COACH SPOTLIGHT: RUTGERS UNIVERSITY’S SCOTT GOODALE

As found on Rutgers University website, below is Scoot Goodale’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

The winningest coach in program history with 183 career victories “On the Banks”, head coach Scott Goodale has made Rutgers wrestling into one of the top teams in the country since he took over the program on July 31, 2007.

With the help of associate head coach Donny Pritzlaff, assistant coach Anthony Ashnault, director of operations Joe Pollard and volunteer assistant coach Kyle Kiss, the Scarlet Knights have produced two individual national champions, five individual conference titles, 15 All-Americans in the past eight seasons, multiple All-Americans at the last five NCAA Championships, and since 2009, have earned two top 10 finishes and nine top 25 finishes in the NWCA Division I Coaches Poll.

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic, wrestling managed another historical season in 2021. Rutgers closed the season with three All-Americans in the same year for the first time in program history, as Sebastian Rivera (fourth), John Poznanski (fourth) and Jackson Turley (eighth) all earned All-America honors at the 2021 NCAA Championships in St. Louis. Along with two-time NCAA qualifiers Michael VanBrill (149) and Billy Janzer (197), RU produced 13 victories at nationals en route to a 13th-place finish with 37.5 team points.

Under Goodale’s watch, RU has two individual national titles (Ashnault & Nick Suriano in 2019), three national finalists, 15 All-Americans, five conference champions (four Big Ten, one EIWA), 80 NCAA Championship bids, 32 Big Ten Conference Championships placewinners and 42 placewinners at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships. The program has tallied an impressive 183-79-1 dual meet record during his 14 years “On the Banks.”

 The success of Goodale’s teams has resulted in one of the top home environments in the sport. Competing at the RAC, the Scarlet Knights have finished within the top five in national attendance over the past five seasons, which includes a 4,292 average in 2019-20 – good for fourth nationally. RU has also secured 3,000-plus season ticket holders over the past two campaigns and recently hosted a successful Big Ten Championships at the end of the 2019-20 season, which drew 20,000 fans to the RAC over a two-day period.

The wrestling program also trains at one of the top practice facilities in the country – the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center. Opened in 2019, the state-of-the-art facility lives right next to the RAC and features three regulation practice mats, a 30-person team locker room and offices for coaches and support staff.

The Jackson, N.J., native took over the Rutgers program following an impressive seven-year stint as head coach at his alma mater, Jackson Memorial High School. In seven seasons, Goodale compiled an overall record of 155-16, leading his squad to the top ranking in the state in 2006 and 2007.

The legendary Jersey high school wrestling coach was inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame on Nov. 7, 2009.

Goodale was named the New Jersey State Coach of the Year three times, while also earning District 21 and Region VI Coach of the Year accolades three times during his tenure with the Jaguars. Goodale coached four New Jersey State Champions and five New Jersey State runner-ups, along with 16 additional state placewinners. In total, he has coached a total of 41 District 21 Champions and 10 Region VI Champions. Goodale led his teams to two Group IV State Championships, as well as four Central Jersey Group IV Sectional titles. Each season Goodale spent with Jackson Memorial, the Jaguars were crowned District 21 Team Champions, as well as winning four Class A-South Shore Conference titles. During the 2005-06 season, the Jaguars finished ranked No. 10 in the country. The following year, Goodale and the Jaguars improved that performance, finishing the year ranked seventh nationally. In every year Goodale was at Jackson Memorial, he led his team to a top-10 finish in the New Jersey wrestling polls.

Prior to being named head coach at Jackson Memorial, Goodale served as a top assistant for the wrestling program, while also working as the offensive coordinator for the football team. During his time with the Jaguars football squad, he was a part of three state championship teams.

On a national level, he spent 12 years as the Junior and Cadet State Team Coach for national wrestling tournaments held in Fargo, N.D. Following the 2005-06 season, he served as the head coach for Team New Jersey at the Junior National Duals.

Goodale wrestled for Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, earning his bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education in 1995. He then went to New Jersey City University where he earned a certification in Special Education in 1997. As a collegiate wrestler, Goodale made three trips to the NCAA Championships, as well as placing second at the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Tournament twice in his career. During his time with the Bald Eagles, the team was ranked as high as ninth in the country. Goodale finished with 99 wins at Lock Haven.

Goodale and his wife Lisa are the parents of Shelby and Zach, and reside in Toms River. Shelby is currently on the Rutgers University dance team, while Zach is set to begin his first collegiate season for the Scarlet Knights’ football team.

All-Americans under Goodale

Year Wrestler (Place) Weight
2021 John Poznanski (4th) 184
Sebastian Rivera (4th) 141
Jackson Turley (8th) 174
2020 Nicolas Aguilar (HM) 125*
Sammy Alvarez (Second Team) 133*
2019 Nick Suriano (1st) 133
Anthony Ashnault (1st) 149
2018 Nick Suriano (2nd) 125
Scott DelVecchio (6th) 133
2017 Anthony Ashnault (6th) 141
Ken Theobold (7th) 149
2016 Anthony Ashnault (4th) 141
Anthony Perrotti (8th) 165
2015 Anthony Ashnault (8th) 141
2014 Anthony Perrotti (8th) 157

* All-America laurels awarded by the NWCA due to cancellation of 2020 NCAA Championships

Past Accomplishments

Though the 2020 NCAA Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Rutgers still secured another banner season in 2019-20. RU finished with a winning dual record for the 13th consecutive season under Goodale, produced five national qualifiers, secured two NWCA All-Americans (Aguilar & Alvarez) and hosted the 2020 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at the RAC.

The 2018-19 campaign was the best in the program’s 89-year history, as Rutgers recorded its first Top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships with its ninth-place result on March 23, 2019 in Pittsburgh. The performance was highlighted by individual national titles for Nick Suriano (133 pounds) and Anthony Ashnault (149), as Goodale was named NCAA Tournament Coach of the Year.

 Ashnault and Suriano both flourished under Goodale’s guidance, as the duo also claimed individual conference titles at the 2019 Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis. Ashnault finished his historic career as the program’s all-time wins leader with 123 victories and was a 2019 Hodge Trophy finalist with an unblemished 32-0 record. In his second season “On the Banks”, Suriano wrestled to a 29-3 record and defeated the No. 1 seed (Daton Fix, Oklahoma State) and the No. 2 seed (Stevan Micic, Michigan) en route to the 133-pound national title.

 In dual action, Rutgers finished 2018-19 with a 12-6 mark and a 5-4 record within the Big Ten – the third winning league record since it joined the conference in 2014-15. The overall dual mark included three victories over ranked foes – No. 10 Wisconsin, No. 19 Princeton and No. 20 Purdue.The 2017-18 season was another historic one under Goodale, as Rutgers produced a then-best 11th-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships in Cleveland. Six Scarlet Knights combined for 19 victories and 42.5 team points, which included the program’s first national finalist in Suriano (125), as well as a sixth-place finisher in Scott DelVecchio (133).

