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Ohio State Head Wrestling Coach Tom Ryan Signs a Five-Year Contract Extension

August 11th, 2015 by Tom
Wrestler Hug

Ohio State head wrestling coach Tom Ryan

Ohio State head wrestling coach Tom Ryan has signed a five-year contract extension, TJ Shelton, associate athletics director for sports administration, announced today.

“Our wrestling program has enjoyed unprecedented success under Coach Ryan’s leadership and he has established himself as one of the nation’s best coaches,” said Shelton. “Tom has led us to a place among the nation's elite during his nine years as our head coach. He and his staff have demonstrated the importance of the overall development of our student-athletes - providing outstanding community service, building a championship program and placing an emphasis on success in the classroom. We are delighted that Coach Ryan will continue to build character, integrity and accountability with our student-athletes for years to come.”

“I’m grateful to Gene Smith and the department for thinking enough of me to sign me to another five-year contract,” said Ryan. “This is a special place and I am fortunate to be in a position to impact lives, inspire others and pursue excellence. I’m looking forward to graduating another crop of recruits and continuing to bring pride to this university through the sport of wrestling.”

Ryan, who recently concluded his ninth season in Columbus, has led the Buckeyes to unprecedented heights, culminating last season with the programs first-ever national championship. The 2015 Big Ten, NWCA and InterMat Coach of the Year, Ryan also guided the team to its first conference title in 64 years. Ryan is the first coach ever to be a three-time InterMat Coach of the Year selection (2008, 2009, 2015).

In all, Ryan has coached four different student-athletes to eight national championships, including just the fourth four-time champ in the history of the sport, Logan Stieber. Fourteen wrestlers have reached the NCAA finals and at the conference level, nine Buckeyes have been crowed Big Ten champions.

After arriving from Hofstra prior to the 2006-07 campaign, Ryan quickly molded Ohio State into a national power, highlighted by NCAA runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2009. Overall, the Buckeyes have finished in the top 10 of the NCAA championship team standings in eight of the last nine seasons. Ryan has a 113-42 dual match record at Ohio State, including a 47-26 mark against Big Ten competition.

In the classroom, Ryan’s student-athletes are thriving as well. Eight Buckeyes have been recognized by the National Wrestling Coaches Association with NWCA All-Academic Team accolades - J.D. Bergman, J Jaggers, C.J. Magrum (two-time), Corey Morrison (two-time), Mike Pucillo, Colt Sponseller, Nathan Tomasello and Bo Jordan. Additionally, since Ryan’s arrival there have been 48 Academic All-Big Ten honorees and 96 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes.

Brands on likely Kinnick wrestling dual. May shatter NCAA attendance record.

July 30th, 2015 by Tom

hawked outdoor wrestling

All signs are pointing to a wrestling dual meet and a national attendance record going down Nov. 14 at Kinnick Stadium.

Reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands said, “There’s something big coming. And we’re excited about it.”

The University of Iowa isn’t going as far to say the Hawkeyes will definitely host an outdoor wrestling dual (in what could be near-freezing temperatures) prior to that night’s 7 p.m. football game vs. Minnesota in Iowa City, nor is it confirming the opponent. Wrestling spokesman Chris Brewer said the 2015-16 schedule is not ready to be released.

“Our staff has been working on a significant and very exciting project involving our wrestling program,” said Rick Klatt, the UI’s associate athletics director for external relations. “We are just about done dotting all of the I’s and crossing all of the T’s in the planning process.”

The wrestling team’s official Twitter account (@Hawks_Wrestling) got the buzz started with a standalone tweet Tuesday that depicted “11.14.15” overlaying what appear to be football-field yard lines and hash marks. Later in the day, Hawkeye Wrestling Club member and international star Brent Metcalf tweeted, “@Hawks_Wrestling fans, tired of some other school holding the attendance record? This year (it) comes home.”

