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Jake Varner
Jake  Varner

Assistant Coach


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NCAA Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jake Varner is in his second season as an assistant coach at Penn State. Varner has been training with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club as well.

Varner moved to State College after an outstanding career at Iowa State University. The Cyclone ended his collegiate career as the best in the country, winning the 197-pound title in 2010. Varner posted a 31-0 record as a senior and was 121-10 over the course of his career. The NCAA title he won as a senior was his second, having won his first as a junior in 2009. Varner was the 184-pound NCAA finalist as a sophomore and freshman. One of Iowa State’s all-time greats, Varner was a four-time All-American, four-time NCAA finalist and two-time NCAA Champion.

As a freestyle wrestler, Varner reached the sport’s pinnacle by claiming the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal at 96kg in London. His performance in the Olympics capped off a stellar 2012 that also saw him win the Pan American Games Gold and the Yarygan Bronze. He also claimed a World Bronze in 2011 in Istanbul.

Varner was a two-time California High School champion during his prep days, amassing a 159-10 career record with 132 falls. He is the only wrestler in California history (as of August, 2017) to pin all six opponents in the state tournament. Varner graduated from Iowa State with a degree in criminal justice.

He and his wife, Brittany, have two daughters, Kylynn and Brynlee. The couple are also expecting twins in October, post-press.


Birthday: March 24, 1986
Hometown:  Bakersfield, Calif.
Alma Mater:  Iowa State `10
Spouse: Brittany
Children: Kylynn and Brynlee


* 2016-Pres.: Assistant Coach, Penn State


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