Beat The Streets
In this episode of the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan discuss the top 10 coaches of the year. They kick off the podcast by talking about some recent events surrounding RUDIS. Ohio USA Wrestling and RUDIS put on a free clinic for over 300 athletes that included eight of the best clinicians in the world. Also, Askren and Dernlan recognize and give a shout out to Sarah Hildebrandt for winning her weight class at Beat The Streets Los Angeles. Askren has a lot of appreciation for everything Beat The Streets is doing. For someone like Kyle Snyder who won a gold medal at worlds last year, he would have time to participate in Beat The Streets because winning gold has given him an automatic spot at Final X.
How to Judge (6:23)
Today’s podcast features Askren and Dernlan’s top 10 coaches of the year. They did not set any judging criteria so that the discussion remains open. Askren clarifies this list is compiled from the 2018-2019 season only. Dernlan looked at the entire year as a whole and didn’t put much emphasis on the NCAA tournament. Askren recognized the importance and difficulty in getting wrestlers on the podium but didn’t discount the dual season. Askren also points out the advantage certain schools have in recruiting. In order to properly judge a coach, the ranking is based on how well coaches developed their wrestlers.
Number 10 – Troy Steiner (12:15)
After developing these lists separately, Askren and Dernlan end up with the same pick for the number 10 spot, Coach Troy Steiner of Fresno State. Askren says Steiner did a tremendous job promoting the program, qualified a decent amount of wrestlers for NCAAs, put an All American on the podium, and is doing a great job recruiting from the Fresno valley. Dernlan echoes this and talks about how hard it is to restart a program on the D1 level. Fresno State reinstated their program only two years ago. But between the wrestler’s success and the fans in the stands, you would never think they started from scratch so soon. Recruiting is hard when the kids you’re working to acquire didn’t witness the legends of Fresno State like Stephen Abas.
Number 9 – Chris Ayres | Coleman Scott (17:37)
Askren’s Number nine pick is Coach Chris Ayres of Princeton. He speaks to the difficulty of having three All Americans at an Ivy School. Dernlan’s pick is Coleman Scott from UNC Chapel Hill. Dernlan based his pick on consistency. He also points out that being at a school in a big conference that offers the sport of wrestling doesn’t guarantee that program’s success.
Number 8 – Brandon Eggum | Doug Schwab (23:27)
Coming in at number eight, Dernlan chose Brandon Eggum from the University of Minnesota. He says people forget what Eggum inherited when he took over the program in 2017. Dernlan goes on to commend Eggum’s leadership abilities to stabilize the program and bring it back. He was particularly impressed with their NCAA Championships performance. Askren’s pick is Doug Schwab of the University of Northern Iowa. He thought they had a great season and the feather in the cap was getting their first NCAA Champion since 1999. UNI has a lot of returning wrestlers for next year as well.
Number 7 – Kevin Dresser | Scott Moore (28:03)
Dernlan’s pick is Iowa State’s, Kevin Dresser. They had a successful season only losing to the very best including an 18-19 loss to the Hawkeyes. Dernlan talks about how Dresser has been able to jump Iowa State back into the mix after only a few years is really impressive. Askren’s number seven pick is Scott Moore of Lock Haven. Penn State is 15 miles away so there is a lot of recruiting competition. Askren is impressed with what Scott Moore has done with what he’s been given. He wouldn’t be surprised if Moore received an offer at an even larger school.
Number 6 – Scott Moore | Tom Brands (32:10)
Dernlan’s sixth pick is Askren’s seven pick, Scott Moore. Coming from a head coaching position at Clarion, Dernlan sympathizes with the limitations and struggles that come along with leading a smaller program into battle against the biggest in the nation. These programs are underfunded and are forced to raise upwards of 50% of their own operating costs. They have half the scholarships to offer and less money to spend on coaches. Askren’s Number 6 is Iowa’s Tom Brands. Getting Spencer Lee a championship after his struggles speak to the culture and coaching staff at Iowa.
Number 5 – Doug Schwab | Brandon Eggum (38:35)
With the reverse of their Number eight picks, Dernlan’s pick is Coach Schwab and Askren’s is Coach Eggum. Minnesota is graduating some seniors and Askren thinks Eggum will have a hard time finding himself at the top of this list again next year.
Number 4 – Brian Smith | Scott Goodale (39:22)
Askren’s fourth pick is none other than Coach Brian Smith from Missouri. Askren says Coach Smith’s strength has been to plug guys into their lineup. Smith is another coach who deals with battling in the top five without all the top blue chip recruits that programs such as Penn State, Oklahoma State, and Iowa are able to get. Dernlan goes with Scott Goodale from Rutgers. Two National Champions came from Rutgers after years of grinding their way and establishing their name in the wrestling scene.
Number 3 – Cael Sanderson | Chris Ayres (44:51)
Askren picks Cael Sanderson for his top three ranking. Although Sanderson is high on Askren’s list, He didn’t agree with Sanderson getting coach of the year. Dernlan picks Princeton’s Chris Ayres. He’s impressed with how Princeton is showing that you can get a world-class education alongside being one of the best wrestling programs.
Number 2 – Kevin Dresser | Tom Ryan (49:13)
Askren puts Coach Dresser at two on his list. He’s impressed with how fast Iowa State raised to the top. Dernlan picks Tom Ryan at Number 2. He says Ohio State and Penn State are firmly entrenched as the top to schools in wrestling.
Number 1 – Cael Sanderson | Scott Goodale (51:23)
Dernlan says Sanderson is a victim of his own expectations. With such a successful year it’s hard to not put him at number one. Askren has Goodale as his top coach of the year. He speaks to the difficulty of getting your first National Champion let alone two in one year.
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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.
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