Induction Year: 2010
Joe Gayan, a native of Ironwood, Mich., enters the UW-Superior Athletic Hall of Fame as a decorated two-sport athlete, lettering four times each in football and wrestling from 1976-1980. A member of the class of 1980, Mr. Gayan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with a minor in health.
On the football field, Mr. Gayan was a four-year starter at defensive tackle. In 1978 he was an All-WSUC honorable mention selection. As a senior in 1979, Mr. Gayan was the captain of the Yellowjacket football team and was a First Team All-WSUC defensive tackle.
Mr. Gayan was an even bigger star on the wrestling mat. During his freshman year in 1976-77, he was named WSUC Rookie of the Year after placing third in the conference in the 185-pound weight category. The next year, Mr. Gayan placed second in the WSUC in the heavyweight category and finished in eighth place in the NAIA tournament, earning him NAIA All-American honorable mention. As a junior, Mr. Gayan had a record of 27-7, the best single-season record ever recorded by a heavyweight at UW-Superior. In 1979-80, Mr. Gayan was the captain of the team, again placed second in the WSUC and earned a place in the NAIA tournament.He was also invited to wrestle in the NCAA Division I regional tournament that year.
Following his competitive career, Mr. Gayan was an assistant coach with the Yellowjacket football (1980) and wrestling (1980-81) teams.
Since 1988, Mr. Gayan has been an M.A./Consultant for Sysco Foods of Baraboo, Wis.