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npope

Cael's stints at ISU and PSU

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Great read BigApple. Very interesting that Cael called PSU.

 

I wonder if the Sandusky scandal made his young team even stronger? Does anyone know how other sports at PSU have performed the past couple of years?

While its only one way of looking at it, the Director's Cup currently has Penn State ranked 6th, which would be their best finish since 2003. And, while the Sandusky scandal was certainly a low point in the school's history - if we use the Director's Cup - the scandal appears to have had no negative effect on Penn State's overall sports performance. Here's the stats:

 

Year Finish

2013 6 (not finalized)

2012 12

2011 13 Sandusky arrested

2010 11

2009 19

2008 9

2007 21

2006 15

2005 20

2004 13

2003 5

2002 24

2001 10

2000 4

1999 3

1998 15

1997 20

1996 9

1995 8

1994 5

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There's really no mystery to Cael's success. Let me explain. First, here are his finishes as head coach:

 

2007 (ISU) - 2 (Big 12 champs)

2008 (ISU) - 5 (Big 12 champs)

2009 (ISU) - 3 (Big 12 champs)

2010 (PSU) - 9

2011 (PSU) - 1

2012 (PSU) - 1

2013 (PSU) - 1

 

ISU last won a team title in 1987, so Cael's placements in his three years at the helm at ISU are good. In fact, finishing second, fifth, and third is good by any standard. People criticizing his placement during those years are just trying to find reasons to criticize him.

 

But Cael seemed to turn up the heat when he got to PSU, placing first three years in a row. Before Cael got there, PSU hadn't won a team title since 1953. So how did Cael do it? What's the difference between ISU and PSU?

 

At ISU in 2007, 2008, and 2009, the national champs were Minny and Iowa, twice. ISU competes with Minny and Iowa for local recruits, and it has similar selling points and liabilities when it comes to attracting recruits from other parts of the country. All three schools are large public schools in the upper midwest.

 

In the state of Iowa in particular, Cael was in a state with a rich tradition, but a second-tier state in terms of numbers of AAs produced. Iowa is simply outgunned by the likes of Ohio and Pennsylvania when it comes to producing AAs. And within this second-tier state, ISU plays second fiddle to Iowa. The Hawkeye legacy reigns supreme in that state, even if only subtly and imperceptibly, and if only by a small degree compared to ISU.

 

At PSU, Cael sits in the middle Pennsylvania -- easily the best wrestling state. PSU gives Cael the inside track on all the Pennsylvania studs that graduate year in and year out, and he can offer them in-state tuition, which allows him to spread the scholarship money around.

 

And his closest competitor recruiting-wise is OSU. But OSU is a midwestern school while PSU is an east coast school, so they offer very different benefits, especially for east coast kids. For example, for a New Jersey kid, a trip to State College is much shorter than a trip to Columbus. PSU still has no true close competitors in terms of recruiting. (Cornell has a much different academic and social environment than most large public schools, and can have a higher price tag. Maryland and Rutgers are not as competitive in wrestling as PSU is.)

 

So, what we have is this: Cael has always been a good coach and good recruiter. Although he had high placings at ISU, he finally got those elusive national titles at PSU because it's easier to recruit top wrestlers as the head coach of PSU than it is as the head coach of ISU.

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"At PSU, Cael sits in the middle Pennsylvania -- easily the best wrestling state."

Okay, okay maybe that is so?

 

Although....beware while walkin'- driving - crawling--sipping suds... down the middle of The Land Of Lincoln. Beware (while visiting Illinois) when you mention that Pa. has all that best wrestling state stuff. Could be......but ya know....I'm just sayin'.

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There's really no mystery to Cael's success. Let me explain. First, here are his finishes as head coach:

 

2007 (ISU) - 2 (Big 12 champs)

2008 (ISU) - 5 (Big 12 champs)

2009 (ISU) - 3 (Big 12 champs)

2010 (PSU) - 9

2011 (PSU) - 1

2012 (PSU) - 1

2013 (PSU) - 1

 

ISU last won a team title in 1987, so Cael's placements in his three years at the helm at ISU are good. In fact, finishing second, fifth, and third is good by any standard. People criticizing his placement during those years are just trying to find reasons to criticize him.

 

But Cael seemed to turn up the heat when he got to PSU, placing first three years in a row. Before Cael got there, PSU hadn't won a team title since 1953. So how did Cael do it? What's the difference between ISU and PSU?

 

At ISU in 2007, 2008, and 2009, the national champs were Minny and Iowa, twice. ISU competes with Minny and Iowa for local recruits, and it has similar selling points and liabilities when it comes to attracting recruits from other parts of the country. All three schools are large public schools in the upper midwest.

 

In the state of Iowa in particular, Cael was in a state with a rich tradition, but a second-tier state in terms of numbers of AAs produced. Iowa is simply outgunned by the likes of Ohio and Pennsylvania when it comes to producing AAs. And within this second-tier state, ISU plays second fiddle to Iowa. The Hawkeye legacy reigns supreme in that state, even if only subtly and imperceptibly, and if only by a small degree compared to ISU.

