Penn State Head Coach Cael Sanderson Nears Major Milestone with Two Exciting Challenges on the Horizon

Published 01/30/2024, 9:30 AM EST

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Penn State’s five-person search committee had landed in Iowa, with one mindset: to recruit Cael Sanderson for the HC position. The search committee had followed a strict notion of maintaining the privacy of the situation. Given Sanderson’s repertoire, they were looking to add the Olympic champion into their coaching fold. On the other hand, from Cael Sanderson, the same wish had flexed. So eventually, when the final deal had taken place, Penn State wrestling entered into the history book.

In the 2010-2022 timeline, the wrestling program already usurped the top position in the NCAA for a record 9 times under Cael Sanderson’s coaching. Now, in the ongoing season, the 44-year-old is on the brink of touching another phenomenal record.

Cael Sanderson is en route to becoming one of the most successful coaches 


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After the bout against Maryland on January 28, Penn State’s record came squeaky clean in the B1G road this season. Moreover, this time, each opponent had to digest their defeat by a big margin from the Penn State squad when the pack was already dismantled by injury complications. So, apparently, the due credit went to the depth of the team and the strategy implemented by HC Cael Sanderson. Eventually, the coach already used some rookies in the empty positions, which paid him off with favorable results. However, as per the schedule posted on gopsupports. com, the NLWC’s next two matches are against Ohio State and Iowa Hawkeyes. If the victorious mood continues in both matches, then Sanderson will achieve his 200th win being the HC of the program. 


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As an NCAA wrestler, the former Iowa State Cyclones wrestling phenom already holds the unbeaten record of winning more than a hundred matches in Division 1. Moreover, for his alma mater Iowa State, he had a flamboyant 159-0 winning record at the college level. But this time, the record would garland his coaching self. But keeping the wrestling prowess of OSU and Iowa Hawkeyes in mind, the coach has to set his plan accordingly. 


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The 125 and 149-weight categories’ fiasco 

The wrestling depth of Penn State already earned praise from different sections. But for upcoming games, Cael Sanderson might take another look into the 125 and 149 categories. Both these categories faced maximum issues due to the absence of regular players. In the 149 category, the regular entry Shayne Van Ness had already lost the turf because of his injury. So Tyler Casak made an appearance to fill in. However, after flaunting an impressive form, he also passed the baton to David Evans because of illness. However, Evans earned victory in back-to-back matches against Michigan and Michigan State. So in front of Hawkeyes’ Ryder Block, he would be Sanderson’s choice. 

Read more: Penn State Freshman Stuns The Wrestling Team With Homecoming Triumph, Defeats Michigan All-American Opponent at 125 lbs


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However, in 125-category, sophomore Braeden Davis looks to earn the possible contention from NLWC. His raging form received backing from the Penn State HC earlier. In the final lineup, Braeden might have to face either Drake Ayala or Joey Cruz. As of now, Cael Sanderson’s rare record chance is depending on those two wrestlers majorly. 

Watch this story: I Can Wrestle With Anybody Anytime: The Unranked Purdue Wrestler Proved His Boast


Written by:

Prasun Chakrabarty


One take at a time

Hello there! I am Prasun Chakrabarty, an Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. Being an adrenaline junkie, I take a keen interest in creating insights about various avenues of the sporting realm. As an ardent swimming enthusiast, I take inspiration from the Baltimore Bullet Michael Phelps and love to create insights on various nooks and crannies around the turquoise turf.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar