Cael Sanderson inducted into Utah Sports Hall of Fame

September 17, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Nittany Lion head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson has been inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame as a part of the esteemed body’s Class of 2015. Sanderson was honored at the 2015 Utah Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Sept. 17 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sanderson, born in Provo, Utah, in 1979, was a four-time Utah state wrestling champion at Wasatch High School. After notching one of the state’s most decorated high school careers as a four-time state titlist, he moved on to Ames, Iowa, and Iowa State University. Sanderson’s run as a cyclone wrestler is historic and is widely considered among the greatest achievements in collegiate sports history for any sport. His four-year run ended with a perfect 159-0 record, a feat still unparalleled, and four straight NCAA titles from 1999 through 2002.

With the greatest collegiate wrestling career ever as a springboard, Sanderson went on to Olympic glory, winning a freestyle gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Shortly after that, Sanderson began his head coaching career at his alma mater of Iowa State from 2007 through 2009.

In a move that transformed college wrestling’s landscape, Sanderson moved east prior to the 2009-10 season to become the head wrestling coach at Penn State. Since that time, the veteran head coach has established Penn State’s place among the nation’s elite programs, having won four straight NCAA and Big Ten titles from 2010 to 2014.

In nine years as a head coach (three at Iowa State and six at Penn State heading into this season) Sanderson has never had a team finish lower than ninth at NCAAs, has won four NCAA titles, qualified 80 of a possible 90 wrestlers for the national championships, coached 46 All-Americans and 11 national champions. He has a 126-24-2 dual meet record, including an 82-14-2 mark at Penn State. Sanderson has been named NWCA National Coach of the Year twice and Big Ten Coach of the Year four times.

During his first six years at Penn State, Sanderson has had 21 athletes earn first team national NWCA all-academic laurels and 51 honored as Academic All-Big Ten. His team’s overall grade point average has been above 3.0 in each of his six seasons, including last year’s 3.19 mark.

Last Updated September 18, 2015