Cael Sanderson inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling head coach Cael Sanderson was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2015. Sanderson was honored during at the 2015 Utah Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on September 17 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Sanderson, born in Provo, Utah, in 1979, was a four-time Utah State Wrestling Champion at Wasatch High School. After landing one of the state’s most awarded high school careers as a state titlist four times, he moved on to Ames, Iowa and Iowa State University. Sanderson’s run as a cyclone wrestler is historic and widely regarded as one of the greatest achievements in the history of varsity sport for all sports. His four-year run ended with a perfect 159-0 record, a feat still unprecedented, and four consecutive NCAA titles from 1999 to 2002.
With the greatest collegiate wrestling career of all time as a stepping stone, Sanderson rose to Olympic glory, winning a gold medal in freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Soon after, Sanderson began his career. head coach in his Iowa State alma mater from 2007 to 2009.
In a move that transformed the varsity wrestling landscape, Sanderson moved east ahead of the 2009-10 season to become the head coach of wrestling at Penn State. Since then, the veteran head coach has established Penn State’s place among the nation’s elite programs, having won four straight NCAA and Big Ten titles from 2010 to 2014.
In nine years as a head coach (three at Iowa State and six at Penn State before this season), Sanderson has never had a team below ninth place in the NCAA, won four NCAA titles, qualified 80 of 90 possible wrestlers for the national championships, coached 46 All-Americans and 11 national champions. He has a doubles competition record of 126-24-2, including an 82-14-2 mark at Penn State. Sanderson has been named NWCA National Coach of the Year twice and Big Ten Coach of the Year four times.
During his first six years at Penn State, Sanderson had 21 athletes who won NWCA First National Team laurels and 51 were honored as Academic All-Big Ten. His team’s cumulative grade point average has been over 3.0 in each of his six seasons, including the 3.19 rating last year.
Last updated September 18, 2015