Penn State made a significant move to secure its wrestling future, signing head coach Cael Sanderson to a contract extension. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported the news following an interview with former Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour.
Penn State did not announce details of the extension. The athletic department’s policy is to address contract details regarding only the athletic director and football coach.
Sanderson, who just concluded his 13th season at Penn State, runs the most successful program in college wrestling today. The Lions recently won their ninth NCAA wrestling championship under Sanderson, who has claimed team titles in 75 percent of the NCAA tournaments in which he has coached.
In 13 years at Penn State, Sanderson’s teams have won 32 individual titles, including a record-tying five in 2022 and 2017. His wrestlers have been named All-Americans 75 times and have won five Hodge trophies as the nation’s top wrestler.
Overall, Sanderson has a career winning percentage of .891 (including three seasons at Iowa State) and nine Big Ten titles.
This past season, Penn State clinched its ninth NCAA team title under Sanderson before an epic five-for-five run in the championship finals. title. After the tournament, Sanderson reflected on the dominant run.
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“I just want to see our kids be happy and reach their goals when they come to Penn State,” Sanderson said. “Our job is to give them the resources and whatever we can do to help them be the best they can be. When it works out for them, great. It doesn’t most of the time. So when it does, it’s a special thing.”
Penn State returns four NCAA champions and has nine wrestlers listed in InterMat Wrestling’s preseason rankings.
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AllPennState is the place for Penn State news, opinion and perspective on the SI.com network. Publisher Mark Wogenrich has covered Penn State for more than 20 years, tracking three coaching staffs, three Big Ten titles and a catalog of great stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkWogenrich. And consider subscribing (button’s on the home page) for more great content across the SI.com network.