Wrestling: ISU, Jackson Agree On Contract Extension

By K.J. Pilcher, Reporter

Iowa State Head Coach Kevin Jackson yells to Matt Gibson during his heavyweight match against Iowa's Bobby Telford Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State didn’t have one All-American last year, which put Kevin Jackson’s future as Cyclones head coach in jeopardy.

ISU’s improvement during the last half of this season has cooled the hot seat for awhile.

Iowa State announced Wednesday that Jackson signed a two-year extension, leading the program through at least 2015. Complete details were unavailable with ISU saying complete terms will be released at a later date.

“The progress that our young team made this year is exciting and very promising for the future,” Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said in a news release. “We look forward to continuing to assist Kevin and his staff in building a nationally competitive program that our fans and the institution expect.”

The Cyclones doubled their dual wins from a year ago. Iowa State finished its dual season with an 11-5 mark, including a 3-3 Big 12 record. The Cyclones were 2-1 at the Big 12 Duals last Friday, placing second to highly-ranked Oklahoma State in the conference tournament. Iowa State has six automatic qualifiers, including 197-pound Big 12 champion Kyven Gadson.

Iowa State won 10 of its last 12 duals of the season with the only losses during that stretch coming to Oklahoma State.

Below is the news release:

Iowa State Head Wrestling Coach Kevin Jackson Signs Contract Extension

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University announced today that it has extended the contract of wrestling coach Kevin Jackson, the former Cyclone All-American and Olympic Gold Medalist, through 2015.

“The progress that our young team made this year is exciting and very promising for the future,” Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said. “We look forward to continuing to assist Kevin and his staff in building a nationally competitive program that our fans and the institution expect.”

The Cyclones more than doubled their dual win total from 2012, rejoined the national rankings and placed second at last week’s Big 12 Championship, good for the school’s best conference finish in four years. Iowa State qualified six wrestlers automatically, and could qualify several more this week, for the 2013 NCAA Championships it will host March 21-23 in Des Moines.

Iowa State’s starting lineup this year included two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and three freshmen. Four of the underclassmen are nationally ranked.

“Kevin’s student-athletes have performed well in the classroom, been outstanding ambassadors for our athletics program and really enjoy wrestling for Kevin and his staff,” Pollard said.

In four years leading the Cyclones, Jackson has tutored three NCAA champions (Jake Varner, David Zabriskie and Jon Reader). Varner then went on to win an Olympic Gold medal last summer in London.

Full terms of the contract will be available at a later date.

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