Iowa State’s former head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson says his decision to leave is not about the money. He said it’s not true that he will make a staggering amount of cash by leaving to go to Penn State. Sanderson says it’s less than a 10% bump in his salary.
On his website, Sanderson also seems to take a little shot at ISU Athletics Director Jamie Pollard, who he writes may have taken a little shot at him. Sanderson posted the comments on his blog Sunday.
“The opportunity to step in and awake a sleeping GIANT is exciting. I know ISU will always be at or near the top. I feel terrible that I didn’t accomplish what I said I would do at Iowa State and that was to win the national championship. That alone almost made me pass on what I feel is a better opportunity for my family. It hurts but down deep I know I have made the right decision.”
This is likely the part Sanderson’s talking about from Pollard’s statement he released Friday:
“During the last week, Cael and I talked numerous times and we had several in-depth and personal discussions about this decision. Those talks included me asking what, if anything, could we do to keep him at Iowa State. I also asked President (Gregory) Geoffroy, Bill Fennelly and Greg McDermott to reach out to Cael and they all did so. In the end, Cael said that he appreciated everything Iowa State and our fans had done for him but he believes winning a national championship will be easier at Penn State. He said the high school talent in Pennsylvania and surrounding states is the best in the country and the kids in that area grow up wanting to wrestle for the Nittany Lions. He also said their overall athletics department resources are the best in the country.”
As a wrestler at Iowa State, Sanderson became the only NCAA athlete to go undefeated in his college career with a record of 159-0. Sanderson is also an Olympic gold medalist. He had been head coach at ISU since 2006.