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JBluegill133

Better off somewhere else?

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To start, I want to make sure that by starting this conversation it is not my intention to knock any wrestler or any program.  The guys we mention have accomplished more than I could ever dream of with this sport.  This is just meant to be a friendly conversation about wrestling/coaching "styles".  

Now that that is behind us, I've been thinking a lot of if different wrestlers could go back and choose a different school, would their wrestling careers have changed at all (positive or negative)?  One example come to mind for me:  The Dardanes twins - I always thought their frequent attack and hard nosed wrestling would have been better suited for the Iowa room.  Both were AA's at Minnesota, but could they have broken through to that top top tier and won titles if they were under the tutelage of the Brands Bros? 

 

i was recently listening to the "Wrestling changed my life" podcast (if you haven't yet, please give it a listen, really great interviews) and i got to hear the Jamill Kelly story.  (cliff notes) He went from JUCO to OSU and at that time John Smith was a USAwrestling head coach I believe and through that connection got to get a work out in with Cary Kolat.  Well because of this workout, Cary asked Jamill to be his training partner for the olympics and this action might've acted as a catalyst to propel Jamill to start seriously training for freestyle.  If he doesn't have that connection with Smith, this probably doesn't happen.

 

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Interesting question. Even in hindsight I can't really think of someone I think would do better at another school. Let me give it a try though.

Valencias: I think Zahid would have been great where ever he landed but Anthony needed the right mentorship. Its hard not to look at Nebraska and think Anthony would have done well working with James Green and JB. 

John Meeks: Pretty much anywhere but ISU. I think he was ruined but losing the shirt to save KJ's job. He had so much potential and I think he actually got worse in college. 

Lance Bennick: He should have stayed closer to home.

Suriano: Here comes the homer pick. I think he should have gone to Iowa. He loves the attention. He would have gotten it at Iowa. He could have redshirted, wrestled 133 as a freshman and in my opinion he could be a 2 time champ right now. Also he would have a much better room to develop freestyle skills. 

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Here is a twist to your question JBluegill133....What if a school chose a different coach? Then what might have changed? For example....In 1994 BYU hired Mark Schultz to be the new Head Wrestling Coach. What if the AD at the time picked Steve Sanderson (Father of Cole, Cody, Cael, and Cyler Sanderson) to be the new Head Coach of BYU? Do the Sanderson's go to BYU? Think about this...IF the Sanderson's did go to BYU with their dad being the Head Coach, the landscape of College Wrestling would have changed in the Western United States. There might still be programs at BYU, Boise State, and Oregon. There might be other renewed programs like Utah State & Utah. Maybe a D1 school in Washington. Like I said it is a twist to the question and some mighty big IFs there as well. 

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53 minutes ago, TexRef said:

Here is a twist to your question JBluegill133....What if a school chose a different coach? Then what might have changed? For example....In 1994 BYU hired Mark Schultz to be the new Head Wrestling Coach. What if the AD at the time picked Steve Sanderson (Father of Cole, Cody, Cael, and Cyler Sanderson) to be the new Head Coach of BYU? Do the Sanderson's go to BYU? Think about this...IF the Sanderson's did go to BYU with their dad being the Head Coach, the landscape of College Wrestling would have changed in the Western United States. There might still be programs at BYU, Boise State, and Oregon. There might be other renewed programs like Utah State & Utah. Maybe a D1 school in Washington. Like I said it is a twist to the question and some mighty big IFs there as well. 

Interesting take - I think the Utah community would have rallied around Sanderson to keep the program. As a sidenote- would Cael have been undefeated by doing this? As another sidetone, would Cael someday go home and  revive a BYU program? Might be the cherry on top of an all-time great career to resurrect BYU and have it competing on Day 1. 

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On BYU, Schultz and the death of the program.

BYU President Merrill Bateman did not like individual sports and he did not like "short people". He cut BYU Men's Gymnastics and Wrestling both and after he had the Athletic Director, Rondo Fehlberg inform them of the cuts he also forced out Fehlberg and got one of his taller "basketball type" in the position.

No matter what, if Steve Sanderson had been there and Cael had been doing great MasterBateman would still have cut the program. He did NOT like individual sports at all.

Remember that Bateman was the one who censored the Rodin sculpture exhibit at the School. A traveling exhibit of famous sculptures, BYU knew a full two years in advance every piece coming and aggreed to show them. Bateman censored it - keeping four in the crates.

He was not a good person and Steve Sanderson is actually lucky he did not have to deal with the man. On the other side if the school had gone with Sanderson instead of Alan Albright I doubt they would have brought in Mark Schultz - as most likely Sanderson would have had a much more successful program. His coaching philosophy is seen in how Cael is doing.

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I disagree on the Dardanes. They were good but not great wrestlers and they moved to the Iowa fresstyle room with results remaining the same. They both were terrible bottom wrestlers as well.  

 

Edited by Gopher82

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2 hours ago, russelscout said:

John Meeks: Pretty much anywhere but ISU. I think he was ruined but losing the shirt to save KJ's job. He had so much potential and I think he actually got worse in college. 

Suriano: Here comes the homer pick. I think he should have gone to Iowa. He loves the attention. He would have gotten it at Iowa. He could have redshirted, wrestled 133 as a freshman and in my opinion he could be a 2 time champ right now. Also he would have a much better room to develop freestyle skills. 

