Kevin Dresser Hired as Cyclone Wrestling Coach



AMES, Iowa – Kevin Dresser, the 2016 National  Wrestling Coaches’ Association Coach of the Year, has agreed to return  home to his native state to become Iowa State’s Head Wrestling Coach.  Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard made the announcement Monday  afternoon.


The 54-year-old Humboldt, Iowa native, built a  national power at Virginia Tech. Inheriting a team that won one dual in  the year prior to his arrival, Dresser has led VT to Top 10 finishes at  the NCAA Championship the last four years – including an all-time best  fourth in 2016 – and it is currently ranked fifth. Dresser’s Hokie teams  captured five ACC Wrestling Championships (two tournament and three  dual titles) in the last five years. His teams also won 91% of their  duals (48-5) the last three years.


“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead  one of the nation’s most storied and accomplished college wrestling  programs at Iowa State,” Dresser said.  “Growing up in Iowa, I admired  the sellout crowds at Hilton Coliseum and watching championship coaches  like Dr. Harold Nichols and Jim Gibbons and countless All-America  Cyclones. The administrative commitment– both facilities and operating  budget – along with a devoted and knowledgeable fan base make Iowa State  one of those few programs in the nation that has the foundation to  compete for elite national status annually.”


Pollard aimed high during the search with the  goal of returning the Cyclone wrestling program to national prominence.  Pollard believes Dresser’s championship pedigree as an athlete and coach  will be a natural draw to recruits as well as an inspiration to the  wrestlers on the current roster.


“I believe this hire will be viewed someday as a  very historic one for Iowa State wrestling,” Pollard said. “Kevin is  joining our team because he wants to restore Iowa State to its historic  place – one that includes eight NCAA Championships – on the national  wrestling landscape. He shares our vision that it has been far too long  since we won our last team championship (1987) and fully expects to  build our program into a national title contender. We could not be more  excited to welcome Kevin, Penny and their children to the Cyclone  Family.”


Dresser compiled a 160-51 dual record at Tech and  won ACC dual meet titles in 2015-2016-2017 and league tournament  championships in 2013 and 2014 (this year’s ACC tournament is March 4).  He has coached 65 NCAA Championship qualifiers, 20 All-Americans and  five ACC Most Outstanding Wrestlers. Dresser was named ACC Coach of the  Year the last four years in a row and the state of Virginia’s coach of  the year five times.


Much of the Hokies’ success can be traced to  Dresser and his staff’s recruiting acumen. Six of his classes have  ranked among the Top 11 nationally, including the 2013 group that was  No. 2 according to InterMat.


Dresser was named Virginia Tech’s coach in  2006-07 after a legendary high school coaching career in Virginia. He  led Christiansburg High School (1996-2006) to five state championships  and three runner-up finishes in 10 seasons. Before that, he took Grundy  High School (1988-96) to eight state titles in as many years. Dresser  coached 69 state champions and four of his teams ranked in the Top 10  nationally.


As a competitor, he won two state titles and  compiled a 112-11-1 record at Humboldt (Iowa) High School before a  distinguished collegiate career at Iowa. The two-time All-American and  two-time Big Ten champion won the 1986 NCAA Championship (when he won  the Mike Howard Award as Iowa’s MVW) and placed fourth at the national  meet in 1985. The Hawkeyes won national titles in each of his five  seasons on the roster.


Dresser has been inducted into the Iowa School  Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame (2009), the Iowa Wrestling  Hall of Fame (2014) and the Roanoke Valley Wrestling Hall of Fame  (2015). He was also presented a Lifetime Service Award by the Virginia  chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.


Dresser earned a B.S. degree in general studies  from Iowa in 1986. He and his wife, Penny, have three children: Emma,  Anna and Jack.


Pollard and Dresser agreed to a seven-year deal  worth a total of $2.25 million in guaranteed salary plus incentives. His  base salary for next year is $300,000. Similar to other high profile  personnel announcements at Iowa State, the hiring is pending a  university background check.

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