Iowa Wrestling update

It felt more like fall this morning here in Iowa. That means Iowa Wrestling season is coming and I am more than ready. I wanted to take a look forward to what is coming up for Iowa Wrestling.

  1. My blogs about the new members of Iowa Wrestling proved to be really popular. Fans liked the preview of who we have new to the program. Between true freshmen from the Recruiting Class of 2023 and transfers, there is a lot of potential for an immediate impact.
  2. I will go through each of our incoming Iowa Women’s Wrestling recruits and transfers as soon as the roster is released. I thought the roster would have been posted by now. The men’s roster was posted at 8 AM on the opening day of classes on August 21.
  3. The Hawkeye Wrestling Club will host a tailgater on Saturday, September 30. Iowa will be hosting Michigan State in football. The Dan Gable Wrestling Complex will be open for fans for a HWC workout before the game. The exact time of kickoff has not been announced. I will keep you posted.
  4. For upcoming events the HWC newsletter this week stated that members will be competing at the Bill Farrell Memorial International. The New York Athletic Club will host the men’s freestyle action on Saturday, November 18.
  5. The same HWC newsletter stated that members of the club will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifying Tournament on December 15-17 in Dallas, Texas.
  6. The new wrestling facility is looking great. I coined the phrase: “The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world!” back on April 12, 2017. A recent walk around the new facility and I am confident we will have just that. It is impossible to not get excited about this new facility. It may be wishful thinking but wouldn’t it be great to have the facility ready for at least one dual meet this year? I cannot wait to see our wrestles come out of the new tunnel from the new facility to a rocking Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
  7. I have not heard about the new schedule for the upcoming season for the men’s or women’s program. I will keep you posted.
  8. I have no doubt there will be a huge weekend for Iowa Wrestling to host recruits coming up soon. Recruiting is what makes me tick and you can count on me keeping you up to date.
  9. Dan Erekson was named as an Assistant Coach at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs this past summer. Erikson was a two-time NCAA All-American for us in 2009 and 2010 and a member of three NCAA National title teams (2008, ‘09, & ‘10). Erikson joins former Iowa All-American and NCAA National Finalist Joe Johnson on the Air Force staff. I like to stay up to date on where our Hawks are coaching and giving back to the sport. 
  10. The annual HWC Trap Shoot will be on Saturday, October 14 at Highland Hideaway Hunting. To register as a shooter or sponsor: 2023 Sporting Clays Shoot Tickets (
  11. The HWC will host an Inner Circle Clinic on Sunday, October 15. To register: Inner Circle Clinic – Campaign (
  12. The HWC will be hosting pre-dual meet socials again this year. I will keep you up to date when the schedule is released.

As I have stated for years on this blog, Iowa Wrestling is my entertainment. I plan on being entertained this year as an Iowa Wrestling fan. I cannot wait.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

New Hawk: Joey Cruz

On May 28 Joey Cruz announced that he was transferring to the University of Iowa. Cruz competed at Oklahoma last year and will have four years of eligibility remaining.

Last season Cruz was 2-2 as a true freshman at 125. His only competition was the Michigan State Open.

Originally from Fresno, California Cruz was ranked #1 in the country at 113 lbs. and #52 overall by MatScouts in the Class of 2022.

Cruz was an undefeated state champ as a senior and placed third as a freshman and second as a sophomore. California did not have a state tournament in 2021.

Cruz has been an elite wrestler throughout his high school career and has an impressive resume. Cruz is being projected as a career 125 lbs. wrestler and has a lot of potential as an Iowa Hawkeye. 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

New Hawk: Michael Caliendo

Michael Caliendo announced on June 16 that he was transferring to Iowa from North Dakota State. Caliendo placed 7th at the NCAA Championships last season at 165 as a redshirt freshman and will have three years of eligibility remaining. 

Last season Caliendo was 29-6 with six falls, two tech falls and two major decisions and placed third at the Big 12 Championships. He was 12-5 against ranked opponents. Caliendo was named to the Amateur Wrestling News All-Rookie Team as #1 at 165 lbs.

As a true freshman Caliendo was 14-2 and won four tournaments.

Caliendo is originally from Geneva, Illinois (Batavia HS) where he was a state champion as a senior and placed fourth as a sophomore and junior. He was the first state champ in school history and has school records for falls and tech falls.

Caliendo was named to the NWCA Scholar All-American Team and to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team.

In the InterMat rankings released last week Caliendo was ranked fifth at 165.

Welcome aboard Michael Caliendo.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Metcalf and Sherman inducted into Iowa Athletics HOF

National champions Brent Metcalf and Dan Sherman were inducted into the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame over the weekend. To be eligible for the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame athletes must have at least one varsity letter and completed their eligibility ten years prior to induction. 

