"Cael is the biggest name in wrestling, period," Iowa State head coach Bobby Douglas said. "He has so much to teach our young wrestlers about technique, maintaining the right attitude, being a good student and being a great ambassador for Iowa State University. We're thrilled he will be staying at Iowa State in this new role and I thank Bruce Van De Velde for helping us make this possible."
Iowa State's new wrestling configuration has Sanderson and Bono, a former Iowa State All-American, serving as assistant coaches to Douglas. Former Cyclone All-American Zach Thompson will serve as the team's administrative assistant.
Sanderson won the freestyle wrestling gold medal in the 185-pound weight class at the Athens Olympic Games in August. Sanderson has won three World Team Trials titles in addition to winning the 185-pound weight class at the 2004 Olympic Trials.
The Heber, Utah, native is the most decorated and accomplished wrestler in NCAA history. In 2002, Sanderson finished his collegiate career with an unblemished record of 159-0. He went 39-0 his freshman year and 40-0 in each of the next three seasons. Sanderson won the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the NCAA Championships all four years at Iowa State and was the first freshman to earn such an honor. He was awarded the Dan Hodge Trophy in his last three collegiate seasons, given annually to the nation's best college wrestler. He is the first and only multiple winner of that award.
Sanderson graduated from Iowa State in December 2001 with a bachelor's degree in art and design. He was a two-time first-team academic All-American and a first-team academic all-Big 12 selection. The 25-year-old was the 2002 Big 12 Conference Athlete of the Year.
Van De Velde spoke with reporters about the hire on Tuesday.