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Iowa Extends Dual Win Streak to 45, But Brands Isn’t Happy

November 28th, 2009 by Tom

Andy Hamilton "¢ Iowa City Press-Citizen

The top-ranked Iowa wrestling team did enough Friday to beat up on two more opponents and set another school record for dual dominance.

But the Hawkeyes didn't do enough to appease coach Tom Brands during wins against Bucknell and Rutgers in Lewisburg, Pa.

"There is seven minutes to wrestle and much, much more has to happen in those seven minutes, "Brands said. "I'm not sure we understand that right now. We could understand it, but then what's the hesitancy? That's the disconnect. We've got to figure it out. There's got to be more happening in seven minutes."

The Hawkeyes (7-0) won 16 matches while beating Bucknell 29-7 and handling Rutgers 33-9 to extend their school record of consecutive dual wins to 45 and match the program record for most wins on the road with 31.

Freshman Matt McDonough registered a pin and a technical fall in a pair of victories at 125, Daniel Dennis posted a technical fall and a major decision at 133 against No. 13 David Marble of Bucknell, and Jay Borschel notched two majors at 174, including a 10-1 demolition of Bucknell's ninth-ranked Shane Riccio.

McDonough, Dennis and Borschel have scored bonus points for the Hawkeyes in all seven of their matches this season.

Top-ranked Brent Metcalf had his string of five straight pins snapped when he went down to the wire before pulling out a 3-2 win against No. 13 Kevin LeValley of Bucknell at 149.

"(LeValley) had a game plan and the game plan worked, "Brands said. "We get sharper finishing and we can widen the gap that way. If we do finish, the gap is probably wider there, but there's not enough attempts. There has to be more attempts."

The Hawkeyes are off until the Dec. 6 showdown with No. 2 Iowa State in Ames.

"That's what we live for, "Brands said. "We better get sharper quick."

Iowa 29, Bucknell 7

125 -- Matt McDonough (UI) tech. fall Derrik Russell 19-4, 7:00.

133 -- Daniel Dennis (UI) maj. dec. David Marble 14-5.

141 -- Dan LeClere (UI) dec. Zac Hancock 9-5.

149 -- Brent Metcalf (UI) dec. Kevin LeValley 3-2.

157 -- Brantley Hooks (B) dec. Matt Ballweg 6-1 .

165 -- Andy Rendos (B) maj. dec. Aaron Janssen 10-2 .

174 -- Jay Borschel (UI) maj. dec. Shane Riccio 10-1.

184 -- Phillip Keddy (UI) maj. dec. Rob Waltko 12-4.

197 -- Chad Beatty (UI) dec. Jay Hahn 11-5.

Hwt. -- Jordan Johnson (UI) dec. Joe McMullan 7-3.

Iowa 33, Rutgers 9

125 -- Matt McDonough (UI) pinned Vinny Dellafave 3:39.

133 -- Daniel Dennis (UI) tech. fall Billy Ashnault 20-5, 7:00.

141 -- Dan LeClere (UI) dec. Trevor Melde 7-3.

149 -- Brent Metcalf (UI) tech. fall Kellen Bradley 20-5 in 6:27.

157 -- Aaron Janssen (UI) dec. Braden Turner 2-0.

165 -- Gregory Zanetti (R) dec. Jake Kerr 8-6 SV .

174 -- Jay Borschel (UI) maj. dec. Daniel Rinaldi 16-3.

184 -- Grant Gambrall (UI) maj. dec. Jesse Boyden 11-3.

197 -- Chad Beatty (UI) dec. Lamar Brown 9-3.

Hwt. -- Dominick Russo (R) pinned Jordan Johnson 1:24.

Iowa AD says Tom Brands is not interested in Cyclone job

April 23rd, 2009 by Tom

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard showed interest in Iowa assistant wrestling coach Terry Brands, according to Hawkeye officials, but the feeling may not have been mutual.

Meanwhile, some of Iowa State's signees are waiting to see who the Cyclones hire for their vacant head coaching position before deciding their immediate futures.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta indicated in an e-mail to The Des Moines Register that Pollard expressed interest in Brands after Cael Sanderson left the Cyclones to become coach at Penn State.

Barta said, however, that Brands indicated he's not interested in replacing Sanderson in Ames.

"Terry is a world-class coach and so this certainly didn't surprise me or anyone else, "Barta wrote. "However, on more than one occasion (Tuesday) Terry shared with me he is not interested in becoming the coach at Iowa State, that he's a Hawkeye."

Brands, the brother of Iowa coach Tom Brands, said Tuesday afternoon he had not been contacted about the job, but declined additional comment on questions that would specifically eliminate his name from consideration.

He left Wednesday for Venezuela to help coach at the Pan American Championships.

Pollard has declined an interview request this week - and has not commented publicly during past coaching searches.

Former Iowa State NCAA champion Joe Heskett, another possible candidate for the job, declined comment Wednesday.