The program earned multiple All-Americans for the third consecutive year in 2017-18. During that dual campaign, RU collected eight wins, including victories over four ranked foes, and added its best finish at the Midlands Championships in its history with its second-place result. Rutgers finished 2017-18 ranked 19th in the final coaches’ poll, while six Scarlet Knights closed out the season ranked in their respective weight classes by FloWrestling.

During the 2016-17 season, Anthony Ashnault (141) became the first three time All-American in program history when he finished sixth at the 2017 national championships in St. Louis. Ken Theobold also appeared on the podium at 149 in 2017, giving the program back-to-back seasons with two or more All-Americans for the first time ever.

 In 2014, the program earned its first All-American since 2002, as 157-pounder Anthony Perrotti finished eighth at NCAAs. Perrotti closed his career on the national podium at 165 pounds in 2016 in front of a local crowd at MSG, becoming the third two-time All-American in RU history.

The Scarlet Knights finished the 2016-17 dual campaign with a 12-5 record, which included an undefeated home slate (6-0) and 6-3 mark in Big Ten Conference action. The six conference wins were the most since Rutgers joined the league in 2014, while RU concluded its dual season ranked within the top-25 for the sixth time during Goodale’s tenure.

Rutgers also hosted the historic “Battle at the Birthplace” this past season, in which it defeated rival Princeton, 19-16, in front of 16,178 fans at High Point Solutions Stadium on Nov. 19, 2016. The event drew the second-highest crowd in NCAA dual history.  

 The 2015-16 season was undeniably the most successful in Rutgers wrestling history. The Scarlet Knights sent all 10 weight classes to the NCAA Championships for the first time and finished 15th in the nation. Ashnault won the Big Ten title at 141 pounds to become Rutgers’ first ever Big Ten champ, as the squad wrestled to a fifth-place finish at the 2016 Big Ten Championships.

RU (16-5) closed the dual season ranked No. 10 in the final USA Today/ NWCA Coaches Poll, defeating seven ranked opponents and three in the top-10, culminating with an 18-15 win over No. 7 Lehigh in the NWCA National Duals Championship Series.

Rutgers’ national prominence soared to new heights in 2014-15 in its first season in the Big Ten Conference. The Scarlet Knights tallied a new single-season attendance mark and posted the sixth-best attendance total (18,877) and average (2,697) in the nation, according to a report released by Roby Publishing.

RU ended its inaugural Big Ten Conference campaign No. 21 in the nation in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll after a 14-7 campaign that featured a pair of ranked wins and five NCAA Championships selections.

Goodale had his first grappler breakthrough on the national scene in 2013-14, as 157-pounder Anthony Perrotti became the program’s first All-American wrestler since 2002 by placing eighth at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City. Perrotti made NCAA Championships history on his consolation run, recording the second-fastest win by fall all-time at the national tournament with a 10-second pin over Oregon State’s Roger Pena. 

After dropping his first match of the tournament, Perrotti rattled off four consecutive victories, including three in a row against top-15 opponents.

In RU’s (11-5, 7-2) final season in the EIWA before joining the Big Ten Conference, the squad finished third with 91 points at the 2014 EIWA Championships in Philadelphia. Three Scarlet Knights received automatic bids to nationals, while an additional at-large selection gave Goodale at least four NCAA qualifiers in five of his first seven seasons “On the Banks.”

The 2012-13 campaign was a successful one for Goodale and Co., as the Scarlet Knights returned to the national spotlight by ending the year ranked No. 25 in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll courtesy of a 16-4 dual record. RU saw eight grapplers finish in the top eight at the EIWA Championships and sent seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

The 2011-12 season was marked by the NCAA success of senior Billy Ashnault, who finished one win shy of All-America status at 141 pounds. In total, five Scarlet Knights represented RU at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo. Rutgers additionally played host to one of four regional sites of the 2012 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, continuing to boost the Scarlet Knight grapplers’ national prominence.

In 2010-11, RU reached new heights as a program, finishing the year as a top-10 program, ranking ninth in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll after posting a school-record 21 victories against only two defeats. Rutgers continued its strong season at the 107th EIWA Championships where it placed third as a team, tying the best finish ever for the program. Additionally, the Scarlet Knights saw nine wrestlers place at the EIWA Championships, including Scott Winston who took home the 165-pound bracket crown to become the first RU wrestler to capture an EIWA championship since Tom Tanis in 2001.  By virtue of the strong EIWA and regular season, RU qualifed a school-record tying eight individuals for the NCAA Championship.

Rutgers finished at No. 22 in the final 2009-10 NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches Poll after posting a 19-5-1 record. Seven Scarlet Knights earned NCAA bids. The No. 22 ranking was the highest in school history at that point. The Goodale-led squad put together a 15-match unbeaten streak from early December to late February which was the longest streak in school history.

In 2008-09, Rutgers broke the then-school record for victories in a single season with a 20-7 mark in dual action. Three Scarlet Knights earned NCAA Championships bids, which at the time was the most for RU since 2004.

The Scarlet Knights tallied an 11-7 overall record and 5-3 mark in Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) action in 2007-08. Two wrestlers reached the NCAA Championships. Goodale maximized his strong high school coaching background and brought in a recruiting class ranked nationally by W.I.N. Magazine (No. 3) and InterMat (No. 4).

Goodale’s first recruiting class included InterMat’s No. 2 overall senior recruit in Scott Winston, InterMat’s 17th-best recruit in Trevor Melde and USA Wrestling’s 19th-best 171-pound wrestler in Dan Rinaldi. Goodale was a three-time New Jersey “Coach of the Year” at Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, N.J., before becoming the sixth coach in Rutgers wrestling history.

SCOTT GOODALE YEAR-BY-YEAR COACHING RECORD

Season School Record % Conference Record %
2007-08 Rutgers 11-7 .611 5-3 (EIWA) .625
2008-09 Rutgers 20-7 .741 7-1 (EIWA) .875
2009-10 Rutgers 19-5-1 .780 6-2 (EIWA) .750
2010-11 Rutgers 21-2 .913 8-1 (EIWA) .888
2011-12 Rutgers 13-8 .619 5-1 (EIWA) .833
2012-13 Rutgers 16-4 .800 6-1 (EIWA) .857
2013-14 Rutgers 11-5 .688 7-2 (EIWA) .777
2014-15 Rutgers 14-7 .667 2-7 (Big Ten) .222
2015-16 Rutgers 16-5 .762 5-4 (Big Ten) .555
2016-17 Rutgers 12-5 .666 6-3 (Big Ten) .666
2017-18 Rutgers 8-7 .533 3-6 (Big Ten) .333
2018-19 Rutgers 12-6 .666 5-4 (Big Ten) .555
2019-20 Rutgers 10-7 .588 4-5 (Big Ten) .444
2020-21 Rutgers 0-4 .000 0-4 (Big Ten) .000
Career Record 183-79-1 .697 69-43 .616
EIWA Record (Seven Seasons) 44-11 .800
Big Ten Record (Seven Seasons) 25-33 .431”

 

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

 

COACH SPOTLIGHT: PENN STATE UNIVERSITY’S CAEL SANDERSON

As found on Penn State University’s website, below is Cael Sanderson’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

On April 17, 2009, Penn State named national wrestling legend Cael Sanderson as its 12th head wrestling coach and immediately the nation looked East. Since that time, the wrestling landscape across the country has changed as Penn State has claimed eight NCAA championships and numerous Big Ten regular season and tournament titles, all while crowning numerous individual champions and maintaining the highest of academic standards.