Agree 100% about Meeks, not so sure about Suriano. While Nick loves the spotlight, I think he'd want it where there would be a lot of eyes, particularly from ppl he knows. Seems like he needed to be close to home. Also I think freestyle is a far lesser priority to him than making connections or training that will get him into MMA.

Just off the top of my head, the only "better off somewhere else" name that comes to mind is Jimmy Gulibon. I really don't know his story, if he HEW or PSU wasn't a good fit, but it seems like he could have used a change of scenery during college.

Another spin on this question is if a wrestler going somewhere else would have been better for another program or the sport in general because they would probably be successful no matter where they went. In that case, I wish guys like Jason Welch, Imart, Metcalf, Nickal (no idea where he'd go), etc. stayed closer to home.

Edited by pamela

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4 hours ago, TexRef said:

Here is a twist to your question JBluegill133....What if a school chose a different coach? Then what might have changed? For example....In 1994 BYU hired Mark Schultz to be the new Head Wrestling Coach. What if the AD at the time picked Steve Sanderson (Father of Cole, Cody, Cael, and Cyler Sanderson) to be the new Head Coach of BYU? Do the Sanderson's go to BYU? Think about this...IF the Sanderson's did go to BYU with their dad being the Head Coach, the landscape of College Wrestling would have changed in the Western United States. There might still be programs at BYU, Boise State, and Oregon. There might be other renewed programs like Utah State & Utah. Maybe a D1 school in Washington. Like I said it is a twist to the question and some mighty big IFs there as well. 

The Big IF's are what make these boards fun for me.  To be successful at this level everything, and I mean everything needs to be clicking at once.  One small change or shortcoming could have a ripple effect that could completely make or break a career.  I love this twist. Nice!

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I was always especially impressed with the Abas brothers because of how little they had at Fresno State relative to what the elite programs of their time offered. Obviously they were both very successful, with Stephen on the short list of all-time greats, but I’ve wondered what might’ve happened at a program with better resources and training partners. 

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3 hours ago, TexRef said:

Idaho-If the landscape of college Wrestling would have changed in the West, I wonder what kind of impact that would have had on the southern states? 

In my opinion the landscape change in the West was not based upon BYU. It was based on many programs, BYU certainly included, that dropped wrestling. Oregon, Portland State, Fresno State (now back of course), BYU, etc. as well as many Lower level schools. The dropping of many programs in the west, in what seemed to be a trend for the 90’s and beyond, struck a major blow to the whole west. I agree 100% that  if there had been support out West it would look different For everyone. 

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6 hours ago, russelscout said:

Interesting question. Even in hindsight I can't really think of someone I think would do better at another school. Let me give it a try though.

Valencias: I think Zahid would have been great where ever he landed but Anthony needed the right mentorship. Its hard not to look at Nebraska and think Anthony would have done well working with James Green and JB. 

John Meeks: Pretty much anywhere but ISU. I think he was ruined but losing the shirt to save KJ's job. He had so much potential and I think he actually got worse in college. 

Lance Bennick: He should have stayed closer to home.

Suriano: Here comes the homer pick. I think he should have gone to Iowa. He loves the attention. He would have gotten it at Iowa. He could have redshirted, wrestled 133 as a freshman and in my opinion he could be a 2 time champ right now. Also he would have a much better room to develop freestyle skills. 

Suriano??  He's an All-time Legend now in NJ and his face is plastered on billboards across Major Highways in NJ.  He wins a title at Iowa and its not that big of deal with all their past winners. He will have so many more opportunitys in the NY/NJ area to make money then he would in Iowa.

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49 minutes ago, moveurfeet32 said:

Suriano??  He's an All-time Legend now in NJ and his face is plastered on billboards across Major Highways in NJ.  He wins a title at Iowa and its not that big of deal with all their past winners. He will have so many more opportunitys in the NY/NJ area to make money then he would in Iowa.

If recognition and fame is all he wants, then yes I agree....but russel mentioned his olympic aspirations and I agree you can't fair much better than the lightweight iowa room/coaching

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5 hours ago, Perry said:

Spencer Lee would have been undefeated at this point if he had chosen penn state imo

This is 100% true statement. If Spencer Lee went to PSU, he would have taken a greyshirt 2017-2018, then he would have redshirted last year, and would be taking an Olympic year this year. Hence, he would technically be “undefeated.”

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3 hours ago, AHamilton said:

This is 100% true statement. If Spencer Lee went to PSU, he would have taken a greyshirt 2017-2018, then he would have redshirted last year, and would be taking an Olympic year this year. Hence, he would technically be “undefeated.”

Because Cael would wrestle a non qualifier the past 2 years while keeping Spencer Lee on the bench. I get you are trolling, so in troll speak it may have sounded good.

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4 hours ago, moveurfeet32 said:

Suriano??  He's an All-time Legend now in NJ and his face is plastered on billboards across Major Highways in NJ.  He wins a title at Iowa and its not that big of deal with all their past winners. He will have so many more opportunitys in the NY/NJ area to make money then he would in Iowa.

I agree that NJ is where it’s at sir Suriano however the OP is if their wrestling career would be different at a different school. Russ makes a valid argument that he could be a 2x champ there. 

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