The Iowa State athletic director introduced Kevin Jackson as the new Cyclone wrestling coach. Jackson, the current Sunkist youth development program head coach, replaces Cael Sanderson, who left for Penn State April 17th.
Jackson, a former gold medalist and two-time World Champion, captained the 1987 ISU national championship team.
"We are very excited to welcome Kevin back to the Cyclone family," Pollard said.
Before joining the Sunkist program, Jackson spent eight years as the USA wrestling national freestyle coach and took two teams to the Olympics. Jackson coached Sanderson on the freestyle team, where the former ISU coach won a 2004 gold medal. Jackson also coached Henry Cejudo, who won a gold medal in 2008.
Jackson's freestyle team won the 2001 World Cup. In 2003, USA placed second and finished third in 2006. And before meeting with the media, Jackson already started announcing his plans to keep the Cyclones, who have finished fifth or better in the last three NCAA Championships, in the national elite.
"There is no ceiling to what we can accomplish on and off the mat at Iowa State and I couldn't be more excited to get started," Jackson said. "I'm pleased to inherit such an outstanding team and we'll begin immediately to focus on hard work and technique with the goal of competing for the NCAA title."
Jackson also served as the freestyle resident coach at the Olympic Training Center and head coach for the U.S. Army team from 1998-2001. He won two Pan American Games titles and was a member of United States World Championship teams in 1993 and 1995. He also won U.S. National titles and was the first American to take home the Takhit Cup in Tehran, Iran in 1998.
"His competitive intensity, combined with his technical skills as a coach, will make an immediate impact on our wrestling program," Pollard said. "For the last decade, Kevin has coached and trained the best United States wrestlers. He has excelled at the highest levels of international wrestling as both an athlete and coach."
As a collegiate wrestler, Jackson was a three-time All-American at Louisiana State. When the school dropped the sport, Jackson transferred to ISU, where he was a national runner-up and went 30-3-1 in 1987. Jackson also served as an assistant for the Cyclone wrestling club from 1987-92 and as a volunteer assistant coach at Arizona State in 1997.