Fighting back tears, Cael Sanderson was introduced today as the new wrestling coach at Iowa State University.He replaces Bobby Douglas who will move into an administrative position after 14 years as the Cyclone coach. He led ISU to a second place finish at the NCAA Tournament three times. Sanderson says, “Today is a very special day for Iowa State University. Our legendary coach, coach Douglas, after a distinguished career is retiring from coaching and moving into administration. I love coach Douglas.”
As a competitor, Sanderson’s achievements are unmatched. He went unbeaten in four years at Iowa State before capturing a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. He takes over a Cyclone program that has not won the national championship since 1987. Sanderson says they plan to build off Douglas’ success and I-S-U’s tradition.
Officially it’s being called a retirement and Cyclone athletic director Jamie Pollard says Douglas first raised the possibility of this transition last fall. Douglas was at the news conference but declined to speak and had associate A.D. Tom Kroeschell read a prepared statement that said “The future of I-S-U wrestling is what I care for the most. And making sure that Cael Sanderson is part of the future is the reason for my talks with Jamie.”
Douglas’ statement said he supports the choice of Sanderson and says Sanderson is the only person to lead the program forward. Douglas coached for 33-years and his 1988 squad at Arizona State captured the national crown.