A career begun in the Midwest…

At just 29 years old, Sanderson came to Penn State after three very productive years as the head coach at his alma mater, Iowa State.  Sanderson’s teams did not finish any lower than fifth at the NCAA Championships and  he never had a wrestler not qualify for nationals, getting 30-of-30 grapplers through to the championship tournament. 

After graduating from ISU in 2002, Sanderson spent 2003 and 2004 as a special assistant in the athletic department at Iowa State before joining the ISU coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2004-05. He was promoted to the assistant head coach position the next year and then became the Cyclones’ head coach for the 2006-07 season.

In 2007, during Sanderson’s rookie campaign, he led ISU to a 13-3 dual meet record and the first of three-straight Big 12 Championships. An outstanding NCAA runner-up finish in Detroit capped off a wildly successful year as the Cyclones crowned one National Champion and Sanderson was honored as Big 12 Coach of the Year, National Rookie Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year. The next year, Sanderson led ISU to a 16-4 dual meet mark, another Big 12 title and a fifth place finish at nationals. Iowa State’s seven All-Americans in 2008 were the most at the school since 1993.

In 2009, Sanderson’s team went 15-3 in duals, won its third-straight Big 12 title and took third place at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis (just 12 points out of first place). The Cyclones also crowned another National Champion. In three years at Iowa State, Sanderson’s teams went 44-10, won three conference crowns, qualified all 30 wrestlers for nationals, earned 15 All-American awards and two individual national titles.

A move East and a rapid ascent…

His first season at Penn State was solid. Sanderson led Penn State to a 13-6-1 dual meet record, much improved over the prior year’s 8-12-2 mark. After a year outside the top 10, Sanderson led the Lions back to their place among the nation’s elite with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA?Championships and a No. 10 final dual meet ranking from the NWCA Coaches. Sanderson picked up three more All-Americans (including a national finalist) and a Big Ten Champion in younger brother, Cyler Sanderson.

In 2010-11, Sanderson reached the pinnacle of the collegiate coaching mountain by guiding Penn State through a stunning season filled with records, championships and memories that thrilled the Penn State faithful. Sanderson led the Nittany Lions to their first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship and first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991. While guiding Penn State to a 6-1-1 conference mark, Sanderson equaled the highest Big Ten dual meet wins in Penn State history (1998). He led Penn State to the school’s first ever Big Ten Championship and was named 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year. He became the first coach in NCAA history to be named both the Big Ten and Big 12 Coach of the Year. Saving the best for last, he led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 NCAA National Championship in Philadelphia, Penn State’s first since 1953 and Sanderson’s first as a collegiate head coach. 

During the 2011-12 season, the nation watched as Sanderson led Penn State to a 13-1 dual mark, including a school record 7-1 Big Ten dual record to earn a share of the 2012 Big Ten dual meet championship. Sanderson then made it two in a row by leading Penn State to the 2012 Big Ten Championship at Purdue. He was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second-straight season. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second-straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become the fifth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles.  He was named NWCA National Coach of the Year for the second time in his career at the conclusion of the championships in Des Moines.

In 2012-13, Penn State posted an identical 13-1 mark, 7-1 Big Ten dual record and won its third-straight Big Ten Championship in Illinois in March. Sanderson earned his third-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor (co) in the process. Two weeks after that, Sanderson guided Penn State to a thrilling third-straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the third team in NCAA history to win three-straight team titles. At the tournament’s end, he was named NWCA National Coach of the Year.

In 2013-14, Penn State went 15-1 overall and won a share of the Big Ten dual meet title with a 7-1 record. The Nittany Lions won their fourth-straight Big Ten Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, helping Sanderson win his fourth-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor. Two weekends later, the Nittany Lions won their fourth-straight NCAA title, becoming the third team in NCAA history to win four-straight NCAA titles.

In 2014-15, Sanderson led Penn State to an 11-4 dual meet record, a fifth-straight Southern Scuffle title, garnering five All-Americans and another individual National Champion at the NCAA Championships.

In 2015-16, he added a sixth-straight Southern Scuffle championships, a third Big Ten dual meet title (co-) and the 2016 NWCA National Dual Series championship. He led Penn State to its fifth Big Ten Championship in six years in Iowa City and followed that up with his fifth NCAA National Championship in six years in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

In 2016-17, Sanderson led Penn State to its second-straight NCAA title and sixth in seven years.  Penn State posted a perfect 14-0 dual meet record, won the 2017 Big Ten regular season (dual meet) title and the NWCA Dual Championship Series crown for the second-straight season. Sanderson’s team posted a gaudy 35-6 record at NCAAs and won five-straight individual championships to close out the national finals.

In 2017-18, Sanderson led Penn State to its seventh NCAA title in eight years and third- straight. Penn State posted a perfect 14-0 dual meet record and won the Big Ten regular season (dual meet) title yet again. Sanderson’s team posted a superb 39-9 record at NCAAs. Penn State ended the season riding a 45-dual win streak and set an NCAA record for attendance at an indoor dual meet with 15,998 in the BJC for a win over Iowa.

In 2018-19, Sanderson closed  out a decade as Penn State’s mentor by leading Penn State to its eighth NCAA title in nine years and fourth-straight for the second time in his first ten years as head coach.  Penn State posted a perfect 14-0 dual meet record for the fourth-straight year, won the Big Ten regular season (dual meet) and Big Ten tournament championship. Sanderson’s team posted a 35-11 record at NCAAs and had the team title clinched before the finals began Saturday night.  Penn State ended the season riding a 59-dual win streak. Sanderson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and InterMat National Coach of the Year.

In 2019-20, the Lion mentor led the team to a 12-2 overall record and a near-perfect 8-1 Big Ten dual meet mark.  Penn State dropped two duals by a total of three points.  Penn State crowned two more Big Ten Champions in true freshman Aaron Brooks and senior Mark Hall.  Brooks was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Nittany Lions advanced seven wrestlers to the 2020 NCAA Championships before the NCAA cancelled the event in reaction to the COVID-19 virus’ outbreak. The NWCA named the top eight seeds at each weight First  Team All-Americans after the tournament was cancelled, giving Sanderson five more All-Americans.

In 11 years as Penn State’s coach, Sanderson led the Nittany Lions to eight Southern Scuffle titles, six B1G dual meet titles, six Big Ten Championships, eight NCAA Championships, collected 58 All-Americans, 23 National Champions, including an NCAA record-tying five in 2017, four Gorriaran winners, five NCAA Tournament Outstanding Wrestlers, one CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, one NCAA Elite 89 winner, one NCAA Top 10 Award winner and five Hodge Trophy winners. Sanderson, who has coached 78 total All-Americans and 25 total National Champions (including his three years at Iowa State), grabbed his 100th win as Penn State’s head coach in its 36-6 victory over Stanford in Rec Hall on 11/13/16.

