Andy Hamilton has won most every major award that can be bestowed upon a wrestling journalist.
He’s even nabbed two of them twice.
That the much-decorated Hamilton, Trackwrestling’s Community Manager, works out of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, is merely a matter of connections, convenience and coincidence.
He hasn’t actually been enshrined there.
Trackwrestling's Andy Hamilton
The 41-year-old Hamilton, who joined Trackwrestling last July to lead its newly created media content department, recently was named Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine’s Journalist of the Year. He also won the award in 2011 while working for the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
“It seems like people around me are more excited about than I am,” said Hamilton, who grew up in Williams, Iowa and attended Northeast Iowa High School (ironically, one of the few high schools in Iowa without a wrestling program). “That’s the coolest part about it.”
One of Trackwrestling’s regular features is the Weighing In podcast co-hosted by Hamilton and David Mirikitani. Hamilton said Mirikitani was through-the-roof thrilled when he heard the news about Hamilton’s most recent award.
“He was like 100 times more excited about it than I was,” Hamilton said. “His mom texted me about it. I’ve met his mom one time.”
The recent Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine issue announcing its award winners included a feature article on Hamilton.
From the article: “You would be hard pressed to find many journalists who have logged as many hours covering wrestling as Hamilton has in the last year starting out with Track. Because of the quality of his writing and volume of work, Hamilton has been named WIN’s 2017 Journalist of the Year.”
Name: Andy Hamilton | Age: 41
Resides in: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Job: Community manager for Trackwrestling, a software company that specializes in providing results and event management for wrestling organizations.
2017: Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine's Journalist of the Year
2016: National Wrestling Media Association's Journalist of the Year
2011: Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine's Journalist of the Year
2005: Amateur Wrestling News' Dellinger Award (nation's top wrestling writer)
2004: National Wrestling Media Association's Journalist of the Year
Hamilton’s coverage in the last year has included tournaments in Rochester, Minn.; Evanston, Ill.; Bloomington, Ind.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Las Vegas; St. Louis and Lincoln, Neb. His travels could extend far beyond the Midwest this summer, as he might be covering international events in Finland, France and Greece.
Hamilton was the lead wrestling writer at the Des Moines Register before joining Trackwrestling, which was acquired by SportsEngine last July. He covered 26 college programs and more than 260 high schools across Iowa during his five years with the Register, Iowa’s largest newspaper. In March of 2016 Hamilton became the first two-time winner of the National Wrestling Media Association’s Journalist of the Year award. He previously won the NWMA award in 2004 during his 12-year stint covering wrestling and college football at the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
In 2005 Hamilton won Amateur Wrestling News’ Dellinger Award as the top wrestling writer in the nation.
“Andy was extremely well respected in the wrestling space when we hired him,” Trackwrestling founder and general manager Justin Tritz said. “Obviously he has worked hard over the past year. I think he has done a great job.”
One of Hamilton’s most successful content innovations has been the “Seven Minutes With …” series. Hamilton writes the articles based off seven-minute (the length of a college wrestling match) interviews with college stars.
“The questions are a little off the beaten path,” Hamilton said. “They are unique enough that you can ask the same guys the same questions and get completely different answers.”
As for that hall of fame office, Hamilton happens to be a close friend of Gable Museum director Kyle Klingman. When Hamilton was considering joining Trackwrestling last summer, he also was juggling several other job offers. Klingman kept pestering Hamilton, asking him what it would take to keep him in Iowa and covering wrestling.
“I knew that if I took this job, I would have to have a place where I can work, where I can set up and work comfortably,” said Hamilton, who lives in Cedar Falls and immediately thought of his buddy in nearby Waterloo. Klingman, by chance, had an unused office just across the hall from his. Just like that, it became Hamilton’s.
“One of the benefits for me is that you have prominent wrestling figures rolling through the museum all the time,” Hamilton said. “Here’s a chance for me to interview them.”