IOWA CITY — The head coaching post for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club was not vacant for long.
The club is ready to move forward and replace Mark Perry, who is expected to conclude his three-year tenure by taking a position with Arizona State and Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club.
In a post from its official Twitter account Tuesday, the HWC announced former University of Iowa NCAA finalist and 2016 Olympian Dan Dennis will return as coach.
“Dan Dennis ranks high as a coach,” Iowa Coach Tom Brands said on the HWC website. “He ranks high as a Hawkeye and he ranks high in our locker room. He is the best choice for a lot of reasons, starting with his popularity among our HWC athletes.
“There is always excitement with a new hire and there is a little more pizazz with this one. Dan Dennis is coming back to Iowa and we are fired up.”
Dennis was a two-time All-American for the Hawkeyes, placing second in 2010 and seventh in 2009. He was a member of three NCAA title teams. In freestyle, he was a 2016 U.S. Open champion, 2016 Grand Prix of Germany champion, 2015 Grand Prix of Spain champion and runner-up at the 2015 U.S. World Team Trials.
Dennis gained attention during the last Olympic cycle. He was almost done as a competitor, suffering various injuries to his back, neck and arm. He took a break, traveled and switched gears to coach while in California.
Eventually, Dennis returned to train with the HWC, sweeping teammate Tony Ramos for the 125.5-pound spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.
Now, Dennis will be helping current HWC members achieve their Olympic dreams.
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“To say I am excited to return to Iowa City and train with the best men and women in the world would be an understatement,” Dennis said on the HWC website. “The Hawkeye Wrestling Club gave me opportunities I never would have otherwise experienced, and that support is stronger today than it has ever been. The men and women in the room are incredible. I know how they operate professionally, and I can’t wait to get to know them personally. I can tell you right now we are all lock-step with what is next. The Olympics are 15 months away and we will be ready to go.”
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