Yes, there are other accomplishments. The University of
The Beavers are a reason to celebrate. They are a top ten team from the NCAA D1 championships following their Pac-12 title. Coach Jim Zalesky pushed his athletes higher than their twenty first place team finish last year.
Who would have guessed wrestlers had such hops?
Next year the goal is breaking into the top five. This is where legends of wrestling call home, and Zalesky is one of them as coach and competitor.
As a wrestler, Coach Z left the
He wasn’t finished.
Once in place on the
OSU's Jim Zalesky is one of Dan Gable's guys. This is the Dan Gable who coached
Part of the Gable legend is his college wrestling career at
Legends do those things.
Legends also leave a long trail of people who echo their achievements. Coach Jim Zalesky is one of them. Getting free from
Another force builds in
Pushing the Beavers to the top means facing another legend of epic proportion, Coach Cael Sanderson and the Penn State Nittany Lions. They left the NCAA D1 tournament with their second title in a row and seem primed for next year, and the year after.
Coach Zalesky knows how steep that mountain is to climb year after year. He knows how to prepare his teams, but Cael takes a different approach.
Unlike Gable, who left their school to coach rival
Tradition says find the dream job and run with it. Sanderson got the dream job, then ran away from it. He moved closer to his recruits instead of bringing them further away from home where their families and friends wouldn't see them compete as often.
He did it for his sport.
After three years at
Sanderson wrote a new chapter in the legend book when he traded
Seven years after his last competitive match, Sanderson entered a tournament and won. Then another. His team watched their coach win a national freestyle championship. He made the world team and took fifth at the World Championships. Even more incredible, he cut to a lower weight class to make room for a guy he coached at
Is there a head coach in any college or professional team able to move from instruction to competition at the highest levels? It's as rare as Gable's string of success; as rare as Zalesky lifting wrestling in a state where big colleges like
By learning his profession in the wrestling room of Dan Gable, and extending his sport where it needs to go like Cael Sanderson, Jim Zalesky works to make wrestling in the west as important as it is in the
Dan Gable may be the greatest coach in NCAA sports history, but Cael Sanderson looks to take him down. Don't be surprised to see Jim Zalesky and his Oregon State Beavers blocking the way. Legends do these things.
Every high school wrestler on the best coast is watching; sports fans in