June 18, 2010
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IOWA CITY, IA — Former Iowa State University wrestler Kurt Backes has joined the University of Iowa wrestling program as a volunteer assistant coach. The announcement was made today by Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands.
“I am excited to get to Iowa City as soon as possible, and starting working alongside the coaching staff and student-athletes to attain yet another NCAA Championship and Big Ten title,” said Backes.
Backes served as the volunteer assistant coach at Virginia Tech University during the 2009-10 season, and the assistant strength and conditioning wrestling coach at the University of Missouri in 2008-09.
“With his collegiate and international experience, Kurt will make a strong addition to our staff,” said Brands. “He understands how important collegiate wrestling is in the state of Iowa. We are excited to have him join our staff.”
During his collegiate career, Backes was a two-time all-American and Big 12 champion at 184 and 197 pounds for Iowa State (2003-07). He collected 109 wins while competing for the Cyclones, where he was a three-time co-captain (2005-07).
A 2008 men’s freestyle Olympic Trials finalist and World Cup team member, Backes won the 2007 U.S. Men’s Freestyle title while competing for the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club. He traveled to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a workout partner and alternate competitor. Backes placed third at the U.S. Open in 2007 and fourth in 2008. He was a member of the 2003 Junior World team, placing fifth at the Junior World Championships. He also served on the USA Wrestling finance committee in 2008-09.
A native of Neshanic Station, NJ, Backes was a three-time national prep and New Jersey state champion for Blair Academy. He graduated from Iowa State in 2007 with a degree in business finance. His wife’s name is Amanda.