April 5, 2006
IOWA CITY, IA – Former Hawkeye wrestler Tom Brands, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist and four-time all-American has been named head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. The three-time national champion and member of wrestling’s Hall of Fame was introduced to the media by Iowa Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby at a press conference this afternoon. He is only the eighth wrestling coach at the University of Iowa.
“We are very pleased and proud to have Tom Brands returning to lead our wrestling program,” said Bowlsby. “The Iowa program is one of the most decorated sports programs in all of intercollegiate athletics and with that comes very lofty expectations. We feel that Tom is capable of meeting those expectations and further contributing to our achievements. We also feel that Coach Brands will lead the program with high integrity and that he will support our team members in all areas of their experiences on our campus.”
Brands served as head coach at Virginia Tech University for two seasons (2005-06), recording a 17-20 dual mark. In his first season with the Hokies, Brands led the team to the 2005 regular season Atlantic Coast Conference title, set a school record for dual meet wins (16) and had a school-record five wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships. During his tenure, Virginia Tech crowned five conference champions and two all-Americans. Senior heavyweight Mike Faust was named 2006 ACC Wrestler of the Year.
Prior to taking the helm at Virginia Tech, Brands was an assistant coach at Iowa for 12 seasons (1993-2004). He helped the Hawkeyes to a 177-27 dual record, seven NCAA and eight Big Ten titles, while crowning 23 NCAA Champions, 73 all-Americans and 36 Big Ten Champions. He was named National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.
In 2004, he was one of three coaches for the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, participating in Athens. Brands also served as assistant coach for the 2002 and 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Teams, earning Freestyle Coach of the Year honors from USA Wrestling both years. He was also 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.
As a competitor, Brands won the 1996 Olympic freestyle gold medal at 136.5 pounds in Atlanta, GA. He also won a gold medal at the 1993 World Freestyle Championships in Toronto, two World Cup gold medals (1994, 1995) and was the 1995 Pan American Games champion. He won four U.S. Nationals titles (1993-96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993-96). Along with his twin brother, Terry, Tom 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 inducted into wrestling’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
Brands was a four-time all-American at Iowa (1989-92). During his Hawkeye career, he won three NCAA titles and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the 1992 NCAA Championships. Also a three time Big Ten champion, Brands won 95 percent of his matches at Iowa. His career mark of 158 7 2, included an undefeated season in 1991 (45 0).
The Sheldon, IA, native was born April 9, 1968. He earned his B.S. degree in physical education from Iowa in 1992. He and his wife, Jeni, have three children, Madigan, Kinsee and Tommy.