If the outdoor dual happens at Kinnick, it would almost certainly shatter the NCAA attendance mark held by Penn State, which drew 15,996 fans against Pittsburgh in 2013. That broke the previous record of 15,955, which Iowa set in a 2008 dual vs. Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Kinnick Stadium’s listed capacity for football is 70,585.

Iowa’s Big Ten Conference schedule has already been determined — and Iowa vs. Minnesota is already set for Jan. 30 — so the outdoor opponent is likely a nonconference foe. Brands has previously confirmed to Hawk Central that Iowa would host Oklahoma State, a program with 34 national wrestling championships, on this year’s schedule. A call to Cowboys coach John Smith’s cellphone was not answered Wednesday.

Minnesota coach J Robinson said Iowa did not approach his program about the possibility of a Nov. 14 Hawkeye-Gopher doubleheader at Kinnick Stadium. The Gophers are scheduled to wrestle the following day at the Northeast Duals in New York.

Robinson said he first heard about Iowa's plans Tuesday from his director of camp operations, Ty Eustice, a former Hawkeye whose brother, Luke, is Iowa's director of wrestling operations.

“I commend them for doing it,” Robinson said. “I think what they’re doing is great. I think it’s super positive and I applaud them for doing it. We’ve been thinking about doing it for years. It’s good from their standpoint.”

“It takes a lot of time, effort and getting people on board. There’s a lot of things I would do, but it takes a lot of time and a lot of energy and a lot of commitment to get people to do stuff, especially stuff that’s out of the norm.”

You can cross Penn State off the list of possible opponents, too. In a story published Monday on PennLive.com, Cael Sanderson said the Big Ten bumped Iowa from his program's conference schedule and the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions were unable to set up a non-league date.

"It's not ideal," he said. "I was trying to make it happen. It just didn't seem to work out. It's up to us as coaches to try to figure it out and we just weren't able to figure it out.''

Outdoor wrestling isn’t brand new. For example, Cal-Poly has hosted a few Pacific-12 Conference outdoor duals. But the climate in San Luis Obispo, Calif., is far more conducive to being outdoors in a wrestling singlet. According to accuweather.com, the average temperatures in Iowa City for Nov. 14 range from a high of 51 degrees to a low of 32.

by Chad Leistikow and Andy Hamilton

USOC calls for ‘urgent’ need to help NCAA Olympic sports

November 19th, 2014 by Tom

Missouri Wrestler

The head of the United States Olympic Committee said recently that the organization has a $5 million donor prepared to invest in preserving Olympic sports at colleges.

During a speech in Washington, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun called on an "urgent" need for the USOC to develop partnerships with the NCAA that keep lower-profile sports alive as the college model changes. Some college administrators fear that recent -- and possibly future -- court rulings removing some restrictions on athlete compensation will cause some universities to drop certain Olympic sports.

Blackmun noted that since 1981 college men's gymnastics teams dropped from 59 to 16, women's gymnastics teams from 99 to 62, and wrestling teams from 146 to 77.

"As somebody who knows about this recently said to me, no college athletic director has ever been fired for terminating an Olympic sport program," Blackmun said. "Our concern stated very bluntly is that the inevitable reallocation of resources in college athletics will make it even more difficult for Olympic sport programs to survive."

College programs in part help develop and train athletes who participate for the United States at the Olympics. Blackmun said the USOC wants to form a working group with the NCAA.

"Can we use our great Olympic brand or the event experience of our national governing bodies to build revenue-generating properties for conferences and schools?" Blackmun said. "Can we find a way for colleges to use their Olympic identities to recruit athletes and coaches and perhaps build facilities? Can our national bodies host national championships and conference championships in our sports?"

Blackmun stopped short of the USOC supporting the NCAA's rules preventing high-profile athletes from being paid.

"We need to figure this out in a way that doesn't cause us to lose college sports on the Olympic side," Blackmun said. "I don't know what the answer is to that question because obviously those athletes create a heck of a lot of value, and I'm not sure we've adequately answered the question -- not necessarily why don't we give them all of that money, but why haven't we done more for them?"

