By DAN McCOOL – Des Moines Register (Original here)
Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard showed interest in Iowa assistant wrestling coach Terry Brands, according to Hawkeye officials, but the feeling may not have been mutual.
Meanwhile, some of Iowa State’s signees are waiting to see who the Cyclones hire for their vacant head coaching position before deciding their immediate futures.
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta indicated in an e-mail to The Des Moines Register that Pollard expressed interest in Brands after Cael Sanderson left the Cyclones to become coach at Penn State.
Barta said, however, that Brands indicated he’s not interested in replacing Sanderson in Ames.
“Terry is a world-class coach and so this certainly didn’t surprise me or anyone else,” Barta wrote. “However, on more than one occasion (Tuesday) Terry shared with me he is not interested in becoming the coach at Iowa State, that he’s a Hawkeye.”
Brands, the brother of Iowa coach Tom Brands, said Tuesday afternoon he had not been contacted about the job, but declined additional comment on questions that would specifically eliminate his name from consideration.
He left Wednesday for Venezuela to help coach at the Pan American Championships.
Pollard has declined an interview request this week – and has not commented publicly during past coaching searches.
Former Iowa State NCAA champion Joe Heskett, another possible candidate for the job, declined comment Wednesday.
Heskett, a four-time NCAA finalist and former Sanderson teammate, is an assistant coach at Ohio State, which finished second to Iowa during last month’s NCAA Tournament.
Iowa State has at least four high school seniors signed to national letters of intent.
Whether many of those recruits enroll at Iowa State or ask to be released from their commitments hinges on Iowa State’s next coach.
“I have to wait to see who they hire for me to be released anyway, so I’m waiting to see who they get,” said Trent Weatherman, a two-time state champion from Ballard of Huxley. “Depending on whether I think that’s going to be the best choice for me, to see if (scholarship money) stays the same, that will help me make my decision whether I’m staying or going somewhere else.”
Weatherman, who helped his team to Class 2-A traditional and dual-meet state championships each of the past two seasons, said the news of Sanderson’s departure was difficult to hear.
“It wasn’t good news at all,” Weatherman said. “It was a hard enough decision the first time around, and now it’s even a harder decision because I have a lot less options and kind of have to make the same choice all over again.”
Weatherman said Iowa State told him it will not release recruits from their commitments until they have met with the new coach.
David Taylor, a four-time state champion from St. Paris Graham of Ohio, declined comment Wednesday about his plans.
Brett Means, wrestling coach at Goddard (Kan.) High School, referred questions about the status of four-time state champion Boaz Beard to his father. Beard’s father did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
The plans for Luke Macchiaroli, a three-time champion from Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Ariz., are unknown, according to Corona del Sol coach Dave Vibber.
“I will tell you he loved Cael and that is why he wanted to go to Iowa State,” Vibber said.
The wait-and-see carries down to individuals who have considered the Cyclones but remain unsigned.
At Urbandale, coach Mike Moreno said his son, Michael, and teammate Evan Knight want to find out the identity of the new coach.
The elder Moreno was an all-America wrestler at Iowa State, as was Steve Knight, Evan’s father.
Changing plans can be a knee-jerk reaction to a coach making a job change, Moreno said.
“After the smoke clears and everything settles, it’s still Iowa State,” Moreno said.