Wrestling: Gable says Terry Brands would be a fit in ISU job
By DAN McCOOL ? firstname.lastname@example.org ? April 21, 2009
Former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable said Iowa State officials contacted him to discuss their search for a coach and one person he suggested the Cyclones consider is Hawkeye assistant coach Terry Brands.
Brands, the brother of current Iowa coach Tom Brands, said Tuesday that he has not been contacted by Iowa State - but declined additional comment.
Iowa State is seeking a replacement for Cyclone legend Cael Sanderson, who left Ames to become the coach at Penn State. Gable said Iowa State reached out to him to find out who he thinks would be viable candidates for the position at his alma mater.
"Are you kidding me?" Gable said, when asked if Terry Brands would be a good fit for the Cyclones. "Of course he would be."
Last month, Terry Brands ? a two-time NCAA champion at Iowa ? completed his first season of a second coaching term with the Hawkeyes. He was an assistant at Iowa before joining Nebraska's staff in 2000.
Brands also coached at Montana State-Northern and was head coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga before working as freestyle resident coach with USA Wrestling in Colorado.
Brands leaves today for Venezuela and the Pan American Championships.
Gable said luring Brands to the job would be a challenge. The Hawkeyes come off their second consecutive NCAA championship and return five all-Americans next winter.
"It depends on what they've got going right now over here, and they've got a lot going right now," Gable said. "I think (Terry) is torn a little."
Gable said the Iowa State job is top-flight.
"The Cyclones have a lot of tradition, a lot of history," Gable said. "They've got a lot of national championships. They may not have had one for a while, but they have a potential championship team."
One known candidate for the job is Tennessee-Chattanooga coach Chris Bono, a former NCAA champion and assistant coach at Iowa State.
Bono confirmed that Iowa State asked Mocs athletic director Rick Hart on Monday night for permission to speak to Bono about the Cyclones' position.
Gable, meanwhile, did not completely close the door on his own interest in the Iowa State job.
"They need maybe what I could offer from a point of view of knowledge," Gable said.
"They need a coach that can not only have that knowledge but also be able to go about it on a daily basis to get it administered.
"I don't think I'm in position to want to do longevity.
"The bottom line is they need somebody for more than a year or two. I absolutely want Iowa State to get a good wrestling coach."
There is one other drawback to the job for Gable, 60, who led Iowa to 15 NCAA championships in 21 seasons.
"I'd have to go against some principles that I've preached my whole life to my family," said Gable, who has four grandchildren. "It would be difficult to convince them that I could go live for a couple years in an environment 130 miles away from my home where I've lived for a long time.
"That would be extremely difficult for them to accept, considering I've been preaching to them that it would be great to have them stay around in their whole life."
Gable said filling the Iowa State job ? there are also head coach openings at Illinois and Arizona State ? needs more care than speed.
"It needs to be a good hire. That's more important than fast," Gable said. "I think a lot of times when we see fast hires, we see mistakes made. I don't know if that was that fast of a hire, it seems to me it was, but I think Penn State's been working on it for quite a while."
Iowa State was the only team to qualify all 10 weights at the NCAA tournament last month. All 10 wrestlers are underclassmen.
"They already have a pretty good situation," Gable said.
Another potential unknown, for all involved, is money.
Sanderson was paid $132,500 for the 2008 fiscal year, according to state records. Gable earned $144,996 from Iowa during the same fiscal year.
Current state records do not yet indicate what Terry Brands is being paid at Iowa.
Pitting the Brands brothers likely would generate huge interest, however - in Iowa and outside the state.
The intrastate matchup between teams coached by Olympic gold medalists Tom Brands and Sanderson in December drew 15,955 fans, an NCAA record, to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
A Brands versus Brands showdown could eclipse that, Gable said.
"We'd have to find a bigger stadium," Gable said.