A coaching career after the most storied collegiate wrestling career ever…

To this day, Sanderson is considered the most dominant collegiate competitor in NCAA history. In four years, Sanderson never lost. From 1999-2002, Sanderson posted a 159-0 career record (going 39-0, 40-0, 40-0 and 40-0); won four individual National Championships; won four Most Outstanding Wrestler awards at the NCAA Championships (the only wrestler in NCAA history to do so); became the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Outstanding Wrestler honor and won three Dan Hodge Trophies as the nation’s best collegiate wrestler (also a collegiate first). He wrestled his first three years at 184 and then moved to 197 as a senior.

The four-time All-American’s four-year streak of perfection was called the No. 2 most outstanding achievement in collegiate sports history by Sports Illustrated. The NCAA called his final win (in the 2002 NCAA 197-pound championship) one of the NCAA’s “25 Defining Moments” for its Centennial celebration. His wrestling career culminated in 2004 when the Heber City, Utah, native won the 84 kg Olympic Gold Medal in Athens, Greece.

THE SANDERSON FILE

Full Name:    Cael Norman Sanderson

Birthday:     June 20, 1979

Birthplace:    Provo, Utah

Hometown:    Heber City, Utah

Alma Mater:    Iowa State ‘02

Spouse: Kelly

Children:    Tate, Teag

COACHING HONORS

*    2007 NWCA Coach of the Year

*    2007 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year

*    2007 Amateur Wrestling News Rookie Coach of the Year

*    2007 RevWrestling.com Coach of the Year

*    2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2012 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year (co)

*    2013 NWCA Coach of the Year

*    2013 W.I.N. Magazine Coach of the Year.

*    2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2016 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2016 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2017 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2018 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2019 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2019 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    Only person in NCAA history to earn both  Big Ten and Big 12 Coach of the Year honors

*    Coached 25 National Champions (23 in 11 years at PSU)

*    78 All-Americans in just 14 years (63 in 11 years at PSU)

*    123 of 140 of his wrestlers qualified for NCAAs

*    Coached 30 Big Ten Champions in 11 years in the conference.

AS A WRESTLER…

*    The only wrestler in NCAA history to never lose a bout over four years

*    Four-time NCAA National Champion

*    Four-time NCAA Most Outstanding Wrestler

*    2004 Olympic Gold Medalist

*    159-0 as collegiate wrestler

*    Four-time Big 12 Champion

*    Sports Illustrated called unbeaten streak #2 most outstanding achievement in collegiate history

*    Three-time Hodge Trophy winner

*    Final NCAA win named one of 25 Defining Moments by NCAA

*    ESPY Award for Best Male Collegiate Athlete

*    ESPN SportsCentury special on his career

*    One-time appearance on Wheaties cereal box”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

SPOTLIGHT ON NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY COACH PAT POPOLIZIO

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE

As found on North Carolina State University’s website,  below is Pat Popolizio’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

“The 2020-21 wrestling season marks Pat Popolizio’s ninth at the helm of the NC State wrestling program, as he was named head wrestling coach of the Wolfpack on April 10, 2012.

 In the Spring of 2018, Popolizio was awarded a contract extension through June of 2025. 

Popolizio was named the 2018 Dan Gable co-NCAA Coach of the Year and the 2016 National Coach of the Year by FloWrestling. He has also been a finalist for the NWCA Division I National Coach of the Year each of the last three years in 2018, 2019 and 2020. He has twice been named ACC Coach of the Year, in 2018 and again in 2020.

 In eight seasons under Popolizio, NC State Wrestling has had:

  • 3 National Champions
  • 5 NCAA Finalists
  • 18 All-Americans
  • 15 ACC Champions
  • 5 ACC Wrestlers of the Year
  • 2 ACC Rookies of the Year
  • 3 ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year

He has led NC State to a school record six straight top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships. Over the last six NCAA Championships, NC State has finished 19th in 2014, 16th in 2015, 11th in 2016, 17th in 2017, 4th in 2018 (earning its first-ever team trophy), and 17th in 2019 (2020 was canceled due to COVID-19).

NC State has earned 18 All-America honors in the last seven years, a new school record for most in a seven-year span all-time. In 2018, NC State set a school-best with four All-Americans, including an all-time ACC-best two NCAA finalists, and betterd that mark in 2020 with six All-Americans named by the NWCA.

In his eight seasons overall, Popolizio has had 57 NCAA qualifiers, highlighted by a school record 10 in 2017. In the last five seasons, NC State has qualified 44 of its 50 starters.

Popolizio has won both a trio of ACC Championships (2016, 2019 and 2020) and three ACC Regular season titles (2018, 2019 and 2020). The Wolfpack went back-to-back winning both conference team trophies in 2018-19 and again in 2019-20 for the first time since the 2001 and 2002 seasons, and three straight regular season titles for the first time since 2000-02.

NC State has also posted five straight seasons finishing in the top-10 in the NWCA Coaches’ Poll. The Wolfpack has been ranked in the top-10 in 73 straight polls over the last five seasons. The Pack was a school-best No. 2 following a 23-1 campaign in 2015-16, No. 8 in 2016-17 with a 13-2 mark, No. 6 with a 15-2 record in 2017-18, No. 10 in 2018-19 with a 16-3 record, and No. 3 for the 2019-20 season (as one of only two undefeated teams nationally – Iowa).

In 2019-20, NC State posted its first-ever undefeated dual season, going a perfect 15-0. The Pack posted five ranked wins, including three straight weekends of top-10 ACC victories. Over the last three seasons, NC State is a league-best 14-1 in ACC duals.

NC State has won 82 of its 90 duals (91.1 percent) the last five seasons. That winning percentage sits second-best in the NCAA, and the 82 dual victories leads the nation (the next closest is at 72).

On the recruiting trial, NC State’s 2016 12-person signing class was ranked the nation’s best by both FloWrestling.com and InterMatWrestling.com. In that class, the Pack signed two of the top-six ranked wrestlers in the 2016 recruiting class, and five in the top-66 overall.

NC State’s 2018 class was ranked No. 3 nationally and featured five wrestlers ranked in the top-100 nationally by InterMat, including four in the top-55, and two in the top-25. The class was also No. 6 by both FloWrestling and TheOpenMat.

The signing class in 2019, was ranked No. 16 by InterMat and No. 17 by FloWrestling. Four from the nine-member class were ranked in the top-100 nationally.

The Wolfpack put together another top-10 class that will be freshmen in 2020-21, as FloWrestling ranked the Pack’s class of 2020 No. 8 nationally. It marked the third time in the last five years the Wolfpack has been ranked in the top-10 nationally, and this is the third straight class ranked in the top-20 by FloWrestling.

