COLUMBUS, Ohio Tom Ryan, Ohio State wrestling head coach, was named 2008 Rev Coach of the Year Tuesday by internet newsmagazine RevWrestling.com. In just his second year as head coach of the Buckeyes, Ryan catapulted Ohio State to a runner-up finish at the NCAA championships in March, the best placing in program history.
“I am honored to be named the Rev Wrestling Coach of the year,” Ryan said. “It is an amazing experience to be a part of such a goal-orientated organization like The Ohio State University. I am blessed to be surrounded with the best staff in the country in Lou Rosselli, Joe Heskett and Tommy Rowlands, incredibly hard-working student-athletes, passionate Buckeye alumni and fans and an administration that truly cares about the development of the total student-athlete. We are all truly enjoying the journey.”
In addition to the Buckeyes’ team accomplishment, Ryan also coached two individual champions. Redshirt-junior J Jaggers became a champion at 141 pounds and Mike Pucillo, a redshirt-sophomore, captured the national title at 184 pounds. In all, four Buckeyes became All-Americans in 2008 after senior J.D. Bergman was a runner-up at heavyweight and sophomore Lance Palmer finished eighth at 149 pounds. In two seasons, Ryan has coached eight All-America selections.
Not only was the Buckeyes’ second-place finish at nationals a program-best, but the three Ohio State finalists also were an OSU best. In 1993, Ohio State placed two in the finals and its last individual champion was current Ohio State volunteer assistant coach Tommy Rowlands in 2004 (heavyweight).
The Scarlet and Gray amassed a 19-4 overall record during the regular-season and of those 19 victories, one came against No. 1 Penn State (24-11) at the National Duals in January. The Buckeyes downed conference rival Michigan, 16-15, the following month. Ohio State’s win over the Wolverines snapped a 14-match win streak by the Maize and Blue.
In Ryan’s first season at the helm of the Buckeyes, he led them to a 10th-place standing at the 2007 NCAA Championships and an 8-7 overall ledger. In his inaugural campaign, Ryan also coached his first four Buckeye All-Americans in Bergman (197 pounds), Jaggers, Palmer and Pucillo.
Each year, the Rev Coach of the Year award is given to the nation’s top coach across all divisions of college wrestling and is determined in balloting by RevWrestling.com writers and executives. Ryan joins previous Rev Coach of the Year honorees John Smith of Oklahoma State (2006) and 2007 winner Cael Sanderson of Iowa State.
2008 Rev Coach of the Year
Place Coach Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)
1. Tom Ryan, Ohio State 51/(2)
2. Tom Brands, Iowa 44/(3)
3. Troy Sunderland, Penn State 31/(2)
4. Rob Koll, Cornell 17
5. Jim Miller, Wartburg 11
6. Mark Manning, Nebraska 8
T7. Joe McFarland, Michigan 3
T7. Cael Sanderson, Iowa State 3
T7. Chris Bono, Chattanooga 3
T10. Jim Makovsky, MSU-Mankato 1
T10. Pat Santoro, Maryland 1
T10. John Smith, Oklahoma State 1
T10. Greg Randall, Boise State 1