American wrestler

Cael Sanderson
Weight 191 lb (87 kg)
June twenty, 1979
(age 42)

Common salt Lake City, Utah
High school Heber Metropolis (UT) Wasatch
Land championships four (Utah)
College Iowa Land University
NCAA championships 13 (4 competing, 9 coaching)
Olympic team United States of America
Olympic medal Gold
Status Head Coach for Penn State Nittany Lions Wrestling

Medal tape

Men’south freestyle wrestling

United States
Olympic Games

Olympic rings.svg

Gold medal – first place 2004 Athens 84 kg
World Championships
Silver medal – second place
2003 New York
84 kg
World Cup
Gold medal – first place
2003 Boise
84 kg
University World Championships
Gold medal – first place
2000 Tokyo
85 kg
Pan American Games
Bronze medal – third place
2003 Santo Domingo
84 kg
Buck Globe Championships
Bronze medal – third place
1994 Frankfort
55 kg
Collegiate Wrestling
Iowa Country Cyclones

Iowa State Cyclones logo.svg

NCAA Partition I Wrestling Championships

NCAA logo.svg

Gold medal – first place 1999 Land College 184 lb
Gold medal – first place 2000 St. Louis 184 lb
Gold medal – first place 2001 Iowa Urban center 184 lb
Gold medal – first place 2002 Albany 197 lb
Big 12 Championships
Gold medal – first place 1999 Ames 184 lb
Gold medal – first place 2000 Lincoln 184 lb
Gold medal – first place 2001 Stillwater 184 lb
Gold medal – first place 2002 Norman 197 lb

Cael Norman Sanderson

; born June xx, 1979) is an American one-time folkstyle and freestyle wrestler who is the electric current head coach of Penn State University’s wrestling team. As a wrestler, he won an Olympic Gilded medal and was undefeated in four years of college wrestling at Iowa Land University (ISU) (159–0), condign a four-fourth dimension NCAA Sectionalisation I champion (1999–2002). He is the only wrestler in NCAA Segmentation I history to go undefeated in official matches with more than 100 wins.
Sports Illustrated
named his college career equally the second well-nigh impressive college sports feat backside the setting of four globe records by Jesse Owens in a unmarried hour at the 1935 Big Ten rails and field briefing championship meet.[1]

Early life


Born in Table salt Lake City, Utah, to Steve and Debbie Sanderson, Cael attended Wasatch High School in Heber Urban center, Utah, where he was coached by his father, a onetime wrestler at the Brigham Young University. As a loftier school wrestler, Sanderson was a four-time UHSAA country champion (1994–97), similar his blood brother Cody, and compiled a record of 127–3.[two]

Wrestling career




Upon graduation, Sanderson followed his brothers, Cody and Cole, to ISU. Later on redshirting in 1997-98, Sanderson won all 39 of his matches to his starting time NCAA and Big 12 Conference titles at 184 pounds (his brother, Cody, was the runner-upward at 133 pounds). He was too the first freshman in NCAA history to be named the Outstanding Wrestler (OW) at Nationals.[3]
His next iii seasons were virtually identical, compiling 40 wins and no losses in each and finishing with the only perfect tape in NCAA Partition I history at 159-0. By winning all of his matches, he became but the second wrestler in history to that point to win four NCAA Division I titles. He was also named the OW in all of the NCAA tournaments he competed in.[iv]

Sanderson was a three-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner (equivalent to the Heisman Trophy), being the beginning to win the award multiple times and the only person to win it iii times.[3]
He holds the longest win-streak beyond all NCAA divisions.[5]
All of this combined, makes him the most achieved collegiate wrestler in the history of the sport.[six]

In 2017, Sanderson was inducted into the ISU Hall of Fame.[8]



Sanderson was a two-time United states Cadet Earth Team Member, placing tertiary and fourth in 1994 and 1995, respectively.[ix]
He was also a US University National Champion in 1999 and a Academy World Champion in 2000.[x]

He became the US National Champion in 2001, 2002 and 2003.[11]
He was besides an original US Globe Squad Member in 2001 and 2002, however, he chose non to participate at the 01′ World Championships to focus in folkstyle,[12]
and the U.s. team chose to not compete in 2002.[thirteen]

In 2003, he won the Manitoba Open in Canada in February,[14]
placed second at the Earth Loving cup in April, tertiary at the 2003 Pan American Games[15]
and 2d at the Globe Championships.[16]
In 2004, he once again claimed the Manitoba Open up title[14]
and won the US Olympic Team Trials.[17]

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At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Sanderson claimed wins over Magomed Kurugliyev, Siarhei Borchanka, Majid Khodaei, Yoel Romero and Moon Eui-jae to get an Olympic Gold medalist in Athens, Greece.[18]

While already a full-time autobus at Penn State, Sanderson came out of retirement in 2011[19]
and took home an Ion Corneanu Memorial title,[xx]
won the US World Team Trials[21]
and placed fifth at the World Championships.[22]

Freestyle tape


Earth Championships & Olympics
Res. Record Opponent Score Engagement Event Location

2011 World Championships 5th at 84 kg
Loss thirteen–three

Albert Saritov
0–1, 0–iii September 17, 2011 2011 Earth Wrestling Championships

Istanbul, Turkey
Win xiii–ii

Alireza Goudarzi
6–0, 1–0
Win 12–2

Yermek Baiduashov
4–3, 0–1, 2–1
Win 11–2
South Korea

Yoon Chan-uk
Loss ten–2

Sharif Sharifov
ane-three, 1-iv
Win 10–1

Alejandro Gallardo
half-dozen–0, 7–0

2004 Summer Olympics

1st place, gold medalist(s)

at 84kg
Win 9–ane
South Korea

Moon Eui-jae
three–1 August 28, 2004 2004 Olympic Games

Athens, Hellenic republic
Win 8–i

Yoel Romero
Win seven–ane

Majid Khodaei
Win 6–i

Siarhei Borchanka
Win 5–ane

Magomed Kurugliyev

2003 World Championships

2nd place, silver medalist(s)

at 84 kg
Loss 4–ane

Sazhid Sazhidov
3–4 September 12, 2003 2003 Globe Wrestling Championships

New York, New York
Win four–0
Georgia (country)

Rezav Mindorashvili
Win 3–0

Mahmed Aghaev
Win two–0

Majid Khodaei
Win ane–0

Tero Perkkioe

NCAA record


NCAA Championships Matches
Res. Record Opponent Score Date Event
2002 NCAA Championships

1st place, gold medalist(s)

at 197
Win 159-0 Jon Trenge MAJ 12-4 March 21–23, 2002 2002 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Win 158-0 Nick Preston MAJ eighteen-7
Win 157-0 Jason Payne TF 23-viii
Win 156-0 Kyle Cerminara PIN six:33
Win 155-0 Eric Mausser PIN 3:32
Win 154-0 Scott Barker TF 22-7
Win 153-0 Tom Grossman Fall
Win 152-0 William Gruenwald Fall
Win 151-0 Jon Trenge 6-ane
Win 150-0 Jason Gore Fall
Win 149-0 Unknown Forfeit
Win 148-0 Kyle Smith Fall
Win 147-0 Will Gruenwald Fall
Win 146-0 Neb Stouffer Fall
Win 145-0 Tom Grossman Fall
Win 144-0 Erik Gladish Fall
Win 143-0 Jason Payne Fall
Win 142-0 Lee Fullhart five-iii
Win 141-0 Jon Trenge Doctor 16-v
Win 140-0 Chris Skretkowlz TF 22-5
Win 139-0 Nick Curby Fall
Win 138-0 Jim Kassner Autumn
Win 137-0 Ryan Fulsaas Fall
Win 136-0 Jareck Horton Fall
Win 135-0 Bart George Autumn
Win 134-0 Unknown Forfeit
Win 133-0 Joe Compton TF 23-7
Win 132-0 Aaron Granell Fall
Win 131-0 Brent Miller TF xx-5
Win 130-0 Greg Sawyer TF
Win 129-0 Daegen Smith Fall
Win 128-0 Peter Mosley Fall
Win 127-0 Nick Thomas Autumn
Win 126-0 Chris Skretkowicz Fall
Win 125-0 Wallace Fall
Win 124-0 Bietz TF
Win 123-0 Broadway TF
Win 122-0 Kovarik Fall
2001 NCAA Championships

1st place, gold medalist(s)

at 184 lbs
Win 121-0 Daniel Cormier 8-iv March 15–17, 2001 2001 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Win 120-0 Victor Sveda MD 21-7
Win 119-0 Jessman Smith TF 21-six
Win 118-0 Jeremy Wilson Autumn
Win 117-0 Kyle Hanson TF 24-9
Win 116-0 Scott Barker TF 22-seven
Win 115-0 Daniel Cormier 8-3
Win 114-0 Ry Stone Fall
Win 113-0 Kyle Hansen Medico 21-8
Win 112-0 Matt Fletcher Fall
Win 111-0 R.D. Pursell Fall
Win 110-0 Ry Rock Fall
Win 109-0 Josh Lambrecht TF 21-10
Win 108-0 Shawn Scannel Autumn
Win 107-0 Daniel Cormier ten-3
Win 106-0 Jessman Smith TF
Win 105-0 Andy Hrovat Fall
Win 104-0 Daniel Cormier Md 14-three
Win 103-0 Josh Lambrecht Doctor 16-eight
Win 102-0 Ed Aliakseyenka TF
Win 101-0 Ralph Everett Fall
Win 100-0 Jason Rossotti Autumn
Win 99-0 Ralph DeNisco MD 17-6
Win 98-0 Francis Volpe TF
Win 97-0 Nate Patrick MD 16-7
Win 96-0 Viktor Sveda Doctor 14-five
Win 95-0 Francis Volpe Fall
Win 94-0 Marcus Schontube 16-ten
Win 93-0 Josh Bocks Autumn
Win 92-0 Jessman Smith Fall
Win 91-0 Jeff Pangborn Fall
Win 90-0 Adam Kellogg Fall
Win 89-0 Bert Watford Fall
Win 88-0 Paul Okins TF 19-iii
Win 87-0 Ben Blood TF xviii-iii
Win 86-0 Anton Talamantes MD 20-6
Win 85-0 Mike Odle Fall
Win 84-0 Viktor Sveda MD xvi-iii
Win 83-0 Josh Lambrecht MD 12-four
Win 82-0 Ralph DeNisco Fall
Win 81-0 Curcio Fall
2000 NCAA Championships

1st place, gold medalist(s)

at 184 lbs
Win 80-0 Vertus Jones Dr. xix-6 March 16–xviii, 2000 2000 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Win 79-0 Brandon Eggum Doc sixteen-v
Win 78-0 Rob Rohn TF xx-5
Win 77-0 Dax Pecaro TF 21-6
Win 76-0 Adam Schaaf Autumn
Win 75-0 Daniel Cormier 8-four
Win 74-0 Tom Grossman Doctor 17-seven
Win 73-0 Kyle Hansen Fall
Win 72-0 Charles McTorry TF 22-6
Win 71-0 Mike Marshall Autumn
Win 70-0 John Maze TF 27-x
Win 69-0 Brandon Eggum 6-ane
Win 68-0 Tom Grossman TF 19-iv
Win 67-0 Daniel Cormier Doctor 20-9
Win 66-0 Brandon Eggum MD eight-0
Win 65-0 Tom Grossman Fall
Win 64-0 Lionel Halsey Fall
Win 63-0 Jeff Knupp TF 21-half dozen
Win 62-0 Unknown Forfeit
Win 61-0 Dave Murray Autumn
Win lx-0 Cash Edwards TF
Win 59-0 Isaac Weber Doc xvi-seven
Win 58-0 Nate Patrick 7-2
Win 57-0 Kevin Vogel Doctor 17-5
Win 56-0 Lionel Halsey five-1
Win 55-0 Sean Salmon TF 20-5
Win 54-0 Brian Falciglia Fall
Win 53-0 Joe Cotant TF 20-5
Win 52-0 Donavan True Autumn
Win 51-0 Paul Jenn DQ
Win 50-0 Joel Schrimpf Fall
Win 49-0 Nathan Ackerman TF 17-2
Win 48-0 B.J. Shelley TF 22-6
Win 47-0 Chad Karnal Fall
Win 46-0 Joe Terrill TF 23-7
Win 45-0 Damion Hahn four-iii
Win 44-0 Jessman Smith TF 17-2
Win 43-0 Andorf MD 17-7
Win 42-0 Swarm TF 24-5
Win 41-0 Brandon Eggum 7-4
Win 40-0 Schmauss Fall
Win 39-0 Bouwman 20-5
Win 38-0 Ryan Rettke TF 26-11
1999 NCAA Championships

