Why Iowa should hire the Magic Man as Head Coach
I am not an English major and my grammar is not great, please deal with it.
I think this article will offend people, and I am ok with that. While my relationship with the Brands’ has been up and down I think they do a really good job.
David Taylor is the embodiment of what Iowa Style wants to be; he is always offensive, never stops attacking and can score from every position. While I think that Tom Brands does a really good job as Iowa’s head coach, Iowa by firing Jim Zalesky set the precedent that they would accept nothing less than excellence from it’s wrestling program. In this article I will tell you why I think Iowa should hire the Magic Man to be their next head coach ASAP.
Being born in Cedar Rapids, my dad was always an Iowa fan and being the rebellious kid I was I always cheered against them. I loved Iowa State, and like most wrestling fans, I was driven crazy by the fact that Iowa always won and that their fans were so obnoxious about it. Iowa never tried to recruit me and I ended up at Missouri. At Missouri I continued to dislike Iowa, but also developed an equal dislike for programs in the Big XII, so Iowa was put on the back burner. Fast forward a few years and I am coaching at our wrestling academy. Since I am no longer involved in the college scene I get to have a more objective point of view. A lot of my young wrestlers love Iowa; my distaste for them has softened quite a bit. I actually really enjoy their unruly rabid fan base, which will yell for stalling even when the Iowa wrestler still has not shot and it is the third period. Fact is, if more wrestling programs had a tenth of the passion of Iowa fans, college dual meets would be significantly more interesting. Iowa wrestling is an institution and their fans’ passion will wane if national titles are not brought back to Iowa City.
I think this coaching change comes down to economics, Iowa wrestling is the most profitable program in the nation and I am sure that Iowa’s athletic department appreciates that. If national titles are not brought back home the revenues will fall. With the tradition Iowa has established, it will always be a top-flight program. This is because of their ability to recruit high-level athletes. Iowa will not win championships until they start to gets those high level high school athletes to maximize their potential. In addition to failing to reach full potential, they have also been under performing at nationals; check out my last blog for more info on that. I think a big part of their failure to get athletes to perform to their potential is a result of the coaching staffs not embracing the evolution that is happening in wrestling. That evolution is the advent of scrambling being a necessity as opposed to a luxury. Due to the fact that they refuse to scramble, they have become very scared to pull the trigger on their shots. Let me explain further: college wrestlers have gotten very good at scrambling, something Iowa abhors. Because Iowa wrestlers are taught not to scramble in the wrestling room they have very little real practice with it. Therefore, when they get into matches, the Iowa wrestler is scared to shoot because of the fear of the scramble. After watching Iowa at Big Tens and NCAA’s I do not feel as if any wrestler on their team is a highly skilled leg attacker. For a team that prides itself on being aggressive this is a very bad thing. On top of this, there is the fact that the Iowans rarely turn anyone in the top position and often resort to the two things I despise most in wrestling- top wrestlers dropping to legs or pushing the bottom man out of bounds. Needless to say “IOWA STYLE” is in need of a makeover.
Enter the Magic Man. David Taylor has galvanized the wrestling fan base like no one I have seen in my lifetime. No one has anything bad to say about him and everyone loves him. Even the Iowa fans gave him a standing ovation at the Big Ten tournament. Like I said, above DT is the evolution of the sport of wrestling: his hand fighting is on point, shots are crisp and clean, scores from front head and off scrambles, escapes so easily and turns people like a tilt o wheel. Is he ready to be head coach??? My opinion is yes. Iowa made the bold move to hire Gable only a few years out of college; it is time for them to make another bold move. Our academy, Askren Wrestling Academy, has hosted David for a camp and he was an excellent teacher and worked extremely well with the athletes. He has a poise and maturity beyond his years, never once have I seen him do anything borderline disrespectful in competition, and I can’t think of a time when I have heard anyone speak ill of him. The Iowa fans in our section at Big Tens spoke about him with a kind of reverence usually reserved for Iowa Legends. His recruiting base is everywhere, grew up in Ohio, college in Pennsylvania, current high schoolers would have a hard time saying no to the Magic Man in black and gold. Obviously I would put him with a veteran assistant coach who could teach him the ropes of the NCAA system. I know he is young and has not even been an assistant coach, but David Taylor is ready to be Iowa’s head coach.
So as most of you are thinking this is all highly unrealistic, but I will now tell you why it isn’t and why it would work. The first thing most will say is that DT wants to compete, I am sure he does want to compete. That being said, long term he wants to coach wrestling and for the right price, (I would offer $300,000 if I were Iowa’s AD) he would most likely make the decision that it is time to coach wrestling for good. Offers like that rarely come along, and if DT was told it was a one-time offer, it is my opinion that it would be a bad move to pass it up. For Iowa’s Athletic Department this makes sense because their wrestling program makes money! If Magic brings home a national title they will recoup their investment very quickly. Sometimes to be the best you need to be a visionary to be great. Who thought Cael would go to PSU??? NO ONE!!! Penn St. spent a lot of money to make that move, but I guarantee with constant sellouts and four national titles they have significantly recouped their initial investment. Will Iowa pull the trigger and make the bold move to hire David Taylor? Most likely not, but in this guy’s opinion, it would be a bold move that would pay large dividends.
As for the Brands Brothers, like I said, initially I think they are doing a really good job. However, Iowa clearly stated with the Zalesky firing they don’t accept a really good job; they want GREAT. I think both Tom and Terry are outstanding coaches and most programs in the country would be lucky to have them. There are a handful of places where I am sure they could instantly raise the level of the program. I would like to see them go to one of the struggling Big 10 programs and start building competitive programs there. With their coaching experience, they will have the ability to fundraise and build a following- something at which the Magic Man would struggle- but it is already in place at Iowa.
What is your opinion???