Wrestling v Illinois, Cael Sanderson

Penn State head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson looks to the wrestling mats during the single-dual meet in Rec Hall on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. Penn State defeated Illinois 22-16. 

Cael Sanderson signed an extension with Penn State, as first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and confirmed by a Penn State spokesperson Wednesday.

The terms of the extension were not initially released by the school.

Heralded as one of the most dominant athletes in NCAA history, Sanderson never lost a match in his four-year career at Iowa State, posting an astounding 159-0 record.

Post-graduation, Sanderson stayed in Ames, Iowa, and eventually became the team's head coach, leading the Cyclones to three straight Big 12 titles from 2007-09.

After a losing season in 2008, Penn State hired Sanderson to help get the program back on track, and the then-29-year-old certainly didn’t disappoint. The new coach had an immediate impact in Happy Valley, as the blue and white bounced back with a 13-6-1 dual meet record in 2009.

The Nittany Lions had their breakthrough the following season, claiming their first ever Big Ten title and first national championship since 1953.

This was only the beginning for Sanderson, as Penn State dominated its competition to the tune of four consecutive NCAA Championships from 2010-14.

The dynasty continued, with Penn State’s 2022 championship marking its ninth title in the last 11 tournaments. Over the course of his 13-year tenure with the blue and white, Sanderson’s teams have secured six Big Ten titles, 75 All-Americans and 32 individual national champions.


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