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A CACTUS SUPPLANTS CORN
Jill Lieber
March 28, 1988
Arizona State broke the state of Iowa's grip on the NCAAs
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March 28, 1988

A Cactus Supplants Corn

Arizona State broke the state of Iowa's grip on the NCAAs

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Arizona Staters say Douglas is hard to get close to. Yet all of them relate stories that convey his warmth and loyalty to his wrestlers. "A few years ago, I was going through some hard times," Davies says. "I went to his office. We talked. He did some yelling. And I wound up crying in his arms. I needed him to hold me."

Heavyweight Rod Severn recalls how quick thinking by Douglas revived Severn's older brother, Dan, who was overcome by heat exhaustion at a national high school meet in Iowa City during the summer of 1975. Douglas did not even know Dan, but, fully clothed, he dragged the incoherent teenager into a cold shower and massaged his exhausted limbs. Four Severn brothers subsequently enrolled at Arizona State.

On Saturday night, when the team title was announced, Davies and Severn hoisted Douglas onto their shoulders and paraded him around the coliseum. His tough exterior melted into a wide smile—finally. "I know I'm a lot closer to them than they think," Douglas says. "I appear reserved because I'm constantly thinking about what I have to do to make them better. We care about one another. We won because we wrestled for each other."

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