When the news broke on the afternoon of April 17, 2009 that Cael Sanderson was leaving Iowa State to become the new head wrestling coach at Penn State, Cyler Sanderson’s world was suddenly turned upside down.
Cyler, the youngest brother in the most famous wrestling family from Utah, had a difficult decision to make. Would he stay at Iowa State, where he was a three-time NCAA qualifier and All-American? Or would he follow his older brothers, Cael and Cody, to Penn State?
Cyler SandersonHe decided to transfer to Penn State.
“It was kind of hard because I had been at Iowa State for four years,” said Cyler. “But he’s my brother, so I was going to follow him wherever he went. As soon as he announced that he was coming to Penn State, I knew that I was coming too.”
Cyler came to Iowa State in 2005 as part of the nation’s top recruiting class, a class that also included Nick Fanthorpe, Nick Gallick, Mitch Mueller, Jake Varner, and David Zabriskie. The Cyclones have finished as high as second in the country since that recruiting class arrived at Iowa State … but they have yet to win an NCAA team title. Had Cyler stayed at Iowa State, the Cyclones would have returned six All-Americans. Still, with five All-American returning, the Cyclones are expected to challenge for the NCAA team title in Omaha.
Despite leaving his friends and teammates, Cyler says there are no hard feelings.
“All of those guys are great guys,” said Cyler. “They are all first class. They are all great friends of mine. They all understood the situation. I know that any of them would have gone with their brother too. A lot of them expressed that to me. There haven’t been any hard feelings. I keep in contact with most of them on a regular basis. We ask each other how things are going. They are great friends of mine and they will always will be great friends of mine.”