Logan Ryan aims to capitalize on second chance at Iowa

Andy Hamilton

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Logan Ryan held his phone in his hand and put off dialing the number until he realized there was no point in waiting any longer.

He knew he’d made his biggest mistake – one that jeopardized his opportunity of a wrestling lifetime – and he knew there was no point in trying to hide the truth from Iowa coach Tom Brands.

The night before, he went out with teammates Seth Gross and Ross Lembeck in Marion and wound up in trouble. All three were charged with alcohol-related offenses after police responded to a call for a theft in progress. At the time, police said burglary and theft charges were pending as well.

“I knew I had to tell Tom,” Ryan said. “He’d obviously find out – he finds out everything. It was hard. I literally sat there and waited and I was like, ‘All right, I might as well do it.’ I know honesty is key and I was completely, 110-percent honest with Tom – I always have been – and I told him everything. I was truthful with him and he respects that.”

Iowa dismissed all three from the team after felony burglary charges were filed on May 4. According to online court records, Gross and Ryan pleaded guilty in September on multiple third-degree burglary charges and were sentenced to probation.

Gross resurfaced at South Dakota State. The Hawkeyes gave Ryan another opportunity.

“First of all, he owned the whole incident,” Brands said. “Our administration was comfortable with that. That’s where it starts and that’s where it ends. (He was) very accountable.”

Said Ryan: “It was the biggest mistake of my life. I think about it literally every single day more than once. I just remember that I have a second chance here and I’m forever grateful and I’ve got to live up to it every day.”

The story adds another layer Friday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Ryan (6-4) is expected to wrestle Gross (6-7) in the 141-pound match of Iowa’s dual against South Dakota State.

“There’s a little bit of history there,” Brands said.

Ryan and Gross split two bouts last year while wrestling unattached at open tournaments. They sparred together in the practice room. They haven’t spoken in months, Ryan said.

“When we wrestled in here, we got in a couple fights,” Ryan said. “There’s some tension between us. Now there’s even more tension. It should be interesting, I think.”