 

At PSU, Cael sits in the middle Pennsylvania -- easily the best wrestling state. PSU gives Cael the inside track on all the Pennsylvania studs that graduate year in and year out, and he can offer them in-state tuition, which allows him to spread the scholarship money around.

 

And his closest competitor recruiting-wise is OSU. But OSU is a midwestern school while PSU is an east coast school, so they offer very different benefits, especially for east coast kids. For example, for a New Jersey kid, a trip to State College is much shorter than a trip to Columbus. PSU still has no true close competitors in terms of recruiting. (Cornell has a much different academic and social environment than most large public schools, and can have a higher price tag. Maryland and Rutgers are not as competitive in wrestling as PSU is.)

 

So, what we have is this: Cael has always been a good coach and good recruiter. Although he had high placings at ISU, he finally got those elusive national titles at PSU because it's easier to recruit top wrestlers as the head coach of PSU than it is as the head coach of ISU.

 

Don't forget the trout fishing in Pennsylvania !!!

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Illinois has dominated the international styles for the last several years, but until IL is consistently putting the amount of All Americans on the podium PA has, the title still belongs to the Keystone State for the long haul. Can IL do it? Sure, but it'll probably take another decade to even start coming close numbers wise.

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What happened? What was he at ISU - four years? Middling results, given ISU's tradition.

 

here is ISU's last 11 NCAA finishes, which includes Cael's 3 years with 4 years of not Cael on either side.

 

19

6

10

13

2*

5*

3*

3

20

35

11

 

i have no idea how you reached your conclusions but they make no sense to me.

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Look what Cael does with the talent that he brings in. Even the best HS prospects need work to become a champ or AA, very few can step on the podium without lots of improvement. Cael has been able to make his blue chip recruits better. You can contrast that with the many examples of HS studs that never pan out. There are some schools who are notorious for never developing the talent they bring in. North Carolina and Rutgers come to mind. Cael has been able to get results from the guys he brings in. I think Cael considers academics, character and how the prospect will gel with the team when considering a HS kid.

Cael ranks right up there with Tim Flynn from Edinboro when it comes to developing and improving talent on a consistent basis.

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What if Jordan Burroughs ultimately winds up coaching and recruiting at Nebraska? Do the next wave of kids growing up idolizing him flock there?

 

Dake at Cornell in x years...

Burroughs at Nebraska would probably be even worse than Cael at Iowa State. Both schools suffer from being far from population centers, but Nebraska is even farther out of the loop and has a weaker wrestling tradition than Iowa State. Some kids who idolize him would go there, but Burroughs would have a difficult time building a giant there. Look at this heat map of the United States....the darker the red, the more people.

 

http://www.mapofusa.net/us-population-map.gif

 

As you can see, the population of the entire US is concentrated on the East Coast, with just a few pockets on the West Coast and not much in the middle. Penn State is relatively close to the epicenter of the US population along the I-95 corridor from DC all the way up to Boston. Nebraska is mostly surrounded by white on the map. Comparatively nobody lives there, and consequently fewer people (and their families) would want to move there.

 

Dake at Cornell would be better from a recruiting standpoint, because even though Cornell is a rural campus, they are still relatively close to the population centers, and it can boast an Ivy League education.

 

The population of the USA is definitely not concentrated in the east. More than half live west of the Mississippi.

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It is not really a population issue. The biggest population center in PA had never had a state champion until this year. The 2nd biggest had a champ last year and I cannot remember if it ever had a champ before then.

(As an aside --- consider the implications of totally untapped Philadelphia and Pittsburgh suddenly becoming hotbeds of wrestling!)

 

What matters is quality of wrestling by area. PSU is right in the middle of an incredible wrestling belt:

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Delaware - all states with superior to dominant wrestling histories.

 

It's the tradition of wrestling in these states that gives PSU its opportunity-- an opportunity that they never fully took advantage of. They also had to compete with Pitt, Lehigh and to some extent Syracuse and the PA state schools, so the talent was often diluted - not to mention a lot of the really big stars going west.

 

The entrance of Cael Sanderson into the mix made the Nits one of the most attractive programs in the country. The fact that there were several incumbent wrestlers on the PSU team that were loaded with talent gave Cael a jump start. He took the guys remaining from the old program to the next level.

He brought along some of his own recruits during his kick-off year.

 

And his first recruiting class happened to be in synch with one of the PIAA's best classes in years.

 

It all came together and looks like it may be self sustaining. Picking off the occasional superstar from Texas or California is the inevitable result of the best wrestlers wanting to go to the best program.

 

It isn't population, it's tradition.

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The population of the USA is definitely not concentrated in the east. More than half live west of the Mississippi.

But they are less densely populated. The Mississippi River is not the center of the country anyway. Here's a map showing the changing population center of the US over the years. The imaginary central point is now in Missouri, but that doesn't mean most people live near this point, it just means a US map would balance on this imaginary point if it was weighted according to the geographic distribution of population. The population of the US is most definitely concentrated in the east

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_cente ... population

 

And here is another representation, this time drawing a line that would cut the population evenly in half. This median point is in Indiana, which is east of the Mississippi.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_cen ... population

 

But in any event I agree with the poster above who says the tradition of wrestling in the area is more important in this case. Although I still think Cael being on the East coast is helping him out in other ways than just tradition in PA.

