Hawkeye greats reunite at the scorer's table

Jan. 23, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It wasn’t just a Who’s Who of Iowa wrestling that gathered at the scorer’s table following the 165-pound match Friday during the Hawkeyes’ dual win over Wisconsin. It just happened to be three of the top five in career victories, soon to be joined by legendary head coach Dan Gable.

The roster of greats included Barry Davis, now head wrestling coach at Wisconsin; Tom Brands, now head wrestling coach at Iowa; and Terry Brands, assistant wrestling coach at Iowa. The three had a lengthy, sometimes animated discussion about riding time following UI junior Ryan Morningstar’s 4-3 overtime loss to Andrew Howe.

“We’re not going to have a double-standard here,” Tom Brands said, referring to what he viewed as excessive bench-approaches by Davis. According to Brands, the Hawkeye coaches are denied access to bench discussions during duals and he wants to assure that all programs are treated fairly. After a few minutes, Gable came out of the crowd and — in the same way he no doubt controlled Hawkeye wrestling practices from 1976-97 — put an end to the conflict.

Davis had 162 career wins from 1981-85, Tom Brands was second with 158 from 1988-92 and Terry Brands was fifth with 137 from 1988-92.

The Hawkeyes appeared energized by the display and won three of the final four bouts to defeat the No. 13 Badgers, 24-12, in front of just under 7,000 fans.

“I think it’s fun,” said UI junior Brent Metcalf. “It’s fun for us, it’s fun for the crowd. The Hawkeye fans love drama. They love seeing Gable go back there and fight, too. It’s all positive and it’s not a big deal.”

After the delay, Hawkeye junior Jay Borschel resumed action on the mat and claimed a 7-3 decision over Travis Rutt.

“It was a little weird,” Borschel said. “I was going, then I wasn’t going. I was going, then I wasn’t going. I just sat back, tried to relax and stay focused. Having that firepower (from the coaches) in back of you helps mentally more than anything.”

Iowa improved to 16-0 in dual meets this season and won for the 34th time in the last 35 meetings against Wisconsin. Metcalf stole the headlines again when he decked Midland’s finalist and fifth-ranked Badger Kyle Ruschell in 2:12.

“A little fight on the mat,” Metcalf said. “You need to take things personally. When you take winning by one point or winning by riding time — or in Morningstar’s case, losing a match on riding time — you want to take that on a personal level like these coaches do.”

The Hawkeyes put their 30-match winning streak on the line Sunday, Jan. 25, against Illinois beginning at 5 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.