Throughout the off-season, we’re going to be getting to know returning NCAA Division I wrestlers from around the country. We sent questionnaires to every program in the country and will be sharing the results throughout the long trek to next fall. You can find them all whenever you like under the Getting to Know tag.
Name: Coleman Hammond
School: Cal State University of Bakersfield
Class (2017-18): Senior
Hammond is a veteran who qualified for the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row this season. His 18-8 record included a second place finish at the Pac-12 tournament, his best finish at the conference tournament yet. He’ll return next year as a senior looking to end his career on the podium.
Rate your 2016-2017 season on a scale of 1-10?
I would rate my season a 4-5 ish. Anytime you don’t All-American you automatically fall 5 points. I was happy I was able to qualify for my second consecutive national tournament, but the goal is to always become a national champion/All-American, by the time the season concludes.
What are you working on this off-season?
Currently, I have every position I need to improve in. The funny thing about wrestling is, no matter if you are the 100th ranked guy in the country or the number 1 ranked guy, you always could get better in every position. I am going into my last college season and I feel an urgent need to take a big step forward this coming spring and summer.
Do you plan to wrestle freestyle or Greco in the offseason?
I will be competing in a few offseason tournaments this year for freestyle. The freestyle season is more relaxed and it gives you a more focused time to get better in certain positions. I have always enjoyed wrestling freestyle and being involved in that circuit.
What was the most interesting class you took this year?
The most interesting class I took this year was an agriculture management class. My professor has been working in the industry for twenty years now and brought a lot of valuable knowledge to the course. What I found most entertaining is he lead us through an Almond simulation where groups of five were running an almond company based on real life circumstances. It constantly kept us on our toes as we tried as a group to set our price marks at the right price based on market projections while also trying to out price or undercut our fellow competing teams in the class. I feel that I learned a ton about the almond industry and the different challenges businesses in agriculture face being forced to battle not only competitors but weather conditions as well.
What was your favorite match this season?
Anytime you earn a hard fought win against a fellow conference foe its valuable and memorable. I don’t have one specific match that I have in mind, but I have faced a lot of tough and resilient wrestlers this season. It’s impressive how many tough division one wrestlers there are each year and most astonishingly, by the passing of each season, it never gets easier. With the graduation of three studs, the same amount of tough kids enter college. It’s a continuation of a cycle that never seems to end.
If you could wrestle one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Easy answer, Buvaisar Saitiev. Probably the greatest wrestler of all time. Just to be able to roll around with him and feel how he wrestles would be incredible. Someone of that caliber sees the sport of wrestling in a different way and he pushed the boundaries of what could be done on the mat in a dominating fashion. To be able to just pick his brain would be extremely beneficial to anyone, yet alone myself.
If you could change one rule in college wrestling what would it be?
I would change the reviewing process. It’s interesting to see how many of the challenges played out in our sport, especially this season at the national tournament. There seems to be a disconnect of what goes into the deciding of overruling a call or not. I think often times the reviews are done in vain because to overturn a call would be an admission of fault in the eyes of an official. An interesting idea was brought to my attention a few weeks back, why is it that only the officials are able to see the reviews. If the call is so clear and apparent to the officials, shouldn’t the coaches be able to review the video as well? After all, this could create transparency and help the coaches see what the referees were seeing when they made the call. By nature humans make errors, so why don’t we accept that and give officials a chance to either confirm the call or reverse the decision and let the coaches see what’s being seen.