Cory Clark celebrates NCAA wrestling title by taking down his coach

Danny Lawhon

You've seen the celebration countless times before.

A wrestler wins a championship, soaks in the praise on the mat and runs into his coach's arms for a bone-crunching hug.

Iowa's Cory Clark celebrates after defeating South Dakota State's Seth Gross, by tossing Hawkeyes associate head coach Terry Brands to the mat after a 4-3 victory in the 133-pound final at the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Saturday night in St. Louis.

Well, Iowa's Cory Clark and Terry Brands had other plans Saturday night. At least Brands did, anyway.

After the Southeast Polk graduate and Hawkeyes senior claimed the 133-pound crown, Clark ran over to Brands and executed a throw to the mat that immediately lit social media ablaze.

The four-time All-American wasn't exactly ready to manhandle his associate head coach.

"I freaked out. I didn't know what to do; kind of out of it out there," he said Saturday night. "(Brands) said 'Throw me. I go, 'No.' He goes, 'Throw me.' I said, 'All right.' I grabbed him and threw him. So that's what happened.

"I don't know if he wants you — he probably wants it to seem like I tossed him for some reason. I didn't want to throw him; he wanted thrown. He was fired up."

As he should be. Clark claimed the program's first individual title since Tony Ramos in 2014. And Clark executed that move with the same pain he's endured almost the entire season: through torn wrist ligaments and a dislocated shoulder.

But almost all feelings of pain go out the window in the joy of a career goal fulfilled.