The speech was part of a second forum in recent months sponsored by the Big 12 about the state of college sports. Panelists included media members and current and former athletic directors.

During one panel, former Congressman Tom McMillen said a bill will soon be introduced in Congress by retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) to establish a presidential commission to study college athletics. The idea is similar to the President's Commission on Olympic Sports that was created by Gerald Ford in 1975.

The Olympic commission came in response to conflicts among the NCAA, Amateur Athletic Union and U.S. Olympic Committee over athletes' rights and the amateur status of participants in games. The issue also got pushed by America's international struggles in the Olympics.

The commission led to the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which established the USOC as the coordinating Olympic body in the United States. The act chartered a national governing body for each sport and required that active athletes have a 20 percent share of the voting seats on each of the 39 new U.S. Olympic committees.

Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger said he expects issues facing college sports to reach Congress. The NCAA spent $230,000 on lobbying from July through September, with a total of $470,000 for 2014 so far, according to public disclosure documents, which were first reported by Bloomberg. The NCAA's previous high on lobbying spending since 2000 was $180,000.

The latest three-month period in lobbying costs was for "issues relating to research on sports concussions to improve prevention, identification and treatment efforts; and issues relating to intercollegiate athletics and the well-being of student-athletes," the NCAA wrote on its disclosure form.

Texas women's athletic director Chris Plonsky said college sports needs an outside organization "with some teeth in it" to enforce NCAA rules -- echoing a statement some major conference commissioners have said in recent months.

"If that happens to be with a government-type agency, that's where we need to start on that," Plonsky said. "Some of the rules on how we feed (players), when we feed them, those are so easy to fix. But what you can't just fix are integrity, lack of ethics and people who just want to play by a different rulebook. That's hurting college athletics in the nationwide perception."

The True Value of Sport

November 11th, 2014 by Tom

Eric Morris

Every year, around 400,000 college students sign their name on dense compilations of written rules and regulations issued by the NCAA. These rules essentially state that the NCAA, and in some cases the university for which the students compete, will be the only recipients of any revenue that is produced by the athlete.

To someone who is not familiar with the NCAA, the choice of an athlete to give up these rights in order to compete under a big corporation that limits athletes' freedoms and financial incentives may seem absurd, especially when there is an extremely small margin of individuals that ever get the opportunity to become professional at their sport and compete for money. However, every year, hundreds of thousands of student athletes choose to sacrifice small freedoms and financial opportunities for the satisfaction of competing at the highest level of amateur sports -- and they aren't the only ones.

Millions of people around the world participate in amateur and club sports just for the experience of competing and training. Of course, sports are enjoyable and provide many opportunities for successful athletes, but there has to be a greater driving force that leads competitors who will never be premier athletes to compete and spend significant amounts of time training.

This is the true value of sport: the character built from participating and the experience and rewards of being part of a team. These lessons often serve as a guide and platform for the success of an athlete in the real world. Those who are able to translate what they have learned in sport to real life situations are able to achieve and progress swiftly because of their teachability and experience.

As a wrestler who has been competing at an elite level for 13 years, with state and national titles, and as current Harvard student with a few jobs under my belt, I have certainly reaped the benefits from athletic pursuits. The lessons I have learned from my sport have allowed me to accomplish some of my major goals off the mat and keep me focused in my day-to-day life. So far, wrestling has helped me gain acceptance into an excellent university and even taken me around the world to compete. I can't imagine dealing with the rigors of an academic schedule at an Ivy League institution without the values I have gained through wrestling.

There have been times when I have been in tough courses that require exams that seem as if they were written in another language, and many students panic or shut down because succeeding on the exam may seem like an impossible feat. However, because of my experience as an athlete, I am able to concentrate on my preparation for the test and perform to the best of my ability while understanding that if I don't end up with the grade I want, then I will simply work harder for the next exam.

