ON THE MAT
The University of Iowa wrestling team finished the 2022-23 season with a 15-1 overall and a 7-1 Big Ten mark. The Hawkeyes placed second at both the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. Iowa crowned two Big Ten champions and had six All-Americans. The program had 14 Academic All-Big Ten selections for a second straight year — tied for the second highest total in school history.
The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American in 52 consecutive tournaments, a stretch dating back to 1972. Iowa has totaled 323 All-America honors during that stretch. The program has had at least five All-Americans in 10 consecutive seasons and 15 times in head coach Tom Brands’ 17 seasons.
Seniors Spencer Lee and Jacob Warner joined Michael Kemerer in the exclusive five-time All-America club at the 2023 NCAA Championships.
• Lee placed sixth at 125 pounds in 2023 to go along with three national titles in 2018, 2019 and 2021. He was an NWCA All-American in 2020 after COVID-19 cancelled the season.
• Warner won four straight matches on the back side of the bracket to go on to finish fifth (as the No. 14 seed) in Tulsa. The Illinois native was seventh in 2019, fourth in 2021, second in 2022 and was an NWCA All-American in 2020.
Senior Tony Cassioppi became a four-time All-American with his fourth-place finish at heavyweight at the 2023 NCAA Championships. He previously finished third in 2021 and seventh in 2022 to go along with NCWA honors in 2020.
• There have been 25 four-time All-Americans in the history of Iowa wrestling. Joe Scarpello was Iowa’s first four-timer. He won the NCAA title in 1950 to earn his fourth All-America honor.
• Tom Brands has coached nine four-timers and three five-timers since his first national tournament as Iowa’s head coach in 2007. Mark Perry won NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008, the third and fourth All-America honors of his career.
• Derek St. John, Cory Clark and Brandon Sorensen were four-timers under Brands. St. John won a national title in 2013 and was an All-American from 2011-14. Clark capped his fourth straight All-America honor with a national championship in 2017. Sorensen earned All-America honors from 2015-18.
• Spencer Lee, Jaydin Eierman and Michael Kemerer became four-time All-Americans in 2021. Lee won NCAA titles in 2018, 2019 and 2021, and was named an All-American after COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 national tournament. Kemerer was an All-America honors in 2017-18 and 2020-22. Eierman earned three All-America honors at Missouri from 2017-19 and was runner-up at the 2021 NCAA Championships.
• Austin DeSanto and Alex Marinelli both earned their fourth All-America honors in 2022. DeSanto earned the nod honors from 2019-22, while Marinelli was an All-American from 2018-20, 2022.
• The Hawkeyes sent a 10-man lineup to the NCAA Championships for the fourth straight year and for the seventh time since 2007, Tom Brands first year as head coach (2010, 2014, 2015, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023).
E• ach of Iowa’s 10 qualifiers earned automatic bids to the NCAA tournament at the 2023 Big Ten Championships. It marks the second straight year that all 10 Hawkeyes earned an automatic berth at the NCAA qualifying tournament. Prior to 2022, the last time it occurred was 2010.
• Iowa was one of four schools sending 10 wrestlers to the national tournament (Missouri, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech).
• The Hawkeyes won national titles with a 10-man lineup in 2010 and 2021. Iowa placed fourth in 2014 and second in 2015 and 2023 and third in 2022. The 2020 NCAA Championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Iowa has sent at least eight athletes to the NCAA Championships in each of head coach Tom Brands’ 17 seasons.
HAWKEYES IN THE FINALS
Real Woods advanced to the 141-pound finals of the 2023 NCAA Championships to extend Iowa’s streak of NCAA finals appearances to 33 consecutive tournaments. Iowa has had at least one wrestler in the NCAA finals every year since 1990, and in 47 of the last 48 tournaments dating back to 1975.