Following his first campaign, Popolizio and his staff signed a top-rated recruiting class in the spring of 2013. The Pack’s signees were ranked: No. 4 according to D1collegewrestling, No. 10 by both WIN Magazine and InterMat, No. 13 by the Open Mat/AWN and No. 14 by Flo Wrestling. NC State made it two-for-two with another nationally ranked recruiting class in 2014, cited No. 19 by FloWrestling, No. 20 by TheOpenMat.com, and No. 25 by InterMat.

 In the classroom, NC State had its first-ever ACC Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Years, as Nick Gwiazdowski won the award in 2016, Michael Macchiavello followed suit in 2018. and Hayden Hiodlay was named in 2020 The Pack has also had 26 Academic All-America selections, including a school record six in 2020, and 28 placed on the All-ACC Academic Team over the last seven years.

For the first time in school history, the NC State Wrestling team was named a National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Top-30 Scholar All-American Team in 2020. The Wolfpack ranked 16th nationally with a 3.25 team GPA.

In May of 2018, Popolizio served as the head coach for the USA at the Cadet Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The U.S. dominated, winning the team title with 9 of the 10 wrestlers winning Gold.

The 2019-20 season was cut short due to COVID-19, but the season will still go down as one of the best in school history as the Pack finished #3 in the final NWCA Coaches’ Poll as one of only two undefeated schools nationally. The Pack repeated as both ACC Champions and ACC Dual Championships, while posting the first-ever undefeated season in school history (15-0). With the NCAAs canceled, NC State had six named All-Americans. The Pack claimed the ACC Wrestler of the Year (Hayden Hidlay), Rookie of the Year (Trent Hidlay), Coach of the Year (Popolizio) and Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Hayden Hidlay).

In 2018-19, the Wolfpack posted its school record sixth straight top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships, placing 17th overall. Hayden Hidlay became only the third wrestler in school history to earn All-American honors as both a freshman and sophomore after he placed fourth. NC State also won the ACC Championship with three individual titles and won a share of the ACC regular season title for the second straight year.

In 2017-18, NC State brought home its first-ever team trophy, as the Wolfpack finished a school and ACC-best fourth at the 2018 NCAA Championships. R-Sr. Michael Macchiavello won a national title at 197 pounds, and R-Fr. Hayden Hidlay placed second at 157 pounds. NC State became the first ACC school with two NCAA Finalists. The Wolfpack also had a school record four All-Americans with R-Fr. Tariq Wilson placing third and Sr. Kevin Jack taking sixth.

The Pack went 15-2 in duals, and finished sixth in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. For the second straight season, NC State took second at the ACC Championships, with three individual champions and five in the finals.

NC State went a perfect 5-0 in ACC duals, marking the Pack’s first ACC regular season title since 2004 and the first undefeated conference season since 2000.

NC State led the ACC and ranked 12th nationally in attendance with over 1,800 fans per dual, including over 3,900 fans versus Ohio State – both marks are school records.

Following the season, Popolizio was named ACC Coach of the Year and Macchiavello was named ACC Wrestler of the Year.

In 2016-17, NC State finished eighth in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll after a 13-2 mark in duals, placed second at the ACC Championship with five reaching the finals, and took 17th at the NCAA Championships behind two-time All-American Kevin Jack and 10 NCAA Qualifiers.

The Pack defeated #16 Michigan, 23-15, in the NWCA National Duals, becoming one of only three schools to win their matchups each of the first two years in the event.

The 2015-16 season will go down as one of the best in school history. NC State won the 2016 ACC Championship, the first at NC State since 2007. Four individuals were crowned conference champions, and six made it to the finals overall.

Following the conference title, the Pack had eight NCAA Qualifiers, including six seeded grapplers and for the first time ever; four were seeded fifth or better. As a team, NC State finished in 11th place at the NCAA Championships, the best finish since a school-best seventh in 1993. The Pack tied the school record with three All-Americans in 2016: Tommy Gantt (5th – 157), Pete Renda (3rd – 184) and Nick Gwiazdowski (2nd – 285).

NC State finished the regular season ranked #2 in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, the highest ranking in school history. The Pack went 23-1 in dual matches, setting a new single season school record for most wins. NC State also set a new school record with 21 consecutive wins to start the 2016 season, as the previous best was nine. Included in the dual wins were road victories at national powers Oklahoma State and Iowa – making NC State the first school ever to win at both in the same season.

Following his fourth season at NC State, Popolizio was named the 2016 National Coach of the Year by FloWrestling.

Redshirt-senior Nick Gwiazdowski was named the 2016 ACC Wrestler of the Year, the third consecutive season he has won the conference’s top award. He is only the second wrestler in ACC history to be named Wrestler of the Year three straight times. During his three-year career at NC State, Gwiazdowski won two NCAA titles (2014, 2015) and finished runner-up in 2016, in addition to winning three straight ACC heavyweight titles and finishing his NC State career a perfect 55-0 in duals.

In 2015, the Pack placed 16th at the NCAA Championships. NC State had a pair of All-Americans for the first season since 1993, as Gwiazdowski repeated as NCAA Champion at 285 pounds and became the first wrestler in school history to win multiple NCAA titles, and only the third ACC wrestler all-time to do so, and the first since 1995. He finished the season undefeated, going a perfect 35-0. Freshman Kevin Jack went from unseeded to a fifth place finish at 141 pounds. Gwiazdowski repeated as ACC Wrestler of the Year, while Jack was named the ACC Freshman of the Year.

NC State finished 2015 with a dual record of 16-6, with all but one of the losses coming to top-10 teams at the time of the dual. The 16 wins are the fourth-most in a single season at NC State. The Pack finished the regular season ranked 17th nationally in the final USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. NC State was also ranked #14 by InterMat.com and #18 by FloWreslting.com in their final regular season polls.

In just his second season in 2014, Popolizio added to the Pack’s storied tradition with NC State’s sixth individual national champion. Gwiazdowski became NC State’s third heavyweight to win the NCAA title. Gwiazdowski, who finished the year with a 42-2 record, won the ACC heavyweight title and then plowed through the NCAA field, winning five straight matches and defeating the No. 1 seed in the tournament, two-time NCAA champion Minnesota’s Tony Nelson, to win the title. He became the first ACC wrestler to win a national championship since the Wolfpack’s Darrion Caldwell in 2009. He was named the ACC Wrestler of the Year.

In all, five NC State wrestlers qualified for the 2014 NCAA Championships, combining for a 10-8 record. Three wrestlers, Gwiazdowski, Gantt and Sam Speno, each won at least two matches. As a team, the Pack finished 19th overall, the second highest finish among all ACC schools.

In his initial season as head coach for the Pack, NC State had three wrestlers qualify for the 2013 NCAA Championships, placing 63rd overall.