Perhaps a more relevant and relatable example of how sports have impacted my life can be seen through my experience as an intern, or even my current focus of taking care of my grandfather suffering from Alzheimer's disease. In my time spent as an intern for a Massachusetts-based real estate company, I realized for the first time just how much of an impact wrestling has had on my life.

There were days when I walked into the office and the pile of work in front of me seemed unbearable and simply too much to complete, but when I compared the amount of office work I had to the work I have always put into wrestling it seemed like a breeze. As an intern, I had a lot of tedious work and even some challenging physical labor at times, but it isn't comparable to the work it takes to be a division one wrestler. Are dozens of spreadsheets really as difficult as dozens of partner carries up football stadium sections? I can tell you from experience, the answer is an easy no.

More important than any advantage wrestling has given me in the working world, however, is how wrestling has shaped my character. I've been in California for about a week now looking after my grandfather and spending time with him. I have always looked up to him as a successful businessman and, more importantly, as a man with integrity and a huge heart.

Though his disease causes him to struggle at times and leads to confusion in his daily life, the patience and perseverance I have learned through wrestling help me to aid him and be there for support. In fact, the responsibilities of looking after an Alzheimer's patient are comparable in a lot of ways to the responsibilities of being a camp counselor, a job I have taken on many times. An Alzheimer's patient, much like a young athlete, must constantly be reminded of their current goals. Although the actual goals may be different, the role that the coach or caregiver takes on for each is actually quite similar. It takes patience and understanding, and concepts must be reinforced many times before the individual actually learns them, and sometimes it takes failure or errors to truly learn or arrive at a goal.

The other day, I left my grandfather alone for an hour or two while I went down the street to workout. When I returned, the car had been moved, and I was locked out of the house, as my grandfather had the only key and for whatever reason had left with the car. Instead of panicking in this situation and focusing on the potential negative outcomes, I was patient and made a set of minor goals to help me with my ultimate goal of finding my grandfather and the car. A few calls and about thirty minutes later I was able to find him near the house and together we walked around the blocks surrounding the house until we found the car. Without my experience teaching youth wrestlers and my goal-oriented nature thanks to wrestling, I am sure I would not have handled this situation well. Times like this allow me to realize the real benefits of participating in a sport.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to have learned from exceptional coaches and teachers in my life, and will continue to utilize the skills they have taught me in real life situations. I am confident that throughout the rest of my college wrestling career I will continue to grow on the mat, but more importantly as a person. Wrestling is a huge part of my life and I cherish the sport and truly enjoy training and competing, but the values it has instilled in me as a person mean much more than any accomplishment the sport has to offer. I will always encourage young people to participate in sports and allow their character to grow from the lessons sport has to offer, and no matter where my life takes me, I will depend on what wrestling has taught me and use it as a guide for success.

via Eric Morris - Student, Harvard University

Daniel Cormier Retires

July 5th, 2014 by Tom

wrestling shoes

Daniel Cormier retires from wrestling for good, leaves his shoes on the mat after win over Chris Pendleton.


Daniel Cormier tied a ribbon around his prestigious amateur wrestling career earlier this afternoon, defeating former Oklahoma State University (OSU) teammate, Chris Pendleton, in an exhibition match at UFC's "Fan Expo" in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"DC" went down early (0-3), but the U.S. freestyle wrestling team captain (2008) stormed back to record a dominant win on points (12-5).

He summed up the experience in a post-match interview with MMAFighting.com:

"I didn't get to wrestle in the Olympics, I didn’t get to do my last match, so I wanted to finish my career on mat, rather than in the hospital. I wanted to end it on the mat.... It felt crazy. I was so nervous before, and then Chris takes me down and he’s winning 3-0. It was kind of scary, man, I don’t like to lose. It was crazy.... It was a good finish. Now that I’m in the UFC and fighting in the UFC, and to do it at the Fan Expo, it means a lot. I guess it's a symbol of completely finishing that chapter and moving onto the next chapter in my life. I can feel it now already there was something back with wrestling that I needed to get rid of, and now I can move on from it."