2023 AWARD WINNERS
Mike Howard Most Valuable: Real Woods
Mike J. McGivern Most Courageous: Max Murin, Jacob Warner
John and Dorothy Sill Most Dedicated: Max Murin
Most Improved Award: Nelson Brands
J. Donald McPike, Sr., High Senior GPA: Jacob Warner
Coaches Appreciation: Spencer Lee, Tony Cassioppi, Drake Rhodes
Most Pins: Tony Cassioppi (11)
All-Americans: Spencer Lee, Real Woods, Max Murin, Nelson Brands, Jacob Warner, Tony Cassioppi
Spencer Lee and Real Woods claimed Big Ten titles at the 2023 Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Lee won the 125 pound title, while Woods was the 141 pound champion. They are the 209th and 210th Big Ten champions in program history.
• Lee is the 20th three-time Big Ten champion in school history.
B1G WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
Spencer Lee was voted the Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Ten Championships by the league head coaches.
• Lee is the second Hawkeye all-time to earn three Big Ten Wrestler of the Year honors, joining Mark Ironside (1996,1997, 1998). Ten Iowa wrestlers have garnered 15 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year accolades in program history.
• Lee’s Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships honor was the first of his career. He is the 11th Hawkeye wrestler to earn the distinction.
• Spencer Lee finished his Hawkeye career as a five-time All-American, winning national titles in 2018, 2019 and 2021. He is one of seven Hawkeyes to be a three-time national champion. He is a two-time Hodge Trophy recipient and he won the James E. Sullivan Award in 2020.
• Lee posted a 98-6 career record, which included a 58-match winning streak from 2019-23 — the seventh-longest streak in program history. Among his 98 career wins, Lee had 84 bonus point victories — 35 pins, 33 technical falls and 16 major decisions. Forty of his wins ended in the first period, which included 12 falls in under one minute.
• Jacob Warner finished as a five-time All-American. The Illinois native posted a 97-28 record during his collegiate career, which included 34 bonus point wins.
• Max Murin was a two-time All-American, earning a spot on the podium for the first time in 2023. He was also an NWCA All-American in 2020. Murin had a career high 25 wins in 2022-23 with career highs in pins (4) and tech falls (4). He finished his career with a 78-30 record.
CASS: THE FALL
Tony Cassioppi led the team with 11 falls during the 2022-23 season. They are the most falls in a single season by a Hawkeye since Thomas Gilman’s 11 falls in 2016-17.
• Cassioppi had a stretch of four straight falls to open the season and he had five straight falls from Dec. 10-30 — the most consecutive falls in his career.
TRUE FRESHMEN IN VARSITY LINEUP
Six true freshman competed in the varsity dual lineup during the 2022-23 season.
• Drake Rhodes won his Hawkeye debut against California Baptist at 174 pounds, Carson Martinson competed at 174 at Army and Joel Jesuroga at 149 at Chattanooga. Aiden Riggins won his varsity dual debut, downing Purdue’s Stoney Buell, 9-4, on Jan. 8.
• Iowa had two freshmen in the varsity lineup at No. 16 Wisconsin. Rhodes competed at 174, while Kolby Franklin made his varsity dual debut at 197.
• Rhodes also competed at 184 in the road dual at No. 1 Penn State, the Hawkeyes had a three true freshmen in the lineup in the road dual at No. 12 Minnesota in Riggins (174), Rhodes (184) and Bradley Hill (285) and Rhodes also competed at 184 against No. 9 Michigan.
HAWKEYE BIG TEN HONOREES
• Junior Cobe Siebrecht was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 30 after defeating the highest ranked opponent of his career, pinning No. 10 Anthony Artalona of Penn to cap the Hawkeyes’ 26-11 dual victory on Nov. 26. Siebrecht got caught in a headlock early in the second period before rolling
through and sticking Artalona in 4:02. It was his second pin and fourth bonus point victory of the season.
• Spencer Lee was named the Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 11 — his fifth career honor. He earned the distinction after going 2-0 with two first-period falls in wins over Illinois’ Maximo Renteria and Purdue’s ninth-ranked Matt Ramos. Lee fought back from an 8-1 deficit to pin Ramos in 2:54 for his fourth fall of the season.
