April 28, 2004
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – University of Iowa assistant wrestling coach Tom Brands has been named 2003 Freestyle Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling. This is the second straight year that Brands has received the prestigious award. He is only the second coach in the history of the award to win it consecutively.
Brands served as the Assistant Coach of the 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which placed a strong second at the World Championships in New York City, led by two silver medalists. He has also been selected as one of the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Coaches, and will help lead the U.S. effort at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece this summer.
He was also the assistant coach of the 2002 U.S. Freestyle World Team, a member 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. He has been an assistant coach at the University of Iowa for 12 years, earning NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year honors 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. national 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.
Brands was a three-time NCAA Div. I champion at Iowa (1990-92) 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). He earned his B.S. degree in Physical Education from Iowa in 1992. He and his wife, Jeni, have three children, Madigan, Kinsee and Tom.
PAST FREESTYLE COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
2003 – Tom Brands, Iowa City, Iowa, Hawkeye WC
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