Former Iowa national champion Tony Ramos discusses the challenges his first two years of coaching has brought. Cody Goodwin/The Register
Former Iowa wrestler Tony Ramos retired from competition Saturday.
Ramos, a three-time All-American and 2014 NCAA champion for the Hawkeyes, was wrestling in the 2019 world team trials challenge tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, this weekend. He reached the semifinals at 61 kilograms (134 pounds), where he lost to former Penn State national champion Nico Megaludis.
Following the result, Ramos walked back to the center of the mat and removed his shoes and left them in the center of the mat. It is a time-honored tradition for wrestlers who are retiring from competition. The crowd inside Reynolds Coliseum, on the campus of North Carolina State, gave him rousing applause.
Prior to his Iowa career, Ramos was a three-time Illinois state champion at Glenbard North. He came to Iowa and won 120 career matches, including 36 by fall, under head coach Tom Brands. He went 34-0 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. He won a Big Ten title and an NCAA championship in 2014.
Following his time as a Hawkeye, Ramos made an immediate impact on the Senior men's freestyle scene, making back-to-back world teams in 2014 and 2015. He reached the finals of the 2016 Olympic Trials in Iowa City, where he lost to former teammate Daniel Dennis in two straight matches to miss out on a ticket to the Rio Olympics.
Ramos infamously left Iowa City following the 2016 loss to Dennis. He landed at North Carolina, where he has worked as an assistant coach under Coleman Scott for the last three years. He continued to compete. He won the U.S. Open in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Many in the wrestling community took to Twitter to comment on Ramos's retirement Saturday:
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.