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|College Wrestling Update for May 4: Ryan puts together strong straff|
By Jason Bryant NWCA/Intermat
Tom Ryan wants to get things rolling at Ohio State.
The newly-appointed Buckeyes wrestling coach did just that, announcing an impressive staff that's a little of the old, and a little of the new.
Tommy Rowlands, the runner-up for the head coaching position, will stay on as a full-time assistant, while former Olympian and longtime Edinboro assistant Lou Rosselli moves from his alma mater to Columbus.
Rounding out the new staff is Joe Heskett, an Ohio native who has spent the last couple of years as a volunteer assistant coach under John Azevedo at Cal Poly.
Jim Humphrey and Ross Thatcher will stay on in their primarily roles under former coach Russ Hellickson. Humphrey, an Ohio State graduate and father of Buckeye wrestlers Jordin and Reece Humphrey, will stay on as coach of the Ohio Wrestling Club while Thatcher is now the Director of Wrestling Operations.
Tom Brands added a familiar face to his coaching staff at the University of Iowa. Brands, name the new head coach of his alma mater last month, brought in Wes Hand, his top assistant at Virginia Tech, to work with the upperweights in Iowa City.
Former Iowa coach and newly named Oregon State head coach Jim Zalesky also went the route of hiring an assistant from a previous school - bringing in Troy Steiner to Corvallis. Steiner, who coached with retired Oregon State coach Joe Wells during the 1995-96 season, was Zalesky's top assistant when they were both with Iowa.
The final four candidates for Clarion's job are know public knowledge, with Oregon assistant Rick Stewart, former Oklahoma State national champion Teague Moore, Penn State assistant coach Matt Dernlan and Ohio State assistant Ken Ramsey.
No new developments have been announced in the coaching vacancies at Princeton, Utah Valley State, Portland State, East Stroudsburg, Hofstra and Air Force.
Hofstra should, however, be making an announcement in the coming days.
It was a very busy week for high school seniors choosing schools, as InterMat reported exactly 200 signings for the week.
Division III schools Wabash College and Elizabethtown were the most active, adding 18 and 20 wrestlers respectively. Second-year York College of Nebraska had a prolific week, as coach Jordan Nichols' NAIA program continues to build.
Messiah College also kept pace, picking up 14 new athletes including four-time Montana state finalist Trent Zempel and Maryland state champion Brent Stewart.
Binghamton reported 10 new signings to its already solid recruiting class. Tony Robie is working to make his revived wrestling program at BU a competitor in the Colonial Athletic Association. One notable name in the group is former New York high school standout Scott Prutzman, who is transferring in from Division III King's College.
Cumberland University in Tennessee picked up another solid recruit, New Jersey state placewinner Corey Bleaken from Clifton, N.J.
A handful of NHSCA All-Americans also signed during the week, with Edinboro landing River Dell, N.J. senior Daryl Cocozzo and Indiana inking state champion Jantzen Minton of Christiansburg, Va. Minton had initially verbally committed to Virginia Tech, but opted to sign with Indiana, partially because of its communications program.
Travis Stem of Bald Eagle Area, Pa., signed with Lock Haven. Stem was sixth in the PIAA AAA state championships but finished second behind Wisconsin's Trevor Brandvold at the NHSCA Senior Nationals.
Hawaii's top wrestler, Brandon Low of St. Louis High School, can't go anywhere but east, and he landed in California, committing to Lennie Zalesky at UC-Davis.
North Dakota State preps for its first full season of Division I membership, picking up Montana high school standout Vince Salminen of Skyview and NJCAA national champion Eric Hoffman of Iowa Central.
In the Ivy League, Brown and Columbia announced their incoming classes, with Columbia picking up wrestlers from prep powerhouses Northampton, Pa., and Blair Academy in New Jersey. Brown raided the state of New York, adding four new wrestlers all from the Empire State.
In the Junior College ranks, Spartanburg Methodist added 12 new wrestlers to its program, highlighted by Edisto, S.C.,'s Justin Ballard. Pratt Community College will wrestle its inaugural season in 2006-07 and this week, Pratt added six athletes to the program.