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Familiar foe: Coach leads wrestling team against alma mater, No. 1 Hawkeyes

Coach Tom Ryan is making history at Ohio State.

Ryan is in his fourth season at the helm for the men’s wrestling team. 

A 1993 Iowa graduate, Ryan was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American. 

As a Hawkeye, Ryan was also a two-time Big Ten conference champion. He also was an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association conference champion at Syracuse in 1989. 
Ryan made history with the Hawkeyes. He recorded a nation-best 47-match conference win streak in dual matches.

Upon graduation, Ryan served as the assistant coach at Indiana from 1992-94. 
A year later, he got his big break.

He joined the Hofstra Pride at a time when the program needed his coaching more than ever. 

In his tenure at Hofstra he led the Pride to six consecutive conference titles in both the Colonial Athletic Association and Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association.

In three of the remaining seasons, he led the Pride to a second-place conference finish. 
In 2006, Ryan took the head coaching position with the Buckeyes to compete in a conference he knew quite well.

Upon accepting the coaching position, he committed himself to four generations of OSU wrestling coaches. 

The Buckeyes have produced 12 National Champions, 65 All-Americans, 23 Big Ten Champions, 17 All-Star Class participants, two Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients and five Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.

Ryan is contributing to the wrestling legacy he has been left with. Thus far, Ryan has taken 78 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships and has fostered 18 All-Americans, earning 45 conference titles.

In 2009, Ryan took nine out of 10 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, the most in program history. 

Ryan has said time and time again that the goal this season is to take all 10, and that they will settle for nothing less. 

Last season, the Buckeyes fell just short of a national title to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The competition was the closest in recent history, falling by just 4.5 points. 

For his turn-around season in 2009, Ryan was named National Coach of the Year. He has led the Buckeyes to seven conference wins for two consecutive seasons, with the opportunity to add his eighth conference win this weekend against Iowa.

Coaching against his beloved alma mater isn’t the only added pressure. Iowa is ranked No. 1 and has remained undefeated all season.

“It’s always fun, there’s a lot of history there in the sport and we know they’ll go through Iowa City,” Ryan said.

OSU is also rich in tradition and history as the Buckeyes have several national championships under their belt.

This will be the first meeting between the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes this season, but might not be the last.

The two teams could easily meet in the Big Ten Championship and NCAA Championships.

“We’re looking forward to going out there Friday night and wrestling them,” Ryan said.

Ryan is covering all of his bases, focusing on the meets at hand, the tournaments ahead and the future of the team. 

It will be no surprise that after a hard-fought competition at Nationals, Ryan could see another National Coach of the Year title. 

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