Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sanderson officially introduced as Penn State’s wrestling coach

You think Penn State fans are fanatic about their wrestling? Look no further then the star treatment they gave incoming coach Cael Sanderson:
Cheerleaders waved pom-poms, the lights dimmed and about 500 fans cheered and rose to their feet as Cael Sanderson walked out for his official introduction as the new wrestling coach at Penn State.

He stopped at a podium set up in the middle of the Rec Hall floor under the scoreboard, right where the wrestling mat is laid out for home meets.

"I don't really have a lot to say right now ... I'm ready to get my feet on the ground and start moving," a soft-spoken Sanderson said to the crowd. "My plans are big, and my vision is big. It's just a matter of getting it done."

Cael answered some questions about his staff but left some things up in the air:

Sanderson confirmed that two of his Iowa State assistants, including his older brother, Cody, are joining Penn State's coaching staff. Cael and Cody will be joined by Casey Cunningham.

One of Sanderson's toughest decisions could be determining the status of Penn State's current assistants, a group that includes Matt Dernlan, Aaron Anspach and Mark Perry. Director of wrestling operations Troy Letters and strength and conditioning coach Eric Childs also play vital roles in the program.

"I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the rest of my staff," Sanderson said "That's going to take time."

Mark Perry has openly stated that he wants to remain on the Penn State coaching staff but surely a lot of those guys will be going. Cody wrestled at 133 pounds so he will most likely be coaching the lightweights which means Dernlan's services may not be needed. Cunningham wrestled at 157 which means he'll be handling the middleweights so Perry may be out of a job. Anspach looks like the most likely guy to hold his job but you never know, I guess we'll have to wait and see. Sanderson also hinted that he told a lot of the current Iowa State wrestlers to stay and not follow him to Penn State.

"We have a great junior class at Iowa State and I think it's important that they stick together and finish out what they started," he said. "But I'm not sure 100 percent what's going to happen in that area."

One thing's for certain, even if none of his current wrestlers or recruits follow him to PSU you can bet future recruits just put Penn State as one of their final schools.

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