Metcalf was the leader of the Iowa Wrestling program for the National team titles of 2008, 2009, and 2010. 

My favorite match of Metcalf’s career was the 2008 Big Ten finals win over former national champion Dustin Schlatter.

Dan Sherman was the first national champion of the Gary Kurdelmeier era that really got Iowa started as a national force. Long overdue for Sherman to be in the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame.



Brent Metcalf, Wrestling (2008-10)

Two-time NCAA champion (2008, 2010) at 149 pounds… three-time All-American (2008, 2009, 2010)… 2008 Dan Hodge Trophy recipient… 2008 Jesse Owens Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year… 2008 Iowa Male Athlete of the Year… 2008 Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA and Big Ten Championships… 2008 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year… 2009 Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Ten Championships… two-time Big Ten champion (2008, 2009)… led the Hawkeyes to three straight NCAA and Big Ten team titles (2008, 2009, 2010)… Iowa’s 2009 Big Ten Medal of Honor Award recipient… five-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Week… finished his collegiate career with a 108-3 record with a .973 winning percentage – second-best in program history… had a 69-match winning streak from 2008-09 – tied for the fourth longest streak all-time… had 47 career falls (seventh-most all-time), including 20 falls in 2008-09 – the fourth-most in a single season in program history… two-time Mike Howard Team MVP Award recipient… 2009 John & Dorothy Sill Award recipient (most dedicated)… three-time Academic All-Big Ten and NWCA Division I All-Academic Team selection… 2010 ESPN The Magazine First-Team Academic All-American… two-time Dean’s List honoree… four-time World Team member (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015)… 2014 World Cup champion.


Daniel Sherman, Wrestling (1970-73)

1973 NCAA Champion at 118 pounds… two-time All-American (1972, 1973)… 1973 Big Ten champion… Iowa’s 1973 Big Ten Medal of Honor Award recipient… helped Iowa to a pair of Big Ten runner-up team finishes… team placed 11th at NCAA Championships in 1972 and tied for seventh in 1973.


Congratulations to Brent Metcalf and Dan Sherman for receiving this great honor.


It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Hawkeye recruit Angelo Ferrari wins at Who’s #1

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruit Angelo Ferrari looked great Saturday competing at Who’s #1 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At 170 lbs. Ferrari defeated Ty Eise of Colorado, 5-1. College rules were used including the new 3-point takedown.

After a scoreless first period Ferrari started on top. After an escape Ferrari scored a takedown followed by 1:38 of riding time. In the third period Ferrari scored an escape for the 5-1 victory. This is the second year in a row that Ferrari has won at Who’s #1.

In the new Flo rankings just released Ferrari is now ranked #1 at 170 and #3 in the P4P (Pound for Pound) list. Eise is ranked #2 at 170.

Ferrari was the #1 overall ranked recruit in the Class of 2024 by Flo last season. He committed to the University of Iowa on May 31. Last season Ferrari won a state title at 175 for Melissa High School in Texas. 

What a great future Angelo Ferrari has in the Black and Gold of Iowa Wrestling.

For the upcoming high school season as I have done for years I will post a blog on Friday morning letting you know where all of our incoming Hawkeye recruits are competing over the weekend and a Saturday night blog with results. 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

New Hawk: Jared Franek

Jared Franek announced on June 16 that he was transferring from North Dakota State to the University of Iowa. Franek, originally from Harwood, North Dakota (West Fargo HS), will have one year of eligibility remaining from his Covid year.

Last season Franek placed fourth at the NCAA National Championships at 157 and won a Big 12 title with a 27-3 record. In 2022 Franek made it to the Blood Round of 12 at 157 at Nationals.

Over the last four years Franek has placed first, second, second, and third at the Big 12 Championships and won the Southern Scuffle the past two years. He has an overall career record of 92-20. In high school Franek was a four-time state champion and received North Dakota’s Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award.

Franek has been named as a four-time NWCA All-Academic Team, four-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team, and two-time CoSIDA/CSC First Team Academic All American (‘22 and ‘23).

Franek is eligible right away this season for the Hawks.

In the InterMat rankings that were released on Tuesday Franek is ranked #2 in the country at 157.

Welcome aboard Jared Franek.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

New Hawk: Victor Voinovich

Victor Voinovich announced that he was transferring to Iowa on May 8. This was big news because Voinovich was an NCAA Qualifier at Oklahoma State last season as a redshirt freshman at 149. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Voinovich, originally from Brecksville, Ohio has impressive credentials starting with being a two-time Ohio state champion. He also won twice at Who’s #1 that features top ranked high school prospects from across the country. 