Pendleton is certainly no scrub. He was a two-time Big 12 champion who won back-to-back NCAA titles (2004, 2005) at 174 pounds at the expense of uber-talented mat rat, Ben Askren.

And Cormier was able to handle him despite an injured knee, one that will require surgery to repair later this year as he awaits the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson, which is now set for UFC 178 in Las Vegas on Sept. 27, 2014.

NCAA Wrestler Loses Eligibility Because He Made an Inspirational Rap Song Under His Real Name

March 1st, 2013 by Tom

The International Olympic Committee may have kicked wrestling out of the Olympics, but the ancient sport lives on in the lives of the many amateur athletes still taking part in competitions.

One wrestler at the University of Minnesota may have seen his days as a competitive wrestler come to an end, however " all because he recorded an inspirational rap song.

Joel Bauman is a 21-year-old redshirt sophomore wrestling for the University of Minnesota. At least, he was. The NCAA just ruled Bauman ineligible to compete for the rest of the season.

The reason? A song called "Ones in the Sky," an inspirational rap song that Bauman recorded and uploaded to YouTube. The song is also available for download on iTunes, for the customary 99 cents.

The NCAA isn't exactly thrilled about this. The organization says Bauman is running afoul of its rules, which stipulate that amateur athletes cannot use their name, image or status to sell a commercial product.

From the sound of things, Bauman could make this whole problem go away and continue taking part in NCAA competitions if he simply changed the song's credit to list him under a pseudonym. He wants none of that, however.

"I think a lot of artists and rappers today hide behind their aliases," Bauman told the New York Times. "They don't want to take responsibility for what they're actually saying. I'm Joel Bauman. My message is: I will inspire, and I will impact. I am not going to hide behind an alias to do that, because that's my message. I can own up to that message."

The University of Minnesota team isn't exactly hurting without Bauman " they just regained the top spot in the national rankings " but it's the principle of this story that matters. Bauman will be stripped of his athletic scholarship if he doesn't regain his eligibility.

"I have a plan to figure this whole thing out, to be able to do both," he said, perhaps overly hopeful of a positive resolution. "But my message is more important than my eligibility in the long run. So if I can't, then so be it."

Respect Your Opponent – Equality In Sports

November 5th, 2012 by Tom

Three-time NCAA all-American wrestler, Hudson Taylor and Athlete Ally are taking aim at, homophobia and sexism in sports and, working, to bring real, sportsmanship.

Any sport is about respect. Respecting yourself, your opponent and your team. And respect includes equality.

Since having his own "ah-ha "moment in 2010, Taylor has tried to bridge the gaps between athletes and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities across the country, he said

"My senior year, I wore a human rights campaign sticker on my headgear because I thought it would look cool, "said Taylor, who is now a wrestling coach at Columbia University. "I had no intention of turning it into anything... but in response, I got thousands of emails from closeted kids across country, and that was my 'ah-ha' moment."

For the past two years, Taylor has dedicated his life to being an LGBT ally, focusing his attention on athletics.

Taylor's journey into activism includes talking with his religious family about being an LGBT ally and fearing his teammates would think he was gay.

"If I can remove or flush out some of the obstacles and explain how I overcame them, then maybe they'll also take a stand, "he said.

Last year, Taylor launched Athlete Ally, a nonprofit that encourages the athletic community to respect all individuals

A hostile attitude toward the LGBT community is not unique to athletes, Taylor said, but the competitive nature of sports fuels discrimination through phrases like "don't be a fag "and "you throw like a girl."

"There's a combination of homophobia and sexism in sports, "Taylor said.

Sean Espinoza, a CU senior and member of the co-ed cheer team, said as an openly gay athlete, he relates to both sides of the issue.

