive director of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (DGIWIM) is stepping down after leading the organization for more than a decade.

Chapman founded the museum in 1998, in Newton, following a career in journalism that spanned three decades.

He became the full-time executive director in 2002, and moved the operation to Waterloo in 2007.

"I have devoted a large part of my life to preserving the history of wrestling at all levels, amateur and professional, and the museum was the culmination of that effort," Chapman said.

Chapman, a native of Waterloo, authored more than 500 newspaper and magazine articles on the sport of wrestling in addition to being an author of 21 books, 14 on wrestling.

He also created Wrestling International Newsmagazine (WIN) to promote amateur wrestling.

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"Mike's impact on the sport of wrestling will be felt for generations to come," current WIN publisher Bryan Van Kley said.

Chapman is a member of five wrestling hall of fames, and received the prestigious Order of Merit for lifetime achievement from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla., in 2007.

His retirement was effective Oct. 31.

Replacing Chapman as executive director is Kyle Klingman. Klingman served as the museum's associate director from 2002-08. He returns to the organization following a one-year stint with Wrestling 411, a media organization devoted to covering wrestling at all levels.

"I'm delighted that the board hired Kyle to take over as executive director," Chapman said. "He worked at my side for six years, and truly understands the goals of the museum as well as anyone possibly could."

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