Iowa Wrestling Stars and Stripes Hat

Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling

Cassioppi to compete in Disney Duals

Incoming Iowa Wrestling Hwt recruit Anthony Cassioppi will be competing at the Disney Duals (AAU Scholastic Duals) this week.  Cassioppi will be competing for Dakota Wrestling Nation from Illinois in the Community 1 portion of the duals.  The duals will take place in The Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimee, FL. is covering the Disney Duals.  At, go to 2018 AAU Scholastic Duals Community 1 and then to Pool M. Competition for Dakota Wrestling Nation begins at 4 PM CST today.  

Cassioppi, from Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL), is ranked #4 at Hwt by Intermat. Cassioppi is joined by Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS), Joe Kelly of West Liberty, IA and Aaron Cashman of Spring Park, MN in the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.

Cassioppi rolls through Junior National Duals

Incoming Iowa Wrestling Hwt recruit Anthony Cassioppi dominated the field in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman at Junior National Duals in Tulsa, OK.  Cassioppi was 12-0 overall in matches wrestled and won all of the matches by fall or tech fall. Cassioppi was 6-0 in GR with three falls and three tech falls.  In Freestyle, Cassioppi was also 6-0 with three falls and three tech falls. In the six tech falls, Cassioppi outscored his opponents 60-0 and four of his six falls were in under a minute.

Cassioppi, from Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL), is ranked #4 at Hwt by Intermat. Cassioppi is joined by Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS), Joe Kelly of West Liberty, IA and Aaron Cashman of Spring Park, MN in the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.


Freestyle Junior National Duals:

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over William Taylor (Tennessee 2) TF 10-0

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Braxton Ard (Utah) Fall 0:10

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Evan Barger (Washington) Fall 0:41

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Lee Herrington (Nebraska 1) TF 10-0

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Mitchell Trigg (Minnesota 1) Fall 1:06

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over New Jersey Forf

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Montana Phillips (Oklahoma Outlaws 1) TF 10-0


Greco-Roman Junior National Duals:

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Tennessee (Unattached) Forf

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Yehezquel DeVault (Indiana ) Fall 0:47

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Kaleb Reeves (Iowa) Fall 0:37

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Lee Herrington (Nebraska 1) Fall 2:13

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Craig Orlando (Minnesota 1) TF 10-0

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Samuel Peterson (Washington) TF 10-0

Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) over Mason Lancaster (Oklahoma Outlaws 1) TF 10-0

Spencer Lee, HWC members to compete in July

Several members of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club will be competing this summer.  2018 World Team member and 2017 World Silver medalist Thomas Gilman will compete at the Yasar Dagu in Istanbul, Turkey on July 27-29. This is a very important event that is one of the ranking tournaments for International wrestling.  I expect a lot of the top wrestlers in the world to be competing. Gilman will be gearing up to represent Team USA at 57 kg in the 2018 World Freestyle Championships in Budapest, Hungary on October 21-22.

2018 NCAA National champion Spencer Lee of the University of Iowa and 2017 NCAA National champion Cory Clark will compete the the Grand Prix of Spain in Madrid on July 14-15.  Sammy Brooks and Brandon Sorensen will be competing at the Canada Cup in Guelph on July 7th. This will be the International wrestling debut at the Senior level for Sorensen who was a four-time All-American at Iowa.

I also need to mention that Jacob Warner, who just completed his true freshman season at Iowa, will represent Team USA at 92 kg at the Junior World Freestyle Championships in Trnava, Slovakia on September 22-23.

Right now Iowa Wrestling is on a roll with great momentum.  I am looking for a great performance out of the HWC wrestlers.

I will keep you up to date with previews and results.

The HWC is an integral part of the success of Iowa Wrestling.  Do you want to be apart of helping Iowa Wrestling win? Contribute to the HWC.

To join the Inner Circle of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club:

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Kennedy commits to Iowa


Elite recruit Patrick Kennedy of Minnesota has a post on Twitter stating:

See you in Iowa City, Iowa!

One picture had Tom and Terry Brands and another picture had Tom Brands and Ryan Morningstar in the tweet.  I will take that as a verbal commitment from Patrick Kennedy that he is going to be an Iowa Hawkeye.

That is outstanding news for Iowa Wrestling. Kennedy is a true blue chip recruit that Iowa really wanted. Kennedy just completed his sophomore year so he is the first recruit in the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2020.  Already a two-time state champion, Kennedy has an overall 73-2 record and was 30-0 this past season when he won a title at 182 lbs.  FloWrestling has Kennedy at number eight for their Class of 2020 P4P (pound for pound) ranking and Intermat has him ranked fourth at 182. 

