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Cael Sanderson Signs Contract Extension to Helm Nittany Lion Wrestling Program Through 2017

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Cael Sanderson has signed a contractd extension through the 2017 season to helm the Penn State wrestling program.

Aug. 22, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson, leader of the two-time defending NCAA champion Nittany Lion wrestlers, has signed a contract extension that will keep him the leader of the Lion pack through the 2017 season.

"I really appreciate the gesture by Dr. Joyner and the administration to actively pursue a contract extension," said Sanderson. "I'm thrilled that the University has confidence in our coaching team. With the hard work of Cody Sanderson and Casey Cunningham, this staff is fully enjoying their coaching responsibilities and we are excited to continue leading Penn State wrestling."

Sanderson's new deal runs from July 1 of this year through June of 2017 at a base salary of $175,000 per year.

"It is a real pleasure to have Cael Sanderson at Penn State University," said Dr. David Joyner, Acting Director of Athletics. "The leadership he provides to our student-athletes is of the highest order. I am extremely pleased that we are able to announce his new contract and commitment to Penn State. We look forward to many more successful years with Cael at the helm of our wrestling program."

Sanderson, the most accomplished athlete in the history of collegiate wrestling, has turned Penn State into a wrestling powerhouse in just three years at the helm of the program. In his first year at Penn State (2009-10), he guided the Lions to a 13-6-1 dual meet mark, 5-3 in Big Ten action, and crowned his first Big Ten Champion. The Lions finished No. 10 in the final USA Today/Coaches dual meet poll and placed ninth at NCAAs.

In 2010-11, Sanderson guided the Nittany Lions to its first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship and its first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991 (2010-11). In guiding Penn State to a 6-1-1 conference mark, Sanderson equaled, at the time, the most Big Ten dual meet wins in Penn State history in just his second year at the helm of the Nittany Lions. Sanderson led Penn State to the school's first ever Big Ten Championship on March 5-6, 2011, and was named 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year. In the process he became the first person ever to earn both Big 12 and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. Saving the best for last, he led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 NCAA National Championship in Philadelphia on March 17-19, Penn State's first since 1953 and Sanderson's first as a collegiate head coach.



This past season, Sanderson led Penn State to a school record 7-1 Big Ten dual record and a share of the 2012 Big Ten dual meet championship. Sanderson then made it two in a row by leading Penn State to the 2012 Big Ten Championship at Purdue on March 3-4 and was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second straight season. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the fourth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles. He capped his year off by being named Intermat's National Coach of the Year

Coach Sanderson now sports an 86-18-2 dual meet mark in his sixth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 43-8-2 after three years at Penn State. In three years as Penn State's coach, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to two-straight conference titles, two straight national titles, collected 14 All-Americans, three national champions, two Gorriaran winners, one NCAA tourney OW and one Hodge Trophy winner.

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Sanderson's year-by-year record and individual accolades follow:

Sanderson's Career Coaching Record
Season Rec % Conf. B10 NCAA Qual. AA NC
2006-07 13-3-0 .813 --- 1st 2nd 10 4 1
2007-08 16-4-0 .800 --- 1st 5th 10 7 0
2008-09 15-3-0 .833 --- 1st 3rd 10 4 1
2009-10 13-6-1 .675 5-3 5th 9th 6 3 0
2010-11 17-1-1 .921 6-1-1 1st 1st 8 5 1
2011-12 13-1-0 .929 7-1 1st 1st 9 6 3
Career 87-18-2 .822 18-5-1 --- --- 53 29 6

THE SANDERSON FILE Full Name:  Cael Norman Sanderson
Birthday: June 20, 1979
Birthplace:  Provo, Utah
Hometown:  Heber City, Utah
Alma Mater:  Iowa State, 2002
Spouse:  Kelly
Children:  Tate, Teag


* 2007 NWCA Coach of the Year
* 2007 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year
* 2007 Amateur Wrestling News Rookie Coach of the Year
* 2007 Coach of the Year
* 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year
* 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year
* 2012 Intermat National Coach of the Year
* Only man in NCAA history to earn both Big Ten and Big 12 Coach of the Year honors
* Coached 6 National Champions (4 in 3 years at PSU)
* 29 All-Americans in just 6 years (14 in 3 years at PSU)
* 53 of 60 of his wrestlers qualified for NCAAs
* Coached 9 Big Ten Champions in three years in the conference


* The only wrestler in NCAA history to never lose a bout
* Four-time NCAA National Champion
* Four-time NCAA Most Outstanding Wrestler
* 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist
* 159-0 as collegiate wrestler
* Four-time Big 12 Champion
* Sports Illustrated called unbeaten streak #2 most outstanding achievement in collegiate history
* Three-time Hodge Trophy winner
* Final NCAA win named one of 25 Defining Moments by NCAA
* ESPY Award for Best Male Collegiate Athlete
* ESPN Sports Century special on his career
* One-time appearance on Wheaties cereal box


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