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Is Cael that much better a coach than all others?

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15 hours ago, BHawk91 said:

Cael knew the only chance he had to have this much success was to move on from Iowa St. as he would never of had this much success if he'd stayed.  Like TBar said, he was playing second fiddle to Iowa so he had to bail on Iowa St.  Of course it does not hurt to have an unlimited supply of funds and to have a state that produces more D-1 championship caliber wrestlers than any other state (maybe next to Ohio but I don't think that is the case).  So the simple answer is, he would have had success but not even close to the amount of success he has today.

I feel like he may have been close to the success he is having today. They were already 2,3,5 in the years he was at Iowa State.  Obviously its not in the heart of the PA/OH territory but its not like kids from PA, OH, IL, etc have never went to the State of Iowa.  Don't forget Taylor was an ISU commit before PSU hired him.  I mean its hard to predict this level of domination anywhere else just because every location brings different circumstances, but I honestly don't think the colors of the singlet would have made a huge difference.  Recruiting is not just the coach in the living room but a huge part of it (particularly in wrestling) are the athletes that come before you.  And if a good number of the ones that were there when it started (Taylor, his brother, Alton's etc) would have been Cyclones, along with the notion that Cody, Cunningham, and Varner were the staff there as well (see no reason why they wouldn't), same system in place......I could see a similar ball rolling.  Its been pretty universally acknowledged that one of his big strengths is recruiting his kind of guys.  Would the likes of Nico, McIntosh, Bo, Hall, Cassar, Lee, Berge, RBY, Teske not want to go to him because he was at Iowa State?  And I left out Ruth, Nolf, Zain and others because they were solid PA guys, but can we sit here and say he would have lost out on all of them?  We'd have to add in the prospect that he would be at his alma-mater, a place where he put together one of THE greatest athletic careers in the history of all NCAA sports.   Again its hard to predict this kind of domination at another location, but are we talking a difference of 4 or 5 titles currently instead of 7?

Edited by Lurker

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8 hours ago, silvermedal said:

One huge factor in Cael's success seems to be the experience gained as coach at Iowa State.  He seems to have developed insight into what did and did not work in Ames and brought improved methods to PSU.  Add in the recruiting advantage, rabid fan base and a rare knack with technique and we see what has taken place.  I'd also point out that Cael remains remarkably adept at keeping his program focused on their task at hand.  He gets a lot of criticism for not doing more to grow the sport via National Duals, All Star Meets, etc...but his sole purpose seems to be training his wrestlers to be prepared to dominate at NCAA's.  He reminds me of Belichick in this regard (without the cheating).  

One poster wrote that the entire staff is responsible for the success of the program.  I am flabbergasted that anyone would fail to see that Cael informs every aspect of how his staff functions.  

 

And as you say, in the few close years Cael seems to get his guys to absolutely peak at NCAA's. Every time someone seems to do even more than expected. Last year Nick Lee. One year they plugged in James English. 

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To completely disregard his ability to coach is absurd - he's clearly one of the best to ever do it. Is the gap that wide between he and everyone else? I doubt it, but he's one of, if not the best right now.

He/PSU are bar none the best at nearly everything else though - Recruiting, Financial support,  etc. With that being said, one could argue (and I am in this realm of thinking) that those all fall under what it means to coach. 

Edited by iGranby

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I'm not so sure Cael IS a better coach than everybody else. He's recruited a ridiculous amount of talent, but that's probably as much due to name recognition as anything else. As far as the rest, making sure his guys are peaked and ready for NCAAs, technically proficient, etc, he seems to be doing a superb job.

The thing that separates Cael from the rest is name recognition. John Smith is kind of a fossil to the kids these days, kinda like how Dan Hodge was in my era. The kids look up to him tremendously, but they want to wrestle for exciting young guys with a proven record of success. If Dake or, especially, Taylor wanted to be head coaches I bet they'd bring in tons of talent to whatever school hired them, especially if there was an Olympic training facility nearby. Would they be as good at the "grunt" HC work as Cael is?

Edited by TobusRex

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35 minutes ago, TobusRex said:

I'm not so sure Cael IS a better coach than everybody else. He's recruited a ridiculous amount of talent, but that's probably as much due to name recognition as anything else. As far as the rest, making sure his guys are peaked and ready for NCAAs, technically proficient, etc, he seems to be doing a superb job.

The thing that separates Cael from the rest is name recognition. John Smith is kind of a fossil to the kids these days, kinda like how Dan Hodge was in my era. The kids look up to him tremendously, but they want to wrestle for exciting young guys with a proven record of success. If Dake or, especially, Taylor wanted to be head coaches I bet they'd bring in tons of talent to whatever school hired them, especially if there was an Olympic training facility nearby. Would they be as good at the "grunt" HC work as Cael is?

I can see Dake as the next HC at Cornell with Oliver as the assistant.

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16 hours ago, BigTenFanboy said:

I agree with this, but will add the most important coaches are youth and middle school coaches. Getting kids interested in wrestling in high school is too late.