1st place, gold medalist(s)

at 184 lbs
Win 37-0 Brandon Eggum 6-1 March xviii–xx, 1999 1999 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Win 36-0 Brad Vering Fall
Win 35-0 Andy Hrovat Fall
Win 34-0 Nate Patrick MD 18-6
Win 33-0 Josh Dideon Fall
Win 32-0 Brad Vering 9-5
Win 31-0 Tom Grossman Md 13-5
Win 30-0 Ken Bigley TF
Win 29-0 Casey Strand half-dozen-2
Win 28-0 Tony Spiker Fall
Win 27-0 Jason Moore Doc 19-6
Win 26-0 Matt Carpenter TF 22-7
Win 25-0 Scott Coleman MD 17-vii
Win 24-0 Vertus Jones 6-5
Win 23-0 Unknown Forfeit
Win 22-0 Tom Grossman Fall
Win 21-0 Marking Munoz MD x-ii
Win twenty-0 Paul Jenn TF Doctor 10-2
Win 19-0 Tom Grossman Physician 20-8
Win eighteen-0 Mark Munoz 5-one
Win 17-0 Casey Strand Autumn
Win 16-0 Tom Ciezki 6-3
Win 15-0 Nate Patrick 7-2
Win 14-0 Ryan Rettke Autumn
Win thirteen-0 John Van Doren 11-four
Win 12-0 Aaron Simpson TF ix-3
Win 11-0 Greg Gingeleskie 5-0
Win 10-0 James Brimm five-0
Win 9-0 Mike Gadsby TF xix-four
Win eight-0 Tom Ciezki TF 23-7
Win 7-0 Paul Jenn TF 19-four
Win half-dozen-0 William Rufis Autumn
Win 5-0 B.J. Shelley Autumn
Win 4-0 Brant LaGrange Dr. 21-8
Win iii-0 Steve Burleson Autumn
Win two-0 Joe Brougard TF xx-5
Win ane-0 George Flannick TF 20-5
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Coaching career


Iowa State


Sanderson began his coaching career with the flavour ending in 2004 every bit a special assistant for the wrestling squad at ISU. Later on short stints in associate head coaching positions, he became the caput coach for the flavor ending in 2007. In iii seasons, Sanderson led ISU’due south wrestling squad to NCAA Division I national placements of 2nd, fifth, and tertiary.[27]
He also coached his wrestlers to two individual NCAA Division I national titles.

Penn Land


Before the 2010 season concluded, Sanderson became the caput autobus of Penn Land’s wrestling team. As of 2022, Sanderson’s Penn State teams take won nine NCAA Sectionalization I team titles.[28]
During that time, he also coached his wrestlers to 32 individual NCAA Partition I titles.

Coaching results


Coaching Tape
Season Squad Finish Dual Record All Americans National Champions
Iowa Land University
2nd place, silver medalist(s)
13-3-0 4 ane
2008 5th 16-4-0 vii 0
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
fifteen-3-0 4 1
Pennsylvania State University
2010 ninth thirteen-half-dozen-1 3 0
1st place, gold medalist(s)
17-1-1 5 i
1st place, gold medalist(s)
13-1-0 6 three
1st place, gold medalist(s)
13-1-0 5 2
1st place, gold medalist(s)
15-1-0 7 2
2015 6th 11-4-0 5 1
1st place, gold medalist(s)
16-0-0 6 2
1st place, gold medalist(s)
14-0-0 6 5
1st place, gold medalist(s)
xiv-0-0 eight four
1st place, gold medalist(s)
14-0-0 7 3
2020 DNC 12-2-0 5 0
2nd place, silver medalist(s)
half-dozen-0-0 vi 4
1st place, gold medalist(s)
17-0-0 vi 5
Career 219-26-two 90 34

Awards and honors



  • 1st place, gold medalist(s)

    Ion Corneanu Memorial

Other honors


  • Iowa Sports Hall of Fame inductee[31]
  • Wheaties cereal box appearance

See also


  • List of Pennsylvania State Academy Olympians



  1. ^

    Anderson, Kelli (2002-04-01). “The Elevation 10: SI picks the almost impressive higher sports feats ever”.
    Sports Illustrated
    . Retrieved

