“We are very pleased and proud to have Tom Brands returning to lead our wrestling program,” said Bowlsby. “The Iowa program is one of the most decorated sports programs in all of intercollegiate athletics and with that comes very lofty expectations. We feel that Tom is capable of meeting those expectations and further contributing to our achievements. We also feel that Coach Brands will lead the program with high integrity and that he will support our team members in all areas of their experiences on our campus.”
Brands served as head coach at Virginia Tech University for two seasons (2005-06), recording a 17-20 dual mark. In his first season with the Hokies, Brands led the team to the 2005 regular season Atlantic Coast Conference title, set a school record for dual meet wins (16) and had a school-record five wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships. During his tenure, Virginia Tech crowned five conference champions and two all-Americans. Senior heavyweight Mike Faust was named 2006 ACC Wrestler of the Year.
Prior to taking the helm at Virginia Tech, Brands was an assistant coach at Iowa for 12 seasons (1993-2004). He helped the Hawkeyes to a 177-27 dual record, seven NCAA and eight Big Ten titles, while crowning 23 NCAA Champions, 73 all-Americans and 36 Big Ten Champions. He was named National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.
In 2004, he was one of three coaches for the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, participating in Athens. Brands also served as assistant coach for the 2002 and 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Teams, earning Freestyle Coach of the Year honors from USA Wrestling both years. He was also a member of the U.S. coaching staff at the 2001 World Championships, and has coached a number of other U.S. teams in international competition.
As a competitor, Brands won the 1996 Olympic freestyle gold medal at 136.5 pounds in Atlanta, GA. He also won a gold medal at the 1993 World Freestyle Championships in Toronto, two World Cup gold medals (1994, 1995) and was the 1995 Pan American Games champion. He won four U.S. Nationals titles (1993-96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993-96). Along with his twin brother, Terry, Tom was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, the 1993 John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. He was inducted into wrestling’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
Brands was a four-time all-American at Iowa (1989-92). During his Hawkeye career, he won three NCAA titles and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the 1992 NCAA Championships. Also a three time Big Ten champion, Brands won 95 percent of his matches at Iowa. His career mark of 158 7 2, included an undefeated season in 1991 (45 0).
The Sheldon, IA, native was born April 9, 1968. He earned his B.S. degree in physical education from Iowa in 1992. He and his wife, Jeni, have three children, Madigan, Kinsee and Tommy.
Tom Brands At Iowa
1989-92 -- 126 134 pounds
Won gold medal at 1996 Olympics
Three-time NCAA Champion
Three-time Big Ten Champion
Outstanding Wrestler at 1992 NCAA Championships
Career record was 158-7-2
Holds school record for best season winning percentage (1.00 in 1991 and 1992) with 12 other Hawkeyes
Ranks second in school history in season wins (45 in 1991) and career wins (158)
Ranks third in career winning percentage (.952), seventh in career pins (46) and eighth
in season wins (41 in 1992) in school history.