A lot made the 2019-20 wrestling season memorable, both in how it unfolded and how it ended.
The Iowa wrestling team, especially, was in the midst of an extremely special season, going 13-0 in duals, posting record-shattering attendance numbers, and winning the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in dominant fashion.
Then the novel coronavirus pandemic hit and put the kibosh on what was slated to be the final chapter of the Hawkeyes’ sterling campaign, canceling the NCAA Championships and temporarily pausing sports as we know them.
On the latest "In The Room" wrestling podcast, we relived the Hawkeyes’ 2019-20 season with a special guest: Iowa wrestler Paul Glynn.
Glynn, a senior this past season, won 28 career matches for Iowa and filled in at 133 pounds over the last four years. He provided some highlights throughout his career, including a run to the semifinals of the Midlands Championships in 2018 and a memorable, come-from-behind victory against Michigan State this past season.
On the podcast, Glynn provides some behind-the-curtain insight during the Hawkeyes’ tremendous 2019-20 season. He shared some stories from what he saw and what the team felt during some of the season’s most important moments.
Here are some highlights:
• Ahead of Iowa’s 29-6 win over Iowa State back in November: “There’s always an asterisk by that meet. This is going to sound funny, because we won last year, but we walked into Ames, Iowa, with a chip on our shoulder.
“We won last year, but we know what we’re capable of as a team, and we wanted to go in there, dominate, and shut that place up.”
“The night before the first meet, (assistant coach Bobby Telford and Iowa coach Tom Brands) both came to our room and talked to Assad about getting ready to go,” Glynn said. “I kind of knew that he was going to go out and wrestle.
“I’m sure it was very exciting for him to wear that Hawkeye singlet for the first time. But he’s a pretty cool customer. We call him ‘Cool Guy Assad.’ He was really relaxed and treated that whole weekend like he was a veteran.”
• After Michael Kemerer defeated Mark Hall, 11-6, in Iowa’s 19-17 win over Penn State, he looked back to the Hawkeye bench, held out his right hand and tapped it his palm. Glynn explains what that meant:
“When we were freshmen, Tom gave a speech about how you want to compete on the wrestling mat. You want to have the crowd right in the palm of your hand when you’re competing. You want to create that buzz for yourself. He was talking about how (former Iowa wrestler) Barry Davis actually did that after a match in Carver.”
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.
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