You are 100% correct. In many of the top programs, the high school coach works very closely with the lower level coaches. 

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Cael got a lot of his blue chippers because they wanted to wrestle for/train under him specifically. You gotta think that guys like Bo Nickal and Mark Hall would have still ended up with him. Texas and Minnesota arent exactly next door to PA. For those saying that he couldn't get it done at ISU, keep in mind that was his first 3 years as a head coach. IMO if Cael left PSU for a perennial bottom D1 team or one of the new D1 programs like Presbyterian it would only be a matter of time (several years) before that school was contending for a National title. His name alone (and rightfully so) would attract both top level talent as well as big donors. 

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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3 hours ago, Lurker said:

I feel like he may have been close to the success he is having today. They were already 2,3,5 in the years he was at Iowa State.  Obviously its not in the heart of the PA/OH territory but its not like kids from PA, OH, IL, etc have never went to the State of Iowa.  Don't forget Taylor was an ISU commit before PSU hired him.  I mean its hard to predict this level of domination anywhere else just because every location brings different circumstances, but I honestly don't think the colors of the singlet would have made a huge difference.  Recruiting is not just the coach in the living room but a huge part of it (particularly in wrestling) are the athletes that come before you.  And if a good number of the ones that were there when it started (Taylor, his brother, Alton's etc) would have been Cyclones, along with the notion that Cody, Cunningham, and Varner were the staff there as well (see no reason why they wouldn't), same system in place......I could see a similar ball rolling.  Its been pretty universally acknowledged that one of his big strengths is recruiting his kind of guys.  Would the likes of Nico, McIntosh, Bo, Hall, Cassar, Lee, Berge, RBY, Teske not want to go to him because he was at Iowa State?  And I left out Ruth, Nolf, Zain and others because they were solid PA guys, but can we sit here and say he would have lost out on all of them?  We'd have to add in the prospect that he would be at his alma-mater, a place where he put together one of THE greatest athletic careers in the history of all NCAA sports.   Again its hard to predict this kind of domination at another location, but are we talking a difference of 4 or 5 titles currently instead of 7?

No doubt he would have had some success at Iowa St.  I would even say he would have won a NC if not a couple of them at Iowa State but one big factor that helps him be great at PSU is the funding.  He has an unlimited supply of funding at PSU.  As you stated, there are recruits that would follow the coach.  Taylor with Cael, Metcalf with Brands.  Those recruits were going to go to the school where those coaches are but let’s not pretend that the funding at PSU doesn’t help bring in some of these recruits.  I am not saying PSU pays these wrestlers while they are wrestling in college but it is the worst kept secret that they get paid from the PSU wrestling club after they graduate.  It is not illegal and it happens at other schools but PSU has more money to throw at these kids than any other school.

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2 minutes ago, BHawk91 said:

No doubt he would have had some success at Iowa St.  I would even say he would have won a NC if not a couple of them at Iowa State but one big factor that helps him be great at PSU is the funding.  He has an unlimited supply of funding at PSU.  As you stated, there are recruits that would follow the coach.  Taylor with Cael, Metcalf with Brands.  Those recruits were going to go to the school where those coaches are but let’s not pretend that the funding at PSU doesn’t help bring in some of these recruits.  I am not saying PSU pays these wrestlers while they are wrestling in college but it is the worst kept secret that they get paid from the PSU wrestling club after they graduate.  It is not illegal and it happens at other schools but PSU has more money to throw at these kids than any other school.

And those big donors are providing that funding because of Cael. If Cael suddenly left PSU do you think those big donors would keep contributing as much as they do?

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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1 minute ago, BigTenFanboy said:

And those big donors are providing that funding because of Cael. 

Fair but where were these donors at Iowa State.  Do you believe he could bring in the same type of donors at Iowa State as he can as PSU?  He knew he had to leave Iowa State, his Alma-Mater, to even come close to the donors he has now.

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2 minutes ago, BHawk91 said:

Fair but where were these donors at Iowa State.  Do you believe he could bring in the same type of donors at Iowa State as he can as PSU?  He knew he had to leave Iowa State, his Alma-Mater, to even come close to the donors he has now.

Who knows. but that also begs the question, were those big donors always big donors or did they step up their game once Cael/PSU started winning National titles? Did Sunderland have those same big donors providing the big bucks during his tenure as well? You have to think that ISU's funding/donors would have increased once National titles started rolling in..

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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2 hours ago, iGranby said:

To completely disregard his ability to coach is absurd - he's clearly one of the best to ever do it. Is the gap that wide between he and everyone else? I doubt it, but he's one of, if not the best right now.

He/PSU are bar none the best at nearly everything else though - Recruiting, Financial support,  etc. With that being said, one could argue (and I am in this realm of thinking) that those all fall under what it means to coach. 

Actually I don't think it can be argued, all those aspects without question falls under what it means to be a division 1 head coach.

