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100 Things Cyclone Fans Should Forget Before They Die: Cael Sanderson Leaving for Penn State

Oh how things could have been.


Cael Sanderson is a Cyclone legend. Make no doubt about that.

In all his time as a collegiate wrestler in Ames, he never lost a match. Then, he came back to Iowa State to coach in 2006, replacing Bobby Douglas as the head wrestling coach, and the buzz for the Cyclone wrestling program was at an all time high.

Sanderson would lead the Cyclones to three Big 12 championships, and would finish runner up to Iowa for the National Championship in 2009. He may have assembled one of the best Iowa State wrestling teams ever, and they looked poised to make that next step towards a National Championship.

Then, the unthinkable happened.

Penn State came calling with a king’s ransom at the ready, and Cael Sanderson answered that call. Sanderson made the move to Pennsylvania, andl took his brother Cyler and three others with him. When telling Jamie Pollard the news, Sanderson stated that the resources and talent would make winning a National Championship at Penn State easier. He may have been right, since he has won a lot there, but that doesn’t make it any easier for Cyclone fans.

The program since has unperformed, and has had a hard time regaining traction. Here’s to hoping for some success under Kevin Dresser.

For now, Enjoy Sanderson’s last match wrestling for the Cyclones against future UFC star Daniel Cormier.