top of page

Iowa History Daily: March 17 - Cael Sanderson

Iowa History Daily: On March 17, 2001, Iowa State wrestling legend Cael Sanderson defended his back-to-back NCAA Division I titles at 184 pounds. Sanderson defeated future UFC star Daniel Cormier of Oklahoma State 8-4 for the national championship.

Cael, the third Sanderson brother to wrestle for the Cyclones, went on to cap off his collegiate wrestling career the following season with his fourth national title. Sanderson became the only wrestler in NCAA history to go undefeated, finishing his career in Ames with a perfect 159-0 record.

Sanderson also was the first to win the Dan Hodge Trophy multiple times, and still is the only person to ever capture the award for the nation’s best collegiate wrestler three times. Sanderson went on to win a gold medal for the US Olympic team at the 2004 Athens games.

Ultimately moving outside of the circle, Sanderson has coached at Iowa State and Penn State. As a coach, Cael has also met success with nine NCAA Division I team titles and overseeing 32 individual champions. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


bottom of page