During a recent football game, Espinoza said he was cheering to the student section when he heard a student yell, "tackle that faggot. "Espinoza pointed to the student and told him to "watch his mouth "through his megaphone.

While the student did not apologize, he seemed embarrassed, and Espinoza said he didn't hear another slur that day.

"I've experienced homophobia and jerks everywhere, but one thing I've appreciated is that people seem to take responsibility for themselves when it's pointed out, "Espinoza said. "Overall, my experience as an openly gay athlete at CU has been pretty positive.

Espinoza said he holds the LGBT students partially responsible for the disconnect between the gay community and athletes.

"It's up to LGBT students and allies to stand up to athletes and correct the language that's being used, "Espinoza said. "They're just as wrong for staying away from sporting events rather than going and making a statement."

Taylor said he won't be happy unless he inspires at least one student to take action.

"I'll encourage the athletes to reach out to me and help them become allies too, but at the end of day if there's no next step, my visit's a failure, "Taylor said.

Take the Athlete Ally pledge today and, promote the best of athletics by making all players feel respected on and off the field.

NDSU Wrestling Preview

November 1st, 2012 by Tom

This year's NDSU wrestling team's members will look to build off the wins they were able to get last year. Last year, the Bison's returning wrestlers went for a combined 309-186 while being 49-54 in duals. Last year's members that are returning this season had a total 66 pins and will attempt to come out of this season with an even better total.

There are eighteen returning wrestlers from last year's team, some of which include Anthony Caputo (157 pounds, 18-11 overall, 0-0 duals, 5 pins), Tanner Carlisle (149 pounds, 9-5 overall, 0-0 duals, 1 pin), Mark Erickson (141 pounds, 22-18 overall, 6-9 duals, 2 pins), Paul Johnson (141 pounds, 0-2 overall, 0-0 duals, 0 pins), Kurtis Julson (174 pounds, 15-6 overall, 2-1 duals, 3 pins), Kallen Kleinschmidt (197 pounds, 10-4 overall, 0-0 duals, 3 pins), Evan Knutson (285 pounds, 21-18 overall, 4-11 duals, 6 pins), Steven Monk (165 pounds, 36-9 overall, 13-2 duals, 13 pins), Kody Sorenson (184 pounds 17-9 overall, 0-0 duals, 4 pins), Trent Sprenkle (125 pounds, 33-12 overall, 11-4 duals, 9 pins), Mac Stoll (184 pounds, 24-14 overall, 8-6 duals, 1 pin), and Hayden Zillmer (149 pounds, 21-5 overall, 0-0 duals, 3 pins).

There will also be eleven upcoming freshmen on the team and one new coming sophomore.

There are Monk, Sprenkle, and Stoll that are all currently ranked in preseason polls for the Bison. All of these wrestlers made it to the NCAA Championship tournament last season.

Monk is ranked No. 8 by Amateur Wrestling News, No. 10 by WIN Magazine, and No. 10 by D1 College Wrestling in the 165-pound division. Last year, Monk was one win away from All-America honors in the NCAA Championships and led the Bison in wins with 36.

Sprenkle is No. 9 in the Amateur Wrestling News rankings, No. 10 in the WIN Magazine rankings and No. 10 in the D1 College Wrestling rankings in the 125-pound class. Sprenkle was also one win short of All-America honors in the NCAA Championships last season.

Stoll is ranked No. 19 by Amateur Wrestling News and by WIN Magazine and No. 23 by D1 College Wrestling.

These wrestlers will look to help lead this year's Bison wrestling team this season that will start with an Alumni Dual in Fargo on Friday.

The first meet for NDSU will be the Bison Open on Saturday, November 10th.

OSU Cowboy Wrestling Targets Big 12 and NCAA Success

October 28th, 2012 by Tom

 STILLWATER"Fielding a lineup led by four All-Americans plus two other veteran starters, the Oklahoma State wrestling team is in its customary position to figure prominently into the Big 12 and national championship races.