  2. ^

    “xv years ago: Cael concludes perfect higher career”.
    . Retrieved

  3. ^



    “Cael Sanderson: Higher statistics, records, championships |”.
    . Retrieved

  4. ^

    “15 years ago: Cael concludes perfect college career”.
    . Retrieved

  5. ^

    “NCAA Wrestling Unbeaten Streak Leaders”.
    . Retrieved

  6. ^

    “NCAA weighs in: Top 5 NCAA wrestlers of all time”.
    . Retrieved

  7. ^

    “Ranking top college wrestlers of all time”.
    . Retrieved

  8. ^

    “Cael Sanderson (2017) – Hall of Fame”.
    Iowa State University Athletics
    . Retrieved

  9. ^

    “Cael Sanderson (State College, PA) | Trackwrestling Contour”.
    . Retrieved

  10. ^

    “Cael Sanderson named U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team double-decker | Penn State Academy”.
    . Retrieved

  11. ^

    “ – Undefeated Sport Nutrition – Sport Cookies – Custom Sport Drink”.
    . Retrieved

  12. ^

    University of Minnesota Athletics
    . Retrieved

  13. ^

    “Cael Sanderson, iii-time Hodge Bays winner”.
    WIN Magazine. 2010-x-07. Retrieved

  14. ^



    “Cael Sanderson”.
    Key Speakers Agency
    . Retrieved

  15. ^

    Grundmeier, Lucas. “Overtime loss for Sanderson in Pan American Games semifinals”.
    Iowa Country Daily
    . Retrieved

  16. ^

    “Cael Sanderson loses final at World Championships”.
    Iowa State Daily
    . Retrieved

  17. ^

    “Friction match of the Day: Cael Sanderson defeats Lee Fulhart in match three to make the 2004 Olympic Squad”.
    Team USA. May 1, 2020.

  18. ^

    “Perfection: Sanderson wins wrestling gold”. 2004-08-28. Retrieved

  19. ^

    News, Deseret (2011-07-28). “Cael Sanderson excited to be back on the wrestling mat”.
    Deseret News
    . Retrieved

  20. ^

    “Cael Sanderson captures championship at Ion Corneanu Memorial in Romania”.
    Team United states. August vi, 2011.

  21. ^

    “Sanderson wins spot in worlds with trials title”. 2011-06-12. Retrieved

  22. ^

    “Sanderson Takes Fifth at Earth Title and Varner Wins Bronze”.
    Penn Land University Athletics
    . Retrieved

  23. ^

    world wide
    . Retrieved

  24. ^ “1999 69th NCAA Wrestling Tournament three/18/1999 … – Wrestling Stats”.
    . Retrieved

  25. ^

    “Cael Sanderson: College statistics, records, championships |”.
    . Retrieved

  26. ^

    “ – Cael Sanderson’s perfect record”.
    . Retrieved

  27. ^

    “Cael Sanderson Bio :: Penn State :: Official Athletic Site”. Archived from the original on 2016-07-08. Retrieved

  28. ^

    “WR: Two Lions Up for the Hodge! :: Penn State :: Official Athletic Site”. 2018-03-20. Archived from the original on 2018-05-03. Retrieved

  29. ^

    Abbott, Gary (2005-04-28). “Cael Sanderson named 2004 John Smith Award winner, every bit the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by U.s. Wres | – USA Wrestling”. Archived from the original on 2018-03-24. Retrieved

  30. ^

    Abbott, Gary. “Cael Sanderson named 2003 John Smith Award winner, as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by U.s.a. Wres | – U.s. Wrestling”. Archived from the original on 2018-03-24. Retrieved

  31. ^

    Hamilton, Andy (21 July 2012). “Cael Sanderson elected to Des Moines Sunday Register’s Iowa Sports Hall of Fame”.
    Des Moines Register. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved
    22 July

External links


  • Cael Sanderson at United World Wrestling
    Edit this at Wikidata
  • Cael Sanderson Official Site (
  • Cael Sanderson Penn Country Bio (
  • Cael Sanderson Wrestling Technique ( at the Wayback Machine (archived February xx, 2011)
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