Wrestling: Hawkeyes' Brands Gets 5-year Extension
By Iowa Sports Information
IOWA CITY – University of Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands has signed a five-year contract to continue as head coach of the Hawkeye wrestling program through the 2016-17 season.
The announcement was made today by UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta.
The five-year agreement is competitive with the elite programs in the country and contains a combination of guaranteed income and performance incentives. Beginning in 2012-13, the average annual guaranteed income over the life of the agreement is $225,000. The performance incentives include compensation for academics, longevity and competitive benchmarks.
“I know we’re biased, but I believe Tom Brands is the best wrestling coach in the country,” Barta said. “He’s done an incredible job competing, recruiting, setting high expectations in the classroom, and developing character in young men. He approaches everything he does with intensity and integrity.”
Brands was named head coach of the Iowa program in 2006 and went on to win three NCAA championships from 2008-10. The Hawkeyes have won three conference titles in his six seasons while crowning 10 Big Ten and seven NCAA individual champions. Iowa has qualified 53 wrestlers for the NCAA tournament and crowned 34 All-Americans and 47 Academic All-Big Ten honorees under Brands’ leadership.
Brands has also rejuvenated the Iowa wrestling fan base. When he arrived in 2006-07, Iowa’s average attendance nearly doubled to an NCAA-best 6,740. The Hawkeyes have led the nation in attendance every year since, averaging better than 8,000 fans for four straight years and an NCAA record 9,014 in 2011-12.
“Enthusiasm for Hawkeye wrestling is high,” Barta said. “Tom is a great ambassador for the program, for the university, and for the state. The future continues to look bright under his leadership.”
“I appreciate the support Gary Barta and President Sally Mason have continued to show the Iowa wrestling program,” Brands said. “This commitment goes beyond me. It extends to our student-athletes, assistant coaches, support staff and fans. It is important we realize the responsibility that comes with representing the University of Iowa, and we’re committed to doing so.”
The Hawkeyes return six All-Americans, including two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough, and welcome what some consider the nation’s top recruiting class in 2012-13. The Hawkeyes also return four of their five conference finalists, including Big Ten champions McDonough and Derek St. John.
“It’s always been our mission to win championships and win them the right way,” Brands said. “We’re not satisfied with the status quo. I understand and respect Iowa’s tradition, and we’ll continue to embrace the championship mentality that’s always defined this program.”
The Hawkeyes have won 23 NCAA titles, more than any other school, since claiming their first national championship in 1974. In the 102-year history of the program, Iowa has crowned 51 NCAA and 105 Big Ten individual champions, won 34 Big Ten team titles, and is one of just four schools with more than 900 dual victories.
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