Posts tagged ‘Iowa State’

Cael Sanderson Eyes Another Olympic Gold

My colleague (and our in-house wrestling expert) Lori Shontz ’91 told me this might be coming, and now it’s official: Cael Sanderson, the 31-year-old head coach who led the Penn State wrestling team to a national championship last season, is returning to the mat in the hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The lure of competition is calling Sanderson back to the mat.

Sanderson isn’t just a very good coach who used to wrestle, of course; he’s widely considered the best ever American amateur wrestler, thanks largely to his 159-0 record in four years at Iowa State and the Olympic freestyle gold he won in 2004. Lori, my fellow senior editor, saw Sanderson on campus a few days ago and thought he looked trimmer (the SI.com story linked above states that he’d wrestle at a lower weight class then his most recent tournament appearance) and noticed signs of wrestling-room combat (swollen ears, a fresh scratch on his face) that implied he might be getting in shape for… something. Looks like that “something” is the U.S. World Team Trials, held this weekend in Oklahoma City.

Sanderson is apparently also scheduled to be inducted tonight into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. Whoever’s in charge of the hall of famers’ plaques might want to leave some room on Sanderson’s entry. Looks like he’s not quite done.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

June 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm 1 comment

A Majorly Impressive Hire

2983935It didn’t take Penn State long—just under two weeks—to find a new wrestling coach to replace Troy Sunderland ’93. And the pick is causing some jaws to drop. The University announced yesterday that it had lured Cael Sanderson, one of the legends of the sport, away from Iowa State to be the Lions’ new coach.

Sanderson never lost a match as a wrestler at Iowa State (his career record was 159-0)—a feat that got his picture on a Wheaties box. wheatiesHe also won four NCAA titles, then won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics. Sanderson, who is 29, has been coaching at his alma mater the past three years, and it’s safe to say that not too many people pictured him leaving for Penn State. But here he comes. He’ll be introduced at a news conference Monday afternoon.

By all accounts, the hire signals that Penn State is committed to winning a national championship in wrestling—something that hasn’t happened since 1953.

You can read stories about the announcement at USA Today and the Centre Daily Times. The CDT also has a piece on how members of the current team reacted to the news that one of their heroes is about to become their coach.

Tina Hay, editor

April 18, 2009 at 9:38 am Leave a comment


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