"We're going into a collegiate season with the top seven or eight programs from last year," OSU head coach, John Smith, said. "Most everybody is back on every team, and it makes it really competitive. We helped ourselves out a little bit by getting, Tyler Caldwell, and I believe that we'll fill some spots where we were weak last year."

Despite the departure of All-American, Cayle Byers, Big 12 champion, Jamal Parks, and NCAA qualifier, Albert White, from last year's team, the Cowboys enter the 2012-13 season with six wrestlers ranked in the top 15 of their respective weight classes in the preseasonAmateur Wrestling News, weight class rankings.

Junior 174-pounder, Chris Perry, is ranked No. 1 nationally with 165-pounder Caldwell and 285-pounder, Alan Gelogaev, both ranked No. 2 in their respective weight classes., Jordan Oliver, enters the season ranked No. 4 at 149 pounds but will factor into the NCAA title discussion no matter where he wrestles. Rounding out the list of Cowboys appearing in the preseason, AWN, rankings are 197-pounder, Blake Rosholt, (seventh), 125-pounder, Jon Morrison, (15th) and 141-pounder, Josh Kindig, (15th).

The weight classes most likely to show fluidity during the course of the season are 125 pounds and 133 pounds, with Morrison, Ladd Rupp, and, Tyler Dorrell, all in the mix for those two starting spots. Morrison has seen the most meaningful action of the batch, but has yet to assert clear control based on his career body of work. Rupp has been in the Cowboy wrestling room for three years and is a very real candidate to become a starter for the first time in his career. It is probable that Morrison and Rupp will compete for the 133-pound spot while Dorrell sees most of the action at 125 pounds, but it is possible for Morrison and Rupp to see 125-pound action as well.

There could also be some shuffling at 141 and 149 pounds, where, Josh Kindig, and, Jordan Oliver, headline the list of preseason candidates to start.

Oliver's presence is particularly significant because he spent the first four years of his collegiate career cutting weight to get down to 133 pounds, where he was nothing short of dominant. A three-time All-American and two-time national finalist, Oliver won the 2011 NCAA title as a sophomore. Smith said Oliver's weight-class switch is done in part with an eye toward the future.

"It's just a natural move for him," Smith said. "We haven't decided if he'll be at 141 or 149 yet, but for his progression of moving into international wrestling after this season - he sees himself at 145 there - this move would be a good transition for that."

It should come as no surprise that Oliver developed a taste for world-level wrestling given that he spent the summer of 2012 with the U.S. Olympic team as a training partner for bronze medalist Coleman Scott and Jared Frayer.

"That experience that he got during the summer - sometimes you don't see it right away - but as he moves on into the future, it will benefit him greatly," Smith said.

The final weight class where there is some question as to who will start is 157 pounds, where junior, Dallas Bailey, and redshirt freshman, Alex Dieringer, will likely compete for the starting spot with senior, Joe Ali, also an option. While Bailey is an experienced member of the program, he hasn't put together the kind of career résumé that would make him a lock to start over the decorated redshirt freshman Dieringer.

Things get more solidified as you move up in the weight classes and it starts at 165 pounds, where two-time All-American and 2011 NCAA runner-up Caldwell is likely to make an impact from the start. After spending his first two years competing for Oklahoma, Caldwell took an Olympic redshirt year in 2011-12 before transferring to Oklahoma State. He should be a national presence for the Cowboys at a weight class where they haven't had an All-American since, Johny Hendricks, in 2007.

For the first time in his collegiate career, Perry carries the No. 1 ranking nationally in his weight class. The Stillwater native placed third at NCAAs in 2012 and is a two-time Big 12 champion. The two wrestlers who finished ahead of him last season are both out of the mix this year, with NCAA champ Ed Ruth of Penn State moving out of the weight class and Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford out of eligibility.