Want to be more impressed?  Kennedy wrestled up a weight class this past season.  Kennedy has the physical skill set and the tough mentality that Iowa Wrestling looks for.  Patrick Kennedy is the total package.

Kennedy is from Kasson-Mantorville High School that also sent us Sam Stoll.  Former Iowa All-American Jamie Heidt is the head coach at K-M. Getting recruits out of a high school room that is already trained the “Iowa Style” is always great news.

I just stated in my most recent podcast how the Class of 2020 looked to be great nationally.  Getting a verbal from Kennedy is an outstanding way to lure in more top recruits.  Look for Iowa Wrestling to have a very good Recruiting Class of 2019 and a m-o-n-s-t-e-r Recruiting Class of 2020.  Patrick Kennedy is the best start to the Class of 2020 that you could have asked for.

A shout out to Assistant Coach Ryan Morningstar who is in charge of recruting for Iowa Wrestling.  The success that Iowa Wrestling is having in recruiiting is not by accident or luck.  I will take Morningstar over any wrestling coach in the country at evaluating talent and starting the relationships with wrestling recruits.

I project that Kennedy will compete at 165/174 for the Hawks.

I will keep stating this because it is so true.  The momentum that Iowa Wrestling has going right now is amazing.  There is a steady flow of great news coming out of the Iowa Wrestling program during what is usually a slow time of the year.  Thomas Gilman making our World team was great news.  The recent additions of Aaron Cashman (Class of 2018) and transfers Austin DeSanto and Jason Renteria (both Class of 2017) has Iowa Wrestling fans very, very excited.  Iowa is bringing in elite recruits in their push to get back to the top of the college wrestling world.

It is only June, but the Iowa Wrestling season cannot start soon enough.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Cassioppi to compete in Junior National Duals


Incoming Hwt recruit Anthony Cassioppi will be competing in the Freestyle and Greco-Roman Junior National Duals this week.  The action in the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, OK will begin with the GR Duals on Wednesday at 9 AM (CST) with the finals slated for the 1 PM round on Thursday.  Freestyle beings on Friday at 8 AM and the finals are in the 2 PM round on Saturday.

The 2018 World Team Trials for Greco-Roman will also be taking place in the same venue on Thursday and Friday.

Cassioppi, from Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL), is ranked #4 at Hwt by Intermat. Cassioppi is joined by Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS), Joe Kelly of West Liberty, IA and Aaron Cashman of Spring Park, MN in the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.

Renteria is a Hawk

Jason Renteria announced on Twitter that he is transferring to the University of Iowa. This is a great get for the Hawks. Renteria competed at 133 for Nebraska this past season as a true freshman and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Renteria was the first four-time State finalist for Oak Park River Forest, a national power in Illinois.  As a senior in 2017, Renteria was ranked by FloWrestling as the 33rd best overall recruit in the country. Renteria had originally given a verbal commitment to Iowa in high school before going to Nebraska. OPRF is also the home school of Iowa standout Sammy Brooks.

Renteria is known for his toughness and aggressive style and I look for him to excel in the legendary tough Iowa Wrestling room.  I see Renteria starting at 133 and possibly moving up to 141 later in his career.

This is great news for Iowa Wrestling.

Iowa Wrestling just continues to gain more and more momentum.  It is only mid-June and I already cannot wait for the season to begin.

Welcome to the Iowa Wrestling nation, Jason Renteria.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

McGinness named to Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame

Two-time NCAA National champion Jeff McGinness has been named to the Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame. McGinness won an NCAA title at 126 lbs. in 1995 with a 30-0 record as a true sophomore and in 1998 at 142 lbs. McGinness was a member of the Iowa NCAA national championship teams of 1995, 1996, and 1998 and was a three-time All-American.

After competing at 126 for the first three years of his career, McGinnis took his redshirt season in 1997.  In 1998, he moved up to 142 lbs. and won his second NCAA title. With winning an undefeated NCAA title as a true sophomore and then moving up two weights to win another NCAA title, I have always thought that Jeff McGinness is underrated for his accomplishments in the history of Iowa Wrestling.  McGinness was a two-time Big Ten champion and was named as the 1994 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

In high school McGinness was one of the best to ever come out of the state of Iowa.  A rare undefeated (170-0) four-time State champion from Iowa City, Iowa (City High HS) from 1990-1993.  In Freestyle, McGinness won a Cadet and Junior National title. In 1992, McGinness won a Junior World title at 127.5 lbs. and was named as the Outstanding Wrestler.  In 1993 McGinniss was a consensus first team High School All-American.