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43 minutes ago, BHawk91 said:

No doubt he would have had some success at Iowa St.  I would even say he would have won a NC if not a couple of them at Iowa State but one big factor that helps him be great at PSU is the funding.  He has an unlimited supply of funding at PSU.  As you stated, there are recruits that would follow the coach.  Taylor with Cael, Metcalf with Brands.  Those recruits were going to go to the school where those coaches are but let’s not pretend that the funding at PSU doesn’t help bring in some of these recruits.  I am not saying PSU pays these wrestlers while they are wrestling in college but it is the worst kept secret that they get paid from the PSU wrestling club after they graduate.  It is not illegal and it happens at other schools but PSU has more money to throw at these kids than any other school.

I don't disagree except its not penn state university that pays for the Nittany Lions Wrestling Club, its donors and outside contracts.  Could the Cyclone Wrestling club not have become an RTC and Sanderson and Crew recruited the same kind of financial support? (This is where the alma mater and one of the best athletic career in NCAA sports history really come in to play)

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3 hours ago, BigTenFanboy said:

Cael got a lot of his blue chippers because they wanted to wrestle for/train under him specifically. You gotta think that guys like Bo Nickal and Mark Hall would have still ended up with him. Texas and Minnesota arent exactly next door to PA. For those saying that he couldn't get it done at ISU, keep in mind that was his first 3 years as a head coach. IMO if Cael left PSU for a perennial bottom D1 team or one of the new D1 programs like Presbyterian it would only be a matter of time (several years) before that school was contending for a National title. His name alone (and rightfully so) would attract both top level talent as well as big donors. 

 

I have no doubt whatsoever that if Cael had stayed at ISU that they'd be rolling through NCAAs every year. NONE. Guys can jabber all they want about the "Pennsylvania connection" but that just makes it a tad bit easier to recruit. If Cael came calling, the HS kids wanted to wrestle for HIM, not ISU in particular. Same for PSU, you can't tell me guys like Mark Hall and Bo Nickal were PSU fans growing up :D 

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1 hour ago, TobusRex said:

 

I have no doubt whatsoever that if Cael had stayed at ISU that they'd be rolling through NCAAs every year. NONE. Guys can jabber all they want about the "Pennsylvania connection" but that just makes it a tad bit easier to recruit. If Cael came calling, the HS kids wanted to wrestle for HIM, not ISU in particular. Same for PSU, you can't tell me guys like Mark Hall and Bo Nickal were PSU fans growing up :D 

No they weren't.  But they are fans of winning (like all kids).  It's a bit chicken and egg, but Cael was able to win and that puts quite a shine on his personal brand.  If he spent the half decade before Nickal made a college choice getting 2nd in the Big 12, then the Cael name wouldn't mean the same thing.  

Cael is the hands down best college wrestling coach in the game.  Some of that was a perfect marriage with sleeping PSU.  Most of that was Cael.  Either way HE (not just the university) has become synonymous with winning and scoring points.  He probably couldn't have done the exact same thing at ISU, but now that he has built the rep, he could duplicate it in a dozen places.  

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1 hour ago, Katie said:

Here's an interesting 2009 article about Cael's move to PSU from 2009: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/sports/29wrestling.html

An interesting tidbit: " Sanderson concedes that he was surprised by Penn State’s interest — in fact, it was the first time any school had come calling."

That was Ira Lubert and Dave Joyner. Smart guys they were to recognize Cael's enormous potential in a PSU environment.  

Edited by TBar1977

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5 hours ago, Katie said:

Here's an interesting 2009 article about Cael's move to PSU from 2009: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/sports/29wrestling.html

An interesting tidbit: " Sanderson concedes that he was surprised by Penn State’s interest — in fact, it was the first time any school had come calling."

In 2009 there were maybe five programs in the country who could have even dreamed of hiring a guy away from ISU, and none of those made coaching changes during that time.  PSU was extremely smart to go after Cael, but it's not like 50 programs wouldn't have loved to have him back then, they just had no shot at getting him.  

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14 hours ago, boconnell said:

No they weren't.  But they are fans of winning (like all kids).  It's a bit chicken and egg, but Cael was able to win and that puts quite a shine on his personal brand.  If he spent the half decade before Nickal made a college choice getting 2nd in the Big 12, then the Cael name wouldn't mean the same thing.  

 

Except that, he eliminated the stranglehold Smith and OSU had on the big 12 by winning it in his second year (for the first time in I don’t even know how long), repeating it the third year before going to PSU, and had built enough that they shared the title the following year. They haven’t exactly been the same since...

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12 hours ago, boconnell said:

In 2009 there were maybe five programs in the country who could have even dreamed of hiring a guy away from ISU, and none of those made coaching changes during that time.  PSU was extremely smart to go after Cael, but it's not like 50 programs wouldn't have loved to have him back then, they just had no shot at getting him.  

Just to clarify, he started coaching in 2004. 

I agree that PSU made a great move.

 

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