Prior to coming to NC State, in six seasons at Binghamton University (2007-12), Popolizio transformed the Bearcats into a national contender after inheriting the program that went 0-12 following its reinstatement in 2005-06. Among his highlights with the Bearcats:

  • 14th at the 2012 NCAA Championships
  • 21st at the 2010 NCAA Championships
  • 2010 CAA Champions
  • Two-time CAA coach of the year (2012 and 2010)
  • Candidate for national coach of the year in 2010
  • Four All-Americans and 21 NCAA qualifiers over six seasons
  • CAA Wrestler of the Year and CAA Rookie of the Year in both 2012 and 2010
  • 15-4 dual meet mark in 2011-12 was a school record .789 winning percentage
  • School record 16 wins in 2010-11

Binghamton’s meteoric rise on the mat has been mirrored in the classroom. Popolizio substantially improved the program’s Academic Performance Rate (APR) from 727 to 957 between 2006 and 2011. In his final season, the Bearcats earned individual 2012 National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic honors and boasted 10 CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award honorees. In 2009, Popolizio’s team ranked 17th in the country academically. BU wrestlers also placed a high priority on community service, recently helping residents at emergency shelters and in their neighborhoods after historic flooding hit the area.

Prior to his stint at Binghamton, Popolizio was the lead assistant and recruiter at American University for two seasons, helping that program finish 17th in the country. At American, he coached seven NCAA qualifiers and the school’s first All-American. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach at Army (2003-04) and Sacred Heart (2002-03). His team at Sacred Heart achieved the highest grade-point average of any wrestling program in the country.

Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Popolizio was a decorated wrestler during his student-athlete career for Oklahoma State coach John Smith, a six-time world champion. Among his highlights during his collegiate career:

  • Three-time NCAA qualifier
  • Won greater than 90 matches
  • Ranked No. 1 in the country at 184 pounds during senior year
  • Helped lead Oklahoma State to Top 5 national finishes (second, third, third and fifth) at NCAA Championships in each of his four seasons in Stillwater
  • Big 12 runner-up in 1998 and 2002
  • Fifth at the World Team Trials in 2003
  • 2002 Oklahoma State Hustle Award

Popolizio graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. He was a two-time Big 12 All Academic selection and five-time recipient of the Oklahoma State Student-Athlete Award.

At the prep level, Popolizio was a New York state scholastic champion for Niskayuna High. He was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 1996 state prep meet, where he captured the 177-pound title, and went on to become the national high school runner-up.”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COACH SPOTLIGHT – UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA’S LOU ROSSELLI

As found on University of Oklahoma’s website, below is Lou Rosselli’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

“Lou Rosselli was named the head wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma on August 30, 2016, after spending 10 years on the Ohio State coaching staff.

In Rosselli’s first year at the helm the program’s development was evident as the squad produced a 10-3 mark after the holiday break to finish the season with an 11-6 overall record, including wins over three ranked teams. In addition, the Sooners finished in second place at the 2017 Big 12 Championship, and eight wrestlers qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships in St. Louis. Rosselli made a mark in the recruiting circuit as he picked up seven top-100 recruits to begin the 2017-18 season. 

The Sooners posted an 8-11 mark in Rosselli’s second season and sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, held in Cleveland, Ohio. Rosselli continued his trend of high-caliber recruiting, adding four more top-100 recruits to the roster ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Rosselli’s third year saw the Sooners go 10-6 overall and 5-3 in conference matches. Redshirt freshman Dom Demas became OU’s 274th all-time All-American wrestler and picked up the Big 12 title at 141. Demas and four other Sooners qualified for the NCAA Championships.

In his fourth year at the helm, the Sooners qualified six for the NCAA Championships, led by top-10 national seeds and NWCA All-Americans Dom Demas and Anthony Mantanona. Oklahoma continued its high level of recruiting, securing a top-20 class nationally.

During his time in Norman, Rosselli’s squads have produced 24 Big 12 All-Academic honorees, 29 NCAA qualifications and four conference finalists.

Prior to his arrival at OU, Rosselli was promoted from Buckeyes assistant coach to associate head coach following the 2008-09 season after helping lead OSU to NCAA runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2009. He also played an integral role in helping deliver the program’s first national championship in 2015.

A native of Middleport, N.Y., Rosselli was named the 2009 National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2014 USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year. He mentored four-time NCAA Champion Logan Stieber and two-time champ J Jaggers.

Additionally, the three-time Terry McCann National Freestyle Coach of the Year (2007, 2013 and 2016) has had a large presence with USA Wrestling and has served as a volunteer coach for the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team at both the 2016 Rio Games, where the U.S. earned two medals (one gold), and the 2012 London Games, where the U.S. won three medals (two gold). As a three-time U.S. Freestyle World Team Coach, Rosselli led his squads to third-place finishes at the 2006 and 2011 FILA Wrestling World Championships, and to a fourth-place showing in 2007.  Rosselli, the 14th head wrestling coach in OU history, was named to the 2015 USA Wrestling coaching staff for the 2015 World Championships, and his 2009 team earned gold at the Pan American Championships. In 2010, he coached the U.S. World University Games Team, and he served as assistant coach when the U.S. placed third at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey.

Rosselli was a wrestler on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team (114.5 pounds), and earned gold at the 1997 World Cup and silver at the 1998 Pan American Championships. He was also a University National Freestyle champ in 1994 before capturing U.S. National Freestyle titles in 1995, 1996 and 1999.

A two-time All-American, Rosselli wrestled collegiately at Edinboro from 1989 to 1993. He was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Eastern Wrestling League Championships Outstanding Wrestler in his senior season and was a three-time PSAC champion at 118 pounds. In his rookie season, Rosselli was named the EWL Freshman of the Year and became the first freshman from Edinboro to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Rosselli earned the Young Alumni Award from the Edinboro University Alumni Association and has been named to the Edinboro, Eastern Wrestling League and Greater Buffalo Sports halls of fame.

Prior to his stint with the Buckeyes, Rosselli served as a volunteer assistant coach at Edinboro for three years before being promoted to assistant coach for eight seasons. Rosselli earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Edinboro in 1993.

Rosselli and his wife Amy are parents to Jordan, Ty and Jaxson.”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COACH SPOTLIGHT: ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ZEKE JONES

As found on Arizona State University’s website, below is Zeke Jones’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

The seventh coach in ASU wrestling history, Zeke Jones was hired in April 2014.

Jones earned his third Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor in four years in 2020 after leading the Sun Devils to it’s highest conference tournament point total (141.5) since 1993 while winning the program’s 19th Pac-10/12 title. He becomes the first ASU wrestling head coach to win the conference award three times since Thom Ortiz did so in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

An Olympic silver medalist for the United States, Jones was the 1991 World Champion at 52kg, a four-time World-Cup Champion, and coached United States’ Olympians in the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2012 Olympic Games.

A member of ASU’s 1988 NCAA Wrestling Championship team, Jones was a three-time All-American and Pac-10 Champion for the Sun Devils. A national runner-up at 118, Jones sits at No. 4 in ASU’s career record book in both overall victories (134) and dual victories (59). He also holds the school record for dual match victories in a season with 22 during the 1989-90 campaign.

As Olympic head coach, Jones’ athletes earned two gold medals and one bronze at the London Games in 2012. His athletes in the 2004 Athens Games, where he was the freestyle coach, earned a gold and two silvers.

In the four World Championships during Jones’ tenure, USA placed third in the 2011 World Championships, fifth in 2013, and seventh in 2009. He also led USA to five individual World Champion medals, including two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs.

