IOWA CITY — Paul Glynn has demonstrated leadership isn’t exclusive to those at the front of the line.
Even though his role as changed from 133-pounder starter last season to a reserve at the weight this year, Glynn has developed into a leader by example in the practice room for Iowa.
“He’s a leader and he’s the No. 2 guy on the depth chart,” Iowa Coach Tom Brands said during weekly media availability Wednesday at the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex. “When you have that in your program you have a tremendous asset.”
Glynn has made the most of his chances this season, placing fifth at the Midlands Championships and beating a ranked opponent in his only dual appearance. The junior from Bettendorf will get another shot when third-ranked Iowa hosts Maryland at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday night, beginning at 7.
“There’s nothing better than wrestling in front of the fans at Carver,” Glynn told media Wednesday. “I’m real excited for it.”
Glynn’s opportunity came when starter Austin DeSanto received an in-house one-match suspension for his actions after the victory at Nebraska that resulted in a team-point deduction. Brands said Glynn has actually tried to help mentor DeSanto. Brands said Glynn is “purely motivated” to make others better, even if he’s their backup.
“I’m very impressed with his growth,” Brands said of Glynn. “It’s something we work hard on in this program. It’s something he can be proud of when he leaves here.”
“The most important thing is he’s ready to go. He’s a heartbeat from the presidency and he’s ready to go. He’s been ready to go.”
Last season didn’t end the way he wanted or how the Hawkeyes needed. He was the lone starter that didn’t advance to the NCAA Championships and posted a losing record.
Glynn wasn’t deterred and didn't sulk when DeSanto transferred from Drexel and took over the starting spot. He continued to work hard and focused on improvement. Glynn has applied the same approach as a full-time starter, making weight on every trip with the team.
“I think it’s important that you’re still acting like you’re the guy in the lineup, because you never know what’s going to happen to the guy in front of you,” Glynn said. “So, you’ve always got to stay ready and train like you’re the guy.”
Glynn’s results have reflected gains. He reached the semifinals of the Midlands. Glynn also defeated Illinois’ Dylan Duncan the first-time he replaced DeSanto. Glynn moved to 8-4 this season, beating then-No. 17 ranked Duncan, 3-1, in sudden victory. He avenged two losses to Duncan, including a major decision at last year’s Big Ten Championships.
Glynn said he doesn’t stress about the outcome. He is more concerned with effort and attitude entering a match.
“You’re seeing more consistency because of his mindset,” Brands said. “I love it.”
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