NWCA names Tom Brands of Iowa as Division I Coach of the Year

By Nate Naasz, National Wrestling Coaches Association | April 08, 2020, 2:21 p.m. (ET)
Manheim, PA – On Wednesday, the National Wrestling Coaches Association announced the NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year Award winner. This award was scheduled to be presented at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Minneapolis, MN, however, the championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This award, presented annually to a coach who has demonstrated outstanding effort in developing and elevating their program on campus and in the community, is presented by Defense Soap, the official Hygiene partner of the NWCA.

The recipient of this year’s NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year is Tom Brands from the University of Iowa, his second time to win the award as he took home this honor in 2008. Coach Brands is in his fourteenth year as head coach and his 2020 squad captured the Big Ten team title and held the #1 Ranking in the NWCA Division I Coaches Poll much of the season and leading up to the NCAA Championships.

“The NWCA and its Board of Directors is proud to extend this honor to Coach Brands. His 2020 squad had a phenomenal season going undefeated in duals and capturing yet another Big Ten title”
-- Mike Moyer, NWCA Executive Director


Cary Kolat, Campbell University (SOCON)
Chris Ayers, Princeton University (IVY)
Doug Schwab, University of Northern Iowa (BIG 12)
Pat Popolizio, North Carolina State University (ACC)
Pat Santoro, Lehigh University (EIWA)
Ryan Ludwig, University of Northern Illinois (MAC)
Tom Brands, University of Iowa (BIG 10)
Zeke Jones, Arizona State University (PAC 12)

The NWCA will recognize the 2020 national winners during the NWCA National Convention awards luncheon. This year’s convention, presented by Cliff Keen, Defense Soap, and Resilite will be hosted on July 31 – August 2 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino located in Hollywood, FL.


NCAA Division I: Tom Brands, University of Iowa
NCAA Division II: Steve Costanzo, St. Cloud State University
NCAA Division III: TJ Miller, Loras College
NCAA Women: Sam Schmitz, McKendree University
NAIA Men: Jeff Bedard, Reinhard University
NAIA Women: Lee Miracle, Campbellsville University
NJCAA Scholarship: Josh Watts, Iowa Western Community College
NJCAA Non-Scholarship: Randy Rager, Rochester Community & Technical College
Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Award: Shawn Nelson, University of Findlay

The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The three core competencies of the NWCA are: Coaching Development, Student-Athlete Welfare, and the Promotion of Wrestling.