The United States competed in three Freestyle World Cups during the Jones era, placing third in 2012 and 2013, and sixth in 2010. During the Jones staff era, USA won eight Junior World medals, five University World medals and four Cadet World medals.

Jones came to USA Wrestling after coaching at the University of Pennsylvania from 2005-07, where he amassed a record of 33-17-1. Following the 2006 campaign that saw an NCAA Champion, two All-Americans, two Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) champions, and a third-place finish at the EIWA Championships, Amateur Wrestling News named Jones the Rookie Head Coach of the Year.

Prior to coaching at Penn he served on the coaching staffs at West Virginia, Arizona State, and Bloomsburg University. Jones coached teams that have finished in the NCAA Final Four twice, in the top-10 four times and won six conference team championships. Individually his wrestlers have won six NCAA titles, eight NCAA finalists, 36 individual conference champions, 29 All Americans, 74 NCAA Qualifiers, and 11 wrestlers have competed in the NWCA All Star Meet. 

Originally from Ann Arbor, Mich., Jones is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, member of the Arizona State University Hall of Fame, and Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Jones and his wife, Renee, have four children, Jessica, David, Rebecca, and Jacob.

Coaching Accomplishments

  • 2017, 2018, 2020 Pac-12 Coach of the Year
  • Head Coach, United States Freestyle Wrestling Team
  • Head Coach, 2004 US Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team
  • Head Coach, 2003 Pan-American Games Team
  • 2001 National Freestyle Coach of the Year, USA Wrestling
  • Head Coach, 2001 World Championship Team
  • Head Coach, 2000 World Cup Team
  • Assistant Coach, 2001 World Cup Team
  • Coaching Staff, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games
  • Coach, 2000 Pan-American Championships
  • Head Coach, 2000 NCAA International All-Star Team
  • Assistant Coach, 1999 NCAA International All-Star Team
  • Head Coach, 1998 World Cup Team Champions

Wrestling and Leadership Accomplishments

  • Winner of FILA’s “World’s Most Technical Wrestler” – 1 of 3 American’s to win the award (also: John Smith and Chris Campbell)
  • 1991 World Champion
  • 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist
  • Four-time World Cup Champion
  • Six-time National Champion
  • Pan-American Games Gold Medalist
  • Goodwill Games Gold Medalist
  • 1995 World Bronze Medalist
  • NCAA Division I National Team Champions member, 1988
  • NCAA Division I National Team Runner-Up member, 1989, 1990
  • World Championships Team Champions member, 1993, 1995
  • Eight-time World and Olympic Team member
  • Espoir National Champion and Outstanding Wrestler
  • Espoir World Silver Medalist
  • NCAA Finalist and three-time NCAA All-American
  • Three-time Pac-10 champion
  • Midlands Champion
  • Pac-10 Tournament Grand Marshall
  • Distinguished Member, National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Arizona State University Hall of Fame
  • Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Runner-up, Man of the Year, Amateur Wrestling News
  • USOC Board of Directors
  • USA Wrestling Board of Directors
  • Chairman, Athlete Advisory Council, USA Wrestling”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COACH SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA’S COLEMAN SCOTT

As found on University of North Carolina’s website, below is Coleman Scott’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

Coleman Scott, a four-time All-America performer at Oklahoma State and the 2008 NCAA champion at 133 pounds, was named head coach of the North Carolina wrestling program on August 13, 2015. Scott, who came to UNC as an assistant in 2014, is the sixth head coach in the history of the program.

In 2019, Scott led the Tar Heels to their best showing at nationals in nearly a quarter century. Led by All-American performances from senior Chip Ness and redshirt freshman Austin O’Connor, UNC finished the competition 19th, the team’s best finish since 1995. In 2020, before the cancellation of the NCAA Championships, Scott’s Tar Heels went 14-3, good for an .823 winning percentage, the team’s best since 1997.

 A native of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Scott capped an incredible career at OSU by winning the 2008 NCAA title at 133 pounds. In addition to his success at the collegiate level, Scott has also excelled at the international level as a four-time member of the United States National Team. His crowning achievement came at the 2012 London Olympics, where he won a bronze medal in freestyle wrestling at 60 kg.

Scott has recently served as the U.S. Women’s Freestyle National Team coach. 

Prior to starring at Oklahoma State, Scott was a three-time Pennsylvania state champion at Waynesburg Central High School. Scott and his wife Jessica have three children: daughter Leighton Ann and sons Stetson Lewis and Cash Allen.”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COACH SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF IOWA’S TOM BRANDS

As reported on the University of Iowa website, the Hawkeyes’ head wrestling coach Tom Brands’s bio (learn about this man’s background below)!

“Five-time Big Ten and three-time NWCA Coach of the Year Tom Brands completed his 15th season as head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa in 2021. A 1996 Olympic gold medalist and member of wrestling’s Hall of Fame, Brands is only the eighth wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. The former Hawkeye wrestler was a four-time All-American and three-time national champion (1989-92) at Iowa. He has a 236-23-1 (.909) overall and 113-10 (.917) Big Ten coaching record at Iowa. He has a 253-43-1 (.852) career mark.

In 15 seasons as Iowa’s head coach, Brands has led the Hawkeyes to four NCAA and six Big Ten team titles, crowning 13 NCAA champions, 24 Big Ten champions and 89 All-Americans. Iowa has had 142 Academic All-Big Ten recipients, including a school-record 17 in 2019-20. The Hawkeyes have qualified 138 wrestlers for the NCAA Championships in the last 15 years, sending the entire 10-man lineup in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2020 and 2021. Iowa has won or shared the Big Ten regular season title 12 times in Brands’ 15 seasons.

Iowa set the national collegiate dual meet attendance record of 42,287 when Iowa defeated top-ranked Oklahoma State, 18-16, on Nov. 14, 2015 at the Grapple on the Gridiron at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa has led the nation in attendance every year since Brands was named head coach. The Hawkeyes set an NCAA all-time attendance average of 12,568 in 2019-20.

Brands has been named NWCA National Coach of the Year three times. He was first honored in 2008 after leading the Hawkeyes to their first NCAA team title since 2000. He was recognized in 2020 when the top-ranked Hawkeyes won Big Ten regular season and tournament championships and entered the NCAA Championships as the favorite to win the team title. The tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He most recently won the award in 2021 when Iowa won Big Ten and NCAA team titles.

Brands was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2020 and 2021. He is the only coach in program history to earn the award five times.

Brands served as head coach at Virginia Tech University for two seasons (2005-06), recording a 17-20 dual mark. In his first season with the Hokies, Brands led the team to the 2005 regular season Atlantic Coast Conference title, set a school record for dual meet wins (16) and had a school-record five wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships. During his tenure, Virginia Tech crowned five ACC champions and had two All-Americans. Senior heavyweight Mike Faust was named 2006 ACC Wrestler of the Year.

Prior to taking the helm at Virginia Tech, Brands was an assistant coach at Iowa for 12 seasons (1993-2004). He helped the Hawkeyes to a 177-27 dual record, seven NCAA and eight Big Ten team titles, while crowning 23 NCAA champions, 73 All-Americans and 36 Big Ten champions. He was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.

