Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands tests positive for COVID-19

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands has tested positive for COVID-19, the program announced Thursday morning.

Brands tested positive during a regularly-scheduled rapid antigen test, as well as a PCR test to confirm the diagnosis.

Iowa said Brands is asymptomatic and will remain home until Feb. 13. The top-ranked Hawkeyes (3-0) wrestle No. 8 Ohio State and Purdue this Sunday in West Lafayette, Indiana, then travel to No. 3 Penn State next Friday, Feb. 12.

"Our guys are preparing for competition just as they always do," Brands said in a statement. "We are ready to go. I will continue to work remotely. We have a good thing going and we are going to keep moving forward.

"Right now, our focus is on Purdue and Ohio State."

Iowa head coach Tom Brands, right, and Iowa assistant coach Ryan Morningstar give instructions from the bench during a NCAA Big Ten Conference wrestling dual against the Illinois Fighting Illini, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

Last Sunday, before the Hawkeyes beat No. 13 Illinois, 36-6, Iowa announced that Alex Marinelli, the Hawkeyes’ two-time All-American and two-time Big Ten champion, was held out of competition due to the Big Ten's COVID-19 protocols.

"He’s with us in spirit," Brands said after the dual. "We had Joe Kelly fill in, and that’s what we do — next guy in. You look at the 17-day protocol and all that, all of you people at home can look at a calendar and I don’t need to tell you when he’s going to be back.

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"We’re looking forward to having him back, for sure."

Even more, Iowa was supposed to wrestle No. 2 Michigan alongside Illinois on Sunday as part of a previously scheduled triangular. But the Michigan Department of Public Health and Human Services forced Michigan’s entire athletic department to pause for two weeks due to issues related to COVID-19.

Wrestlers, coaches and staff members are tested daily as part of the Big Ten Conference return to play protocols. The Big Ten Championships are scheduled for March 6-7 at Penn State.

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Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.