OSU is likely to start a newcomer at 184 pounds in, Chris Chionuma, who was impressive in the wrestling room and in open tournaments while redshirting last season. Chionuma wrestled the first three years of his career at Lindenwood University, where he was a three-time NAIA All-American, two-time NAIA finalist and 2011 NAIA champion at 174 pounds. Other options at 184 pounds include, Zach White, and, Colton Hill.

After wrestling at a high level last year, Rosholt will start at 197 pounds for the Cowboys. Rosholt was part of an embarrassment-of-riches scenario a year ago, as both he and Byers wrestled at an All-America level throughout the course of the season but only one could compete in the postseason and the nod went to the senior Byers. Rosholt now holds commanding control of the weight class and is positioned for a big year after taking his lumps as a fill-in heavyweight his freshman year and sitting out of the postseason as a sophomore.

One of the most intriguing wrestlers to watch nationally will be Cowboy heavyweight, Alan Gelogaev, who established himself as an NCAA title contender by stringing together a 24-0 record with nine wins over ranked opponents before suffering a season-ending injury last year. He's back this year with a title squarely in his sights. Should he go down, Tyson Yoder, is a capable veteran backup., Austin Marsden, who stepped in for Gelogaev last season, is ticketed to redshirt this year.

"Right now, it's all about developing the weight classes where we struggled last year," Smith said. "It's also really important that we keep everyone healthy. I'm excited for our veterans in the lineup. We have a really good atmosphere in the room and great team unity. There's where great seasons start."

Iowa governor declares Oct. 25 ‘Dan Gable Day’ to honor wrestling legend

October 20th, 2012 by Tom

 The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum announced Wednesday that Iowa governor Terry Branstad will declare Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 Dan Gable Day across the entire state. A special presentation will be made at the NWHFDGM in Waterloo, where Gable was a three-time state champion at Waterloo West.

"Dan Gable embodies commitment, perseverance, and dedication"values that are the foundation of the great state of Iowa and its people," said Branstad in a news release. "I am honored be part of this historic event."

Almost everyone knows Gable's resume, including two-time NCAA champion and three-time national finalist at Iowa State and the 1972 Olympic gold medalist, at Munich, Germany. His Olympic title was highlighted by the fact he didn't allow a single point in competition.

Gable coached the University of Iowa from 1977-1997, guiding the Hawkeyes to 15 NCAA team titles and 21 Big Ten championships. Gable was honored in April with, a bronze statue outside of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Below is a news release from NWHFDGM:

Dan Gable Day to be declared by governor

WATERLOO"Iowa's greatest sports figure and Iowa's longest serving governor will be the focal point of a special presentation in Waterloo. Iowa governor Terry Branstad will declare October 25, 2012, as Dan Gable Day statewide with a special proclamation to be read at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.

Gable was born in Waterloo, Iowa, on October 25, 1948. He turns 64 on the day of the presentation.

"Dan Gable embodies commitment, perseverance, and dedication"values that are the foundation of the great state of Iowa and its people," said Branstad. "I am honored be part of this historic event."

Gable won three individual state wrestling titles at West Waterloo (1964-1966) and compiled a 64-0 career high school record. He went on to win two individual NCAA titles at Iowa State University with a career college record of 117-1. Gable won an Olympic gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics without surrendering a point.

Gable went on to lead the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA championships and 21 consecutive Big 10 titles in 21 seasons (1977-1997) during his tenure as head wrestling coach. In 2000, Sports Illustrated named him the top sports in the state. There are three statues throughout the state dedicated to Dan Gable's legacy.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with a reception at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. A short program will begin at 10 a.m. with comments from Governor Branstad and Dan Gable. The proclamation declaring October 25, 2012, as Dan Gable Day will be read aloud by Governor Branstad.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum is located at 303 Jefferson St. in Waterloo. Contact the museum at (319)233-0745 or [email protected] with questions about the event. This event is free and open to the public.

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