The biggest news of the week came on Friday when the Hawkeyes finally released the schedule for 2018-2019. And I went out and celebrated the only way I know how!!!
After that I realized what a doozy it truly is. I won’t dive into it again right now, but it’s a less than stellar lineup. The two biggest matchups of the year will be against Lehigh and Oklahoma State. Outside of those two bruisers, it’s a weak-ass schedule. If you’d like my initial reactions please feel free to read up on it right here, otherwise I’ll be writing more about our upcoming duals as the season draws closer.
More great news hit the Hawks on Friday when Tom Brands officially announced that Bobby Telford would be joining the staff as the new volunteer assistant coach. The previous volunteer assistant was Ben Berhow, who will be transitioning over to the Hawkeye Wrestling Club. He’ll be taking on an administrative and coaching role with the next level guys.
Telford was a three time All-American for the Hawks in 2012, 2014, and 2015. He’s spent the last few years with the HWC competing on the senior circuit where he did find some success. Currently he is ranked #5 nationally, but it appears he’ll be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the freestyle world so he can focus on the collegiate athletes and his new found coaching duties. He wont be allowed to recruit on the road, but he’s still a damn good presence to have in Iowa City.
Though Telford never finished higher than 4th, he’s arguably the best heavyweight we’ve had at Iowa since Steve Mocco. He was definitely a title contender every year, but unfortunately he wrestled against of some of the best big men the sport has had in recent years. Perhaps what I like most about him is his never give up attitude. He was never flashy or fun, but he was solid on his feet, a heavy hand fighter, and for a big man he had a tank. He lost in the opening round of the 2015 NCCA’s and battled all the way back to 5th. A guy that never gives up on himself and will never give up on his athletes is a perfect coach to have in the room.
The Brands Brothers have always had the light & middle weights locked down, but sometimes lacked with the bigs. I sincerely believe Ol’ Bobby can give those bigger boys a boost and with him being in that room full time now, we’ll see an immediate impact. With him transitioning over directly from the HWC he’s arguably still in the best shape of his life and he’ll get Stoll & Co. ready to go. The Hawks realize they’re on the upswing right now and are getting within striking distance of Penn State. We’re not quite there yet, but it begins with coaching moves like this. Welcome aboard, Coach Telford, we’re glad to have you!
Speaking of the heavyweights, here’s a fun little interview with Anthony Cassioppi that hit the scene shortly after his world domination tour.
“Iowa is the best wrestling room in the USA. You can’t really get much better than that.”
Starting Sept 1st coaches are now allowed to make at home recruiting visits to high school Juniors and Terry Brands wasted no time hitting the road. Back in June mega recruit Patrick Kennedy gave his verbal commit to the Hawkeyes and Terry decided to head to Kasson-Mantorville, MN to meet the rest of the Kennedy family and make it an official visit. KP is currently #8 on Flowrestlings 2020 Big Board. He projects between 165-174lbs at the collegiate level, so the sooner we can get him locked in the better. With the likes of him and 2019 commit Abe Assad, the Hawks are looking prrrreeetttty darn good at the upper-middle weights.
The Hawkeye Wrestling Club is also sending five members to compete in the Ziolkowski Memorial Tournament in Warsaw, Poland from Sept 7-9. Representing the men on the freestyle side is Cory Clark (61kg), Brandon Sorensen (70kg) and Sammy Brooks (86kg). For the women, Ali Ragan (59kg) and Forrest Molinari (65kg), will look to bulldoze the field in what will be their final tune-up before their big tourney next month. Both are on the US Women’s World Team and will be looking for gold at the World Championships in Budapest, Oct 20-28.
The US is sending quite the delegation to Poland, including: Darian Cruz, Richie Lewis, former UNI AA Joe Colon, and fellow ISU alums Pat Downey and NCAA champ Kyven Gadson, to just name a few. As far as I know it’s not televised here, but you guys can follow along via Iowa Wrestling Fan’s twitter. Things kick off 10am Friday morning, but there’s a 7 hour time difference between Poland and God’s Time, so please keep that in mind.
For any of you unfortunate souls that have been paying attention to the rollercoaster ride in the ISU wrestling program former Hawkeye great, Brent Metcalf, has been promoted to assistant coach in the wake of another Hawkeye great, Mike Zadick, being fired. Sadly, they picked up a couple monster recruits over the weekend, but for the most part it’s been a shitstorm in Ames this summer. Sorry, I’m not sorry.
I’m extremely happy for Metcalf and I wish him the best of luck. He’s an Iowa legend and deserves every opportunity as a coach, though I still hope he fails when his thugs clash with the Black & Gold. I also hope Zadick lands on his feet. Perhaps he’s feeling a bit salty and he’ll wind back up in Iowa City?
I have my own theories and opinions, but I’m more interested in what you here at BHGP think about the weird series of events in Ames? What do you guys think about Telford and Kennedy? Are we getting closer the to Penn St. juggernaut?