Heskett, a four-time NCAA finalist and former Sanderson teammate, is an assistant coach at Ohio State, which finished second to Iowa during last month's NCAA Tournament.

Iowa State has at least four high school seniors signed to national letters of intent.

Whether many of those recruits enroll at Iowa State or ask to be released from their commitments hinges on Iowa State's next coach.

"I have to wait to see who they hire for me to be released anyway, so I'm waiting to see who they get, "said Trent Weatherman, a two-time state champion from Ballard of Huxley. "Depending on whether I think that's going to be the best choice for me, to see if (scholarship money) stays the same, that will help me make my decision whether I'm staying or going somewhere else."

Weatherman, who helped his team to Class 2-A traditional and dual-meet state championships each of the past two seasons, said the news of Sanderson's departure was difficult to hear.

"It wasn't good news at all, "Weatherman said. "It was a hard enough decision the first time around, and now it's even a harder decision because I have a lot less options and kind of have to make the same choice all over again."

Weatherman said Iowa State told him it will not release recruits from their commitments until they have met with the new coach.

David Taylor, a four-time state champion from St. Paris Graham of Ohio, declined comment Wednesday about his plans.

Brett Means, wrestling coach at Goddard (Kan.) High School, referred questions about the status of four-time state champion Boaz Beard to his father. Beard's father did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

The plans for Luke Macchiaroli, a three-time champion from Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Ariz., are unknown, according to Corona del Sol coach Dave Vibber.

"I will tell you he loved Cael and that is why he wanted to go to Iowa State, "Vibber said.

The wait-and-see carries down to individuals who have considered the Cyclones but remain unsigned.

At Urbandale, coach Mike Moreno said his son, Michael, and teammate Evan Knight want to find out the identity of the new coach.

The elder Moreno was an all-America wrestler at Iowa State, as was Steve Knight, Evan's father.

Changing plans can be a knee-jerk reaction to a coach making a job change, Moreno said.

"After the smoke clears and everything settles, it's still Iowa State, "Moreno said.

10 Coaches, 1 Question: What 1 Thing Would You Change About College Wrestling?

February 2nd, 2009 by Tom

The following 10 coaches were asked the exact same question: If you could change one thing about college wrestling what would it be?

Tom Brands, University of Iowa Head Wrestling Coach

It would be the weigh-in procedures and basically how they have done a disservice to nutrition in this sport.

Barry Davis, University of Wisconsin Head Coach
Stalling calls. Make the guys wrestle more. That's all. It's the best sport going right now. A lot of action. It's such a good thing now. You don't need to change much of it, just make guys wrestle.

If you watch international wrestling it's boring to watch because you can stall and get away with it. There's not enough points scored.

Todd Hibbs, Olivet College Head Wrestling Coach
I'm one of those folks who is in favor of the one semester sport. I love this sport. I love all the competitions. I love all the time we get to put into it, but I really think one semester is the way to go.

I just think that academically it makes a lot of sense. In a sport where you have weight management issues it makes a lot of sense. I'm pretty strongly in favor of that move.

Rob Koll, Cornell University Head Wrestling Coach
I'd take a month off the season. It's too darn long. In what sport can you peak for six months? You simply can't do it. And it's also a sport where you have the weight cutting and it's so physical.

The football season is probably about a third as long as wrestling and it's a similar kind of contact sport. I think you have a lot of injuries because of the length.

The old-timers can say that we always used to be this way but the old-timers didn't wrestle 150 matches in the summer either. So the season never ends.

I think you could take one month off of competition and it would allow people to focus more on dual meets, which are more exciting. It would allow me to focus more on dual meets as opposed to backing off "and letting kids rest and peak at the right time.

Mike Machholz, Missouri Valley Head Wrestling Coach
What I would like is to go to a little bit later season. Get away from March Madness and make it one semester.

See more at http://www.wrestling411.tv/?p=868

written by Kyle Klingman

USA Today: Brands, Cael Reignite Iowa/ISU Rivalry

December 8th, 2008 by Tom

Brands, Sanderson re-ignite Iowa wrestling rivalry

By Luke Meredith, AP Sports Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa " They're shooting for a record crowd Saturday night in Iowa City.

Local authorities gave the University of Iowa permission to increase the capacity at Carver-Hawkeye Arena from 15,500 to 16,000. Officials have warned folks to buy their tickets in advance and arrive early, and the school plans to run shuttles from parking lots around campus to alleviate traffic.

Must be a Jonas Brothers concert, a Hannah Montana show or a big-time basketball matchup, right?

No, no and no.

It's the annual dual meet between the Iowa State and Iowa wrestling teams. In a state that prides itself on being a cradle of wrestling, that's a very big deal - and this year's matchup between top-rated Iowa and second-ranked Iowa State could be the biggest yet.

Iowa is hoping to break the dual-meet record of 15,646 set by Minnesota when it hosted the Hawkeyes in 2002. The school had sold 13,500 tickets as of Thursday morning.

"I think it shows that wrestling is strong in Iowa, "said Iowa coach Tom Brands. "When you look at two programs that are 200 miles apart, or whatever, I don't know if there's any other place in the country like that."