• Lee was named the NCAA, Big Ten and USA Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 24 after pinning a pair of top-10 opponents in dual wins over No. 11 Nebraska and No. 16 Wisconsin. Lee stuck No. 7 Liam Cronin in 38 seconds and No. 6 Eric Barnett in 4:38 for his fifth and sixth consecutive falls.
• Lee was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for a third time this season on Feb. 21 following his 51-second pin of Oklahoma State’s Reese Witcraft in his final match in Carver. Lee finished his career with a perfect 26-0 record in CHA.
ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN
Fourteen Hawkeyes were among the 45 University of Iowa student-athletes named to the 2022-23 Big Ten Winter Academic All-Conference Team. The 14 honorees are tied for the second most in program history
• To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be on a varsity team, as verified by being on the official squad list as of March 1 for winter sports, who have been enrolled fulltime at the institution for a minimum of 12 months and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
• Iowa wrestling’s Academic All-Big Ten honorees include Drake Ayala, Drew Bennett, Nelson Brands, Tony Cassioppi, Zach Glazier, Joe Kelly, Patrick Kennedy, Charles Matthews, Max Murin, Cullan Schriever, Leif Schroeder, Cobe Siebrecht, Brennan Swafford and Jacob Warner.
HAWKEYES RETAIN DAN GABLE TROPHY
The University of Iowa wrestling team defeated No. 7 Iowa State, 18-15, on Dec. 4 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. The win was Iowa’s 18th straight in the series and awarded Iowa possession of the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy for 11th consecutive year. Iowa has owned the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy every year since its inception in 2010.
IOWA-PENN STATE DUAL SETS BTN RECORD AGAIN
For the second consecutive year, the dual between top-ranked Penn State and No. 2 Iowa at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania, set a new wrestling viewership record on Big Ten Network. The dual saw more than 388,000 viewers tune in, making it the most-watched wrestling broadcast in BTN history. Iowa and Penn State have the top three watched duals in BTN history (362,917 in 2022 and 347,760 in 2020).
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
The Hawkeyes have won 24 national titles and 37 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 55 NCAA Champions have won a total of 85 NCAA individual titles, crowning seven three-time and 16 two-time champions.
• The Hawkeyes’ 118 Big Ten champions have combined for 210 conference titles. There have been eight four-time, 20 three-time and 31 two-time Big Ten champions from Iowa.
• Iowa’s 162 All-Americans have earned All-America status 363 times, including two five-time, 25 four-time, 38 three-time and 40 two-time honorees.
The Hawkeyes earned a team trophy at the NCAA Championships for the 14th time in the last 15 championships. Iowa has won 14 team trophies in head coach Tom Brands’ 16 seasons. (The 2020 season, in which Iowa was favored, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
• Iowa has won 48 team NCAA trophies in program history and have 68 top 10 finishes. The Hawkeyes have been the NCAA runner-up seven times.
SOLD OUT X 2
Iowa wrestling season tickets at Carver-Hawkeye Arena were sold out for a second straight season in 2022-23. The Hawkeyes have led the nation in attendance every year since 2006-07. Iowa set an NCAA record, averaging 14,905 fans in 2021-22.
• The Hawkeyes have wrestled in front of a sold out crowd seven times during the 2022-23 season, including two road duals (at Penn State, at Minnesota).
HAWKEYES AND CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
Iowa is 127-13 (.907) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since Tom Brands took over the program prior to 2006-07. The Hawkeyes are 277-26 (.914) all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since moving from the UI Field House in 1983. Iowa went 8-0 in Carver this season.
CHASING THE HAWKEYES
Gary Kurdelmeier led Iowa to its first NCAA Championship in 1975, and in the 49 years since, the Hawkeyes have accumulated 24 team titles, more than any other school — Penn State (11), Oklahoma State (7), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), Ohio State (1) and Arizona State (1).