The University of Iowa Hall of Fame induction ceremony is August 31 at 6:30 PM at the Grand Coral Ballroom in the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.

Iowa All Female Wrestling Camp

The University of Iowa Wrestling program will host an Iowa All Female Wrestling Camp on July 7-9.  Wrestlers from ages 10-18 will have an opportunity to learn from a great staff that includes two-time world silver medalist Alli Ragan and HWC member and 2018 U.S. Open runner-up Lauren Louive.  The staff of the Iowa Wrestling camps also includes Tom and Terry Brands, HWC Head Coach Mark Perry, and additional coaches and members of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club.

In addition to technique, campers will learn about nutrition, mental training, and recovery.  A nation-wide draw will provide quality training partners for every wrestler.

For more information, go to:


Brad Smith receives Bob Siddens Coaching Excellence Award

Lisbon Wrestling coach Brad Smith was awarded the Bob Siddens High School Coaching Excellence Award.  Smith received the honor at a ceremony on Friday at the Dan Gable Hall of Fame in Waterloo, Iowa. This past season Smith surpassed Coach Siddens for the all-time mark of state titles won by a high school coach in Iowa when Lisbon won Smith his 12th state title.

In the first thirteen years of Smith’s coaching career at Lisbon, the Lions won a state title in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, and 1990.  In 21 seasons at Iowa City High he won state titles in 1992, 1999, and 2002. Smith returned home to coach Lisbon in 2012 and won a state title in 2017 and 2018.

Coach Smith is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Glen Brand Hall of Fame, Iowa High School Wrestling Hall of Fame, and has been named as the National Wrestling Coach of the Year twice in his career.  Smith has coached wrestlers to 50 state titles, five of his former wrestlers won a national title in college and he has coached a record four four-time state champions. As a wrestler, Smith was a two-time Illinois state champion, a member of two NCAA national championship teams at Iowa, and was the 142 lbs. NCAA National champion in 1976.  

Coach Siddens is an absolute legend that led Waterloo West to eleven state titles.  In his 27 years (1950-1977) at Waterloo West, Siddens had 51 state champions with his eleven state titles, seven runner-up and three third place teams.  He retired with a dual meet record of 327-26-3.  The 327 dual meet wins was a national record at the time. Siddens’ most famous wrestler was Dan Gable.

The state of Iowa has an incredible high school wrestling legacy and Bob Siddens and Brad Smith are at the top of all of the greats to have ever coached in the Iowa high school wrestling ranks.

Congratulations Coach Smith for receiving this prestigious and much deserved honor.

Gilman and Ragan of HWC make World Freestyle Teams

Thomas Gilman looked very solid in defeating Daton Fix in two straight matches by the scores of 6-3 and 2-1 to earn a spot at 57 kg on Team USA for the 2018 World Freestyle Championships.  Gilman’s strength, positioning, and conditioning was the winning combination against a very tough Fix.

Gilman is still relatively new to the International wrestling scene with just a year of experience.  Gilman looked like a seasoned veteran with a controlled and smart game plan against Fix.  

Gilman will now prepare for the 2018 World Freestyle Championships in Budapest, Hungary on October 21-22.

It is huge for the Iowa Wrestling program to have one of their own on the World Freestyle team.  Gilman’s Silver medal in Paris last year was a huge boost to Iowa Wrestling. You cannot overstate the importance to the Iowa Wrestling program of what is means to have Thomas Gilman making these World teams and hopefully bring back the World title this year.

Alli Ragan, also a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, swept Jenna Burkert in two matches, 4-0 and 5-0 to make the World team at 59 kg.  Ragan was dominating in stuffing Burkert’s shot attempts and turning them into points. This is the sixth straight World team that Ragan has qualified for and she won a World Silver in each of the last two years. The Women’s World Freestyle Championships will also be in Budapest Hungary on October 22-23.

In their four combined matches, Gilman and Ragan did not surrender a single takedown.  Tough wrestling by the Hawkeye Wrestling Club.

Congratulations to Thomas Gilman and Alli Ragan for making our 2018 World Freestyle Teams.  

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!