As a true freshman Voinovich was 16-1 as a true freshman and won three tournaments. Last season he was 17-13 in the starting lineup for Oklahoma State and went 2-2 as an NCAA Qualifier at Nationals competing at 149.

In the Iowa-Oklahoma State dual meet last season Voinovich lost to Max Murin, 4-3.

Voinovich competed for Serbia in Romania recently at the Ion Cornianu & Ladislau Simon Senior Open at 70 kg/154 lbs. where he went 1-1 in competition.

Voinovich has a lot of potential for success at Iowa the next three seasons. I would think Voinovich would be a favorite at this time for the varsity spot at 149 this season.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

New Hawk: Isaiah Fenton

Isaiah Fenton of Burlington, Iowa was the final member of the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023 when he committed to the Hawks on May 16.

Fenton won a state title for Notre Dame this past season with a 39-0 record with 16 pins and 6 tech falls. He placed seventh at 152 in 2022 and had a 143-24 career record.

As a freshman Fenton was a state qualifier at 132 lbs. for Howell High School in New Jersey.

Fenton is listed at 157 on the new Iowa Wrestling roster.

Welcome aboard Isaiah Fenton.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

New Hawk: Koye Grebel

Next up for the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023 is Koye Grebel of Valley City, North Dakota. Grebel committed to the Hawks on March 30.

This past season Grebel was 44-2 on the season and won a state title at 138 lbs. with a 15-0 tech fall in the finals. He is a three-time state champ, four-time state finalist and was named North Dakota’s Mr. Wrestler for 2023.

At Junior Nationals Grebel was 4-2 at 138 lbs. He dropped a match to new Iowa Hawkeye teammate Ryder Block in the Round of 32.

I enjoyed the comments from my blog announcing Grebel committing to the Hawks. I was contacted by several wrestling fans letting me know that we were getting a real good wrestler.

The comments were similar on Facebook from fans talking about Grebel’s work ethic, character, and ability to make a way to win a match. I read in an interview that Grebel has been a lifelong Iowa Wrestling fan. Always good to hear. 

Grebel is listed at 133/141 on the new Iowa Wrestling roster.

Welcome aboard Koye Grebel.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

New Hawk: Kale Petersen

I cannot remember an Iowa Wrestling recruit who had his stock go up after committing to the Hawks more than Kale Petersen. When the commitment to be an Iowa Hawkeye was made by Petersen last November 15, he was a two-time state champion without any national rankings. A lot has changed since then.

Petersen, from Rockwell, Iowa, won his third state title while competing for Greene County this past season at 132 with a 42-0 record. Petersen defeated Gable Porter of Underwood in the finals of the Rollin Dyer Invitational in Atlantic in January by a 7-6 decision. At the time Porter was ranked #13 in the country by MatScouts and is now a true freshman at Virginia. I also need to add that Petersen has been in the Sebolt Wrestling Academy for years. 

Petersen made a really big move this spring and summer. In April Petersen placed second at Folkstyle Nationals in Cedar Falls. At Junior Duals in Tulsa Petersen was 8-0 with five tech falls and three decisions at 132. 

It was at U20 Nationals in Las Vegas where Petersen really put his name up there on a national level. As I mentioned in my blog Petersen may have been the biggest story of the entire tournament. After winning his first four matches at 61 kg/134 lbs. by tech fall Petersen defeated #1 nationally ranked Nasir Bailey, 10-1.

In the finals Petersen came storming back to drop an 11-8 decision to Nic Bouzakis of Ohio State. Bouzakis had just finished his true freshman season at Ohio State as a huge recruit and just won a Silver at the U20 World Championships. Some scale of where Petersen is at.

At Junior Nationals in Fargo Petersen placed second at 132 with a 7-1 record with three tech falls. A real good showing.

Folks, that is having one heck of a great season.

Petersen was ranked #64 overall for the Class of 2023 but did not crack the rankings at 132 by MatScouts in their final rankings. I sure disagree with that.

The recently released Iowa Wrestling roster has Petersen listed at 133/141. You have to like the potential this guy has after his performance this year. To add to the results is the grind and attacking style of Petersen that Iowa is known for. 

It will be interesting to see how Petersen’s career works out in the Black and Gold. Even with all of his accomplishments he is not getting the recognition he deserves. Maybe that will add to his desire to make a name for himself in Iowa Wrestling.

As with the other true freshman I look forward to seeing Petersen at Open tournaments and making his way into the lineup this season several times without using a year of eligibility to see what he has.

Yet another real good addition with a lot of potential to the Iowa Wrestling program for the Recruiting Class of 2023. 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!