In 2004, he was one of three coaches for the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, participating in Athens, and in 2016 he was named a volunteer coach of the United States Olympic team in Rio. Brands also served as assistant coach for the U.S. Freestyle World Teams in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2014, and 2015. He was named Freestyle Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling in 2002 and 2003. He has coached a number of other U.S. teams in international competition.

As a competitor, Brands won the 1996 Olympic freestyle gold medal at 136.5 pounds in Atlanta, Georgia. He also won a gold medal at the 1993 World Championships in Toronto, two World Cup gold medals (1994, 1995) and was the 1995 Pan American Games champion. He won four U.S. National titles (1993-96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993-96). Along with his twin brother, Terry, Tom was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, the 1993 John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler, and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. He was inducted into wrestling’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

Brands was a four-time All-American at Iowa (1989-92). During his Hawkeye career, he won three NCAA titles and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the 1992 NCAA Championships. Also a three-time Big Ten champion, Brands won 95 percent of his matches at Iowa. His career mark of 158-7-2 includes an undefeated season in 1991 (45-0).

The Sheldon, Iowa, native was born April 9, 1968. He earned his B.S. degree in physical education from Iowa in 1992. He and his wife, Jeni, have three adult children, Madigan, Kinsee and Tommy.”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

A WINNING TEAM AT FLORIDA’S CREEKSIDE HIGH SCHOOL, HEADED BY COACH RICK MARABELL

By ROCCO ARTESIAN

In a presciently and thoughtfully drafted letter, Creekside High School head coach Rick Marabell wrote:

“I have been involved with the sport of wrestling for over 40 years now. My favorite quote is from the great wrestler and legendary coach Dan Gable, ‘Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.’ I can say in my life that quote has rang true over and over again. I believe that wrestling offers certain life lessons that may take years to develop or experience.

My high school and college wrestling coaches had a huge impact on my life. They not only taught the skills and techniques required to be successful on the mat, but they also understood that, as coaches, they had an opportunity to instill character traits that would last a lifetime. As a coach and mentor, I feel it’s my responsibility to pass on those same core character traits. I have listed only five of the many core character traits that wrestling has to offer. It is these five traits our wrestling program chooses to focus on because of their lasting impact.

Humility: There is no bigger test than competing in a physical one on one completive match. In wrestling, an athlete can’t hide behind or place blame on teammates for a loss. As an individual sport, wrestling will subject a competitor to the thrills of victory, as well, the humbling of defeat. This could be very challenging to many young athletes. This experience forces an individual to make a choice on how to proceed. Either give up or grow from the experience and move forward.

Work Ethic: Success in wrestling is directly related to how hard you work, period. Talent can make a difference, but the best wrestlers are typically separated by those who have put the extra time and effort into their preparation. This carries over into life because there is no substitute for hard work.

Discipline: Wrestling requires an uncommon sacrifice, dedication and most important discipline. Nothing will push you more mentally and physically than the sport of wrestling. Demanding one to be self-motivation and self-reliance to achieve one’s goals, which is all intertwined with discipline. It is you alone that stands in that circle on the wrestling mat. Yes, you’ll get help from coaches, mentors and your parents to prepare, but in a wrestling match it’s all on you.

Mental Toughness: Mental toughness is even more vital than physical toughness, as your mind will almost always give up before your body. Wrestling does develop physical toughness, but most importantly the aspect of mental toughness. In all sports, mental toughness plays a key component, but in wrestling, it’s more prevalent because of the one on one combative nature of the sport.

Confidence: Once you realize that the worst thing that can happen in wrestling is getting pinned, which can be upsetting, you have only one direction to go and that is forward. You may not be successful at first, but this can be achieved through work ethic, self-discipline and continual determination to improve one’s self. Once you put it all together then success will follow.

All five of these character traits are symbiotic because they rely on each other. Through one’s work ethic and self-discipline develops mental toughness and in the end one’s self-confidence, but it all starts with humility. I know wrestling isn’t for everyone, but if an athlete chooses to participate in wrestling then they will be rewarded with qualities that will remain with them throughout their lives.”

Rick Marabell has served as the head coach for the Creekside High School wrestling team since 2008, when he initiated the program; since then, he has been the only head coach for the team. Creekside High School, located in St. Johns, Florida is a Class 3A school for wrestling, meaning it has a very large student population and competes in the toughest division in the state against other giant high schools. This past season, Marabell headed a team that had three wrestlers – Hunter Brown (region champ), Bryan Fortay (2nd in regions), and Diego Rivera (4th in regions) – punch their tickets for the state tournament. In addition to these three state qualifiers, Creekside High School had three district champs (Brown, Fortay, and Vincent Approbato) and four other wrestlers who placed in the districts (Rivera, Hunter England, Andrew Feeks, Conner Wright, Cathan Simpson, Keanan Sexton, Lee Leavell, and Michael Little).

Marabell wrestled at both Keystone College and Millersville University. At Keystone, he was a two-time national qualifier in his college’s division. During his sophomore year, he was ranked number two in the nation for his division. Marabell furthered his wrestling accomplishments while serving as a starter on the U.S. Air Force Team. He was a member of the All-Air Force Team that was present at the Olympic training camp in the early 1990s. In total, Marabell wrestled hundreds of matches during his collegiate and Air Force careers, with the vast majority of those matches resulting in Marabell victories. When he graduated from Tunkhannock High School (Pennsylvania), he was only the second person in school history to record over 100 wins.

Creekside High School which, overall, has outstanding athletic programs as overseen and developed by its statewide-respected athletic director, Luke Marabell (brother of Rick), is also an academic powerhouse. The school ranks, academically, at the very top in Florida; the St. Johns County School District is ranked in the top 10 nationally. Smart schools employ smart wrestling coaches and athletic directors.

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

Highlight Corner: Wrestling Hall of Famer Ken DeStefanis a Rock Star

By CANDY STALLWORTH

USA Wrestling Hall of Famer Ken DeStefanis, known to his friends and colleagues as “Kenny D”, has led one of the most eclectic careers in American wrestling. Following are some key highlights, making him a wrestling rock star.

As a Division 1 head coach, Kenny D compiled a 72% winning percentage, during a career that spanned 12 years for Central Connecticut State University; this winning percentage put him in the top 20 in the nation for active coaches.

Kenny D also racked up a tremendous record as a collegiate wrestler, going 66 – 9 during his own career on the mat for Central Connecticut.

He has coached thousands of wrestlers, from youth through high school through college – not only as a college and high school coach, but also through voluminous camps that he led under his Competitive Edge banner.

In addition to being in the national Wrestling Hall of Fame, Kenny D is in the Connecticut Wrestling Hall of Fame, where a powerful tribute video was produced as part of his induction. Numerous wrestling standouts spoke of not only Kenny D’s outstanding accomplishments in wrestling, but also of his great character as a human being.

Heading up Competitive Edge, a company that is one of the leading names in U.S. wrestling, Ken DeStefanis is not just a rock star, but a perennial wrestling star.

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.