Although it won a second straight national title in March, the Penn State wrestling team continued to bring in postseason awards for their success.
The Big Ten Conference tabbed the Nittany Lions as the conference’s 2011-2012 Men’s Team of the Year. In addition to the team award, head coach Cael Sanderson was named the Big Ten Men’s Head Coach of the Year.
It is the second straight year the Lions have been honored with the Big Ten’s award. The team had three individual national champions en route to its second straight national championship. But 165-pound national champion David Taylor credited the entire roster for the great deal of success his team has enjoyed the past two seasons
“Well, I would say it’s our team chemistry, it’s like a family,” Taylor told the Big Ten Network. “We look at each other as brothers and when it comes down to it getting extra points and extra bonus points in the tournaments we are not only doing it for ourselves but for our team.”
For Sanderson, it is the second time he has taken home the Coach of the Year award. Since coming to Penn State three seasons ago, the coach has collected 14 All-Americans, two Gorriaran winners, one NCAA tourney Outstanding Wresler and one Hodge Trophy winner in addition to the two-straight Big Ten and national championships.
But Sanderson was quick to deflect the attention of the sudden success at Penn State away from himself and directed it towards his wrestlers.