Sanderson signs contract extension to helm wrestling team through 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson, leader of the two-time defending NCAA champion Nittany Lion wrestlers, has signed a contract extension that will keep him the leader of the Lion pack through the 2017 season.

"I really appreciate the gesture by [acting director of athletics] Dr. [David] Joyner and the administration to actively pursue a contract extension," said Sanderson. "I'm thrilled that the University has confidence in our coaching team. With the hard work of Cody Sanderson and Casey Cunningham, this staff is fully enjoying their coaching responsibilities and we are excited to continue leading Penn State wrestling."

Sanderson's new deal runs from July 1 of this year through June of 2017 at a base salary of $175,000 per year. For full details on Sanderson's new contract, please visit

"It is a real pleasure to have Cael Sanderson at Penn State University," said Dave Joyner, acting director of athletics. "The leadership he provides to our student-athletes is of the highest order. I am extremely pleased that we are able to announce his new contract and commitment to Penn State. We look forward to many more successful years with Cael at the helm of our wrestling program."

Sanderson, the most accomplished athlete in the history of collegiate wrestling, has turned Penn State into a wrestling powerhouse in just three years at the helm of the program. In his first year at Penn State (2009-10), he guided the Lions to a 13-6-1 dual meet mark, 5-3 in Big Ten action, and crowned his first Big Ten Champion. The Lions finished No. 10 in the final USA Today/Coaches dual meet poll and placed ninth at NCAAs

In 2010-11, Sanderson guided the Nittany Lions to its first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship and its first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991 (2010-11). In guiding Penn State to a 6-1-1 conference mark, Sanderson equaled, at the time, the most Big Ten dual meet wins in Penn State history in just his second year at the helm of the Nittany Lions. Sanderson led Penn State to the school's first ever Big Ten Championship on March 5-6, 2011, and was named 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year. In the process he became the first person ever to earn both Big 12 and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. Saving the best for last, he led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 NCAA National Championship in Philadelphia, Penn State's first since 1953 and Sanderson's first as a collegiate head coach.

This past season, Sanderson led Penn State to a school record 7-1 Big Ten dual record and a share of the 2012 Big Ten dual meet championship. Sanderson then made it two in a row by leading Penn State to the 2012 Big Ten Championship at Purdue on March 3-4 and was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second straight season. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the fourth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles. He capped his year off by being named Intermat's National Coach of the Year

Coach Sanderson now sports an 86-18-2 dual meet mark in his sixth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 43-8-2 after three years at Penn State. In three years as Penn State's coach, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to two-straight conference titles, two straight national titles, collected 14 All-Americans, three national champions, two Gorriaran winners, one NCAA tourney OW and one Hodge Trophy winner.

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Cael Sanderson has led the Nittany Lion wrestling team to two national titles in his first three years at Penn State. Credit: GoPSUsports.comAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated August 24, 2012