That one of the biggest rivalries in all of college sports is as popular as ever is a testament to the schools' dynamic young coaches - Brands and his Iowa State counterpart, former Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson.

The 40-year-old Brands, himself a gold medalist at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, was hired by the Hawkeyes in 2006 after they fired coach Jim Zalesky, who had the unenviable task of replacing legend Dan Gable. Though Zalesky won three straight national titles at Iowa from 1998-2000, a six-year drought followed.

Brands, a former three-time national champion at Iowa, was charged with putting the nation's pre-eminent program back atop the college wrestling hierarchy. It took him just two seasons to get there, as last spring Iowa rolled to its 21st national title by a whopping margin of 38.5 points.

Brands - who recently signed a contract extension through 2013 that will pay him $150,000 a year plus incentives - will be hard-pressed to approach the 15 national crowns Iowa won under Gable from 1977-97, but he appears to have laid the foundation for an extended run at the top.

Iowa has won 22 straight dual meets and is favored to repeat as national champions. The 13 wrestlers in position to compete in the 10 individual matches on Saturday night are a combined 74-6 this season.

"These guys are about the lifestyle. They are geared toward doing the best they can every time they step out on the mat, "Brands said. "The one thing about this team that I like is that when they get ready to go, they're pretty good."

Sanderson, hired by the Cyclones a week before Brands got the Iowa job, is widely viewed as the greatest college wrestler who ever lived. He's already established a strong reputation as a coach, even though he won't turn 30 until next June.

Sanderson went 159-0 at Iowa State and was the only athlete ever named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA meet four times. He spent just two seasons as an assistant with the Cyclones before becoming head coach.

Though the man who once graced the cover of a Wheaties box likely could coach anywhere he wanted, Sanderson views the Iowa State job as a "dream situation."

The Cyclones feel the same way. Besides the esteem that comes with having Sanderson as the face of the program, a team that slipped to 13th at the national meet in 2006 has won two straight Big 12 titles and was second at the 2007 national meet.

The Cyclones are ranked No. 2 in the latest Intermat/NWCA poll.

"It's awesome. That's why I'm coaching here, "Sanderson said. "Wrestling is important at Iowa State. We do have the support of the fans and the alumni and the university."

Sanderson has put Iowa State in position to challenge for its first national title since 1987, but the Cyclones know that the road to the title will go through Iowa City.

They'll get to see how they stack up to the vaunted Hawkeyes and a raucous crowd that, even by Iowa standards, figures to be huge.

"It's fun, it's something that I look forward to as a coach. I know our wrestlers look forward to it, "Sanderson said. "If you get a chance to step out there on a stage where there's 10,000-plus, 15,000 people watching, it's pretty cool."

Brands signs contract extension

November 30th, 2008 by Tom

University of Iowa Sports Information

IOWA CITY, IA -- University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta announced today that Coach Tom Brands has signed a contract extension that will run through the 2013 wrestling season.

"Tom Brands is the best wrestling coach in the country, "said Barta. "When you combine that with the fact he's been a Hawkeye all his life, the fit is perfect. I look forward to working with him for many years to come."

Brands' new contract will run through June 2013 and increases his guaranteed annual compensation to approximately $150,000. Additional academic and athletic incentives will offer Brands opportunities for additional income.

The 2008 NWCA, W.I.N. Magazine and Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, Brands is in his third season as Iowa's head wrestling coach. He has a 39-6 overall and 13-3 Big Ten record at Iowa, and a 56-26 career mark. Brands and the defending NCAA and Big Ten Champion Hawkeyes are off to a 4-0 start this season with wins over Iowa Central (52-0), Coe (51-0), Minnesota State Mankato (45-3) and Arizona State (41-0) at the Iowa City Duals last week. Iowa is currently on an 18-dual match winning streak.

In only his second season as head coach, Brands guided the 2007-08 squad to NCAA and Big Ten titles, as well the Big Ten regular season title with an undefeated 8-0 league mark. It was Iowa's 21st NCAA team title - the first since 2000 - and the Hawkeyes' 32nd Big Ten championship - the first since 2004. Iowa also won the 2007 Midlands title and the Division I trophy at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in January. The Hawkeyes posted a 21-1 dual mark, ending the season on a 14-match winning streak. Senior Mark Perry and sophomore Brent Metcalf each won NCAA titles, and Iowa crowned a total of seven all-Americans, which was the most for Iowa since 2001. Iowa also produced six academic all-Big Ten honorees, which is the second-highest total in school history.

Brands served as head coach at Virginia Tech University for two seasons (2005-06), recording a 17-20 dual mark. 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 titles, while crowning 23 NCAA champions, 73 all-Americans and 36 Big Ten champions. He was named the NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.

As a competitor, Brands won the 1996 Olympic freestyle gold medal at 136.5 pounds in Atlanta, GA. He also won a gold medal at the 1993 World Freestyle 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, included an undefeated season in 1991 (45-0).