Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa's Tom Brands named NWCA National Coach of the Year

Hawkeyes produced a perfect season, ranked No. 1 all season

Iowa head coach Tom Brands. (David Harmantas/freelance)
Iowa head coach Tom Brands. (David Harmantas/freelance)

Iowa’s special wrestling season garnered another accolade.

Hawkeyes Coach Tom Brands was the recipient this time.

The National Wrestling Coaches Association announced Wednesday that Brands was named National Coach of the Year. Brands earned the honor for the second time and the first time since 2008, which was the first of three straight NCAA team titles.

The Hawkeyes ran the table in Brands’ 14th season at the helm. They were ranked No. 1 all season, looking for their first NCAA team title since 2010 and 24th overall. All 10 Hawkeyes were seeded for the national tournament, including nine projected for All-American finishes.

Iowa was perfect in competition, going 13-0 in duals including a 9-0 conference mark. Brands improved his overall dual mark at Iowa to 231-23-1 and 108-10 in the conference.

The Hawkeyes claimed team crowns at the Midlands and Big Ten Conference Championships. Brands, who was also named InterMat National Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year, led three Hawkeyes — Spencer Lee (125), 149-pounder Pat Lugo and Alex Marinelli at 165 — to conference titles. It was the most Big Ten champs since three in 2003.

Iowa continued its reign over college wrestling in attendance. The Hawkeyes led the nation for the 14th consecutive season, setting an NCAA record of 12,568 for home duals.

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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