Brands Named USA Freestyle Coach of Year

May 6, 2003

Tom Brands of Iowa City, Iowa has been named 2002 Freestyle Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling. This is the first time that Brands has received this prestigious award.

Brands served as the Assistant Coach of the 2002 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which was scheduled to compete at the World Championships in Tehran, Iran. Brands, along with head coach Bobby Douglas, National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson and the other staff coaches prepared the U.S. team for the tournament. A day before the team was to leave the USA, the U.S. government contacted USA Wrestling with information about a threat of violence against the team. USA Wrestling decided not to attend the World Championships because of that threat.

The coaching staff for the 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Team will be the same as in 2002, with Douglas serving as head coach and Brands as the assistant coach.

Brands was a member of the U.S. coaching staff at the 2001 World Championships, and has coached a number of other U.S. teams in international competition. Brands is a club coach with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, one of the nation’s top freestyle wrestling clubs.

Brands has worked for 11 years as an assistant coach for the Univ. of Iowa. He was named NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.

Brands was one of the greatest U.S. freestyle wrestlers of all time, claiming a gold medal at 136.5 pounds at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. He also won a World gold medal at the 1993 World Championships in Toronto, Canada. Between 1993-96, Brands was the top U.S. wrestler at his weight class and represented the United States in numerous major international events.

He won two World Cup gold medals (1994 and 1995) and was the 1995 Pan American Games champion. He also claimed four U.S. Nationals titles (1993-96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993-96). Along with brother, Terry, he was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, the 1993 John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler, and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year.

He was a three-time NCAA Div. I champion at the Univ. of Iowa (1990-92) and was a four-time All-American and three-time Big Ten champion. He had a career mark of 158-7-2, including an undefeated season in 1991 (45-0).

Brands earned his B.S. degree in physical education from Iowa in 1992. He and his wife, Jeni, have three children, Madigan, Kinsee and Tom.

2002 – Tom Brands, Iowa City, Iowa, Hawkeye WC
2001 – Zeke Jones, Morgantown, W.Va., Sunkist Kids
2000 – John Smith, Stillwater, Okla., Sunkist Kids
1999 – Greg Strobel, Bethlehem, Pa., New York Athletic Club
1998 – John Smith, Stillwater, Okla., Sunkist Kids
1997 – Greg Strobel, Bethlehem, Pa., New York Athletic Club
1996 – Bruce Burnett, Colorado Springs, Colo., National Freestyle Coach
1995 – Bruce Burnett, Colorado Springs, Colo., National Freestyle Coach
1994 – Gene Davis, Colorado Springs, Colo., Athletes In Action
1993 – Joe Seay, Oklahoma City, Okla., Sunkist Kids
1992 – Bobby Douglas, Ames, Iowa, Sunkist Kids