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Okay,

 

When we finish talking about the PA HS wrestling programs that pump out great wrestlers.

And...we make a final decision about our Mississippi river as the cut-off (?), for just where we get the most talented/skilled hs wrestlers.

 

Let us please take a look at a rather simplistic possibility RE: the professor....and his many tough, skilled hs kids that enroll at Happy Valley. The hs recruit may even be from Coon Rapids, Alaska....no matter.

 

Let us just say that you have spent a few minutes chatting with Cael. Or, you have had a conversation with him. Many folks have.......given that Cael does travel extensively.

 

Chances are that you will come away thinking ....."Jeez it would be great if my kid spent at least 4 years with Cael Sanderson as his coach, as well as his mentor."

 

My point is -- some of us might (sometimes) overlook one glaring recruiting factor :

 

When Cael walks into your living room, says hello, and eventually asks for your consent to invite your kid to attend Penn State University...........

 

Cael makes the difference.

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Okay,

 

When we finish talking about the PA HS wrestling programs that pump out great wrestlers.

And...we make a final decision about our Mississippi river as the cut-off (?), for just where we get the most talented/skilled hs wrestlers.

 

Let us please take a look at a rather simplistic possibility RE: the professor....and his many tough, skilled hs kids that enroll at Happy Valley. The hs recruit may even be from Coon Rapids, Alaska....no matter.

 

Let us just say that you have spent a few minutes chatting with Cael. Or, you have had a conversation with him. Many folks have.......given that Cael does travel extensively.

 

Chances are that you will come away thinking ....."Jeez it would be great if my kid spent at least 4 years with Cael Sanderson as his coach, as well as his mentor."

 

My point is -- some of us might (sometimes) overlook one glaring recruiting factor :

 

When Cael walks into your living room, says hello, and eventually asks for your consent to invite your kid to attend Penn State University...........

 

Cael makes the difference.

I agree it's Cael. Hard to imagine anyone else having more recruiting power given his college accomplishments. But it's interesting that he wasn't quite able to get out of the Iowa shadow while at Iowa State. Hi results at ISU were good, but he was not winning the recruiting battle there the way he seems to be at PSU.

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It's a combination of both.

Penn State was the perfect opportunity. Cael was the perfect guy to take advantage of that opportunity.

 

PSU had some great talent that never seemed to get fully developed. The area around Penn State - NJ/PA etc - is a tremendous recruiting ground that was always diluted among a large number of colleges, local and national.

 

Cael has the biggest name in wrestling. He did his apprenticeship at ISU but was now ready to take the next step.

 

A match made in heaven.

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Coaching after competing is a learning process. Fortunately for Cael he was equipped with the knowledge and experience of having been coached and mentored by his father who was a life long wrestling coach, and Bobby Douglass who is one of the grand masters of our sport. Add his marquee value for recruiting and you have what we're seeing at PSU. I think ISU would have greatly improved with a few more years and blue chippers with Cael as coach but let's face it, PA wrestling, and the neighboring states are filled with talented wrestlers who love the fact that their folks can go seem them compete in front of a packed arena. Throw in consecutive conference and national titles, and a room filled with world team members and national champions and it becomes something bigger than one man, even bigger than Cael. #sumoftheparts!

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Lost in all the talk of who is/was/would be bigger in Iowa: Brands has 6 non-resident starters -- Burak (CO), Dziewa (PA), Evans (PA), Lofthouse (UT), Ramos (IL), Telford (DE).

 

Depth is important, and it's probably easier to build in-state depth in Iowa City than in Ames. Still, regardless of school, winning championships means being a national recruiter.

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Okay,

 

When we finish talking about the PA HS wrestling programs that pump out great wrestlers.

And...we make a final decision about our Mississippi river as the cut-off (?), for just where we get the most talented/skilled hs wrestlers.

 

Let us please take a look at a rather simplistic possibility RE: the professor....and his many tough, skilled hs kids that enroll at Happy Valley. The hs recruit may even be from Coon Rapids, Alaska....no matter.

 

Let us just say that you have spent a few minutes chatting with Cael. Or, you have had a conversation with him. Many folks have.......given that Cael does travel extensively.

 

Chances are that you will come away thinking ....."Jeez it would be great if my kid spent at least 4 years with Cael Sanderson as his coach, as well as his mentor."

 

My point is -- some of us might (sometimes) overlook one glaring recruiting factor :

 

When Cael walks into your living room, says hello, and eventually asks for your consent to invite your kid to attend Penn State University...........

 

Cael makes the difference.

 

Cael and get kids from Coon Rapids, Iowa or Coon Rapids, Minnesota - both wrestling States. No Coon Rapids in Alaska. A few recruits from Kodiak, Alaska might scare some Penn State opponents.

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"no Coon Rapids, in Alaska."

 

Thanks for the heads up play Zelph. Actually, it was meant in jest to make a point.

 

I see that you are sorta new on the forum. Some of the guys/gals on here likely expect some of the weird stuff from me......I think. Be happy.

 

Denny

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