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Tom Brands (born April 9, 1968) is an American former Olympic wrestler and is currently the head wrestling coach for the University of Iowa. He won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics.[1]

Tom Brands
Personal information
BornApril 9, 1968 (1968-04-09) (age 51)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.

An intense competitor, Brands' wrestling career with the University of Iowa included a record of 158-7-2 and an undefeated season in 1991 where he was 45-0. He was a four-time All-American, three-time NCAA Champion, three-time Big Ten Conference Champion, and Outstanding Wrestler at the 1992 NCAA Tournament. His brother, Terry, was also a standout at Iowa.

Internationally, Brands won a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in freestyle at 136.5 pounds; a gold medal at the 1993 World Freestyle Championships in Toronto; two World Cup gold medals (1994 and 1995); and the gold at the 1995 Pan American Games. He won four U.S. Nationals titles (1993–96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993–96). He was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, 1993 John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler, and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2001.


Coaching careerEdit

Brands served 12 seasons as assistant coach for the Hawkeyes, from 1993 to 2004. Brands was named National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000. He also served as head coach at Virginia Tech for two seasons. In the spring of 2006, Tom Brands returned to the University of Iowa as head coach. Brands led the Hawkeyes to national titles in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Under Brands, Iowa also captured conference titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, and were the 2015 co-champions with Ohio State.

During Brands' tenure as head coach, 8 different wrestlers have won individual national titles, and Iowa has won over 200 dual meets.

NCAA Champions under Tom Brands

Head Coaching Results
Season Dual Record Conference Record Conference Finish NCAA Finish
Virginia Tech
2004-05 16-4-0 5-0-0   T-42nd
2005-06 1-16-0 1-4-0 5th 29th
Va Tech Totals: 17-20-0 6-4-0
University of Iowa
2006-07 14-5-0 5-3-0   8th
2007-08 21-1-0 8-0-0    
2008-09 24-0-0 8-0-0    
2009-10 23-0-0 8-0-0    
2010-11 15-0-1 8-0-0    
2011-12 14-4-0 6-2-0    
2012-13 20-3-0 8-0-0   4th
2013-14 15-2-0 7-1-0   4th
2014-15 17-1-0 9-0-0    
2015-16 16-1-0 9-0-0   5th
2016-17 13-2-0 8-1-0   4th
2017-18 12-3-0 6-3-0 4th  
2018-19 14-1-0 9-0-0   4th
Iowa Totals: 218-23-1 99-10-0
Career Totals: 235-43-1 105-14-0

Personal InfoEdit

Widely known for his intensity and aggressive style on the mat, he and his twin brother Terry were both coached by Dan Gable. Brands has authored several instructional VHS/DVD products that teach and advocate his "in-your-face" style of wrestling.

Brands grew up in Sheldon, Iowa and holds a bachelor of science degree in physical education from the University of Iowa. He is married and has three children, two daughters and a son.[2]


  1. ^ Litsky, Frank (August 3, 1996). "Brands's Intensity Salvages Day for U.S." New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Tom Brands Profile". Retrieved 2010-12-31.

External linksEdit