Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands had two words for Cory Clark after his pupil won an NCAA wrestling title on Saturday.
It took a bit of convincing, but Clark eventually did clinch Brands and take him to the mat in an unusual athlete-coach celebration. It drew an ovation from the St. Louis crowd and instant social media buzz.
Clark said he “freaked out” when he heard Brands’ order.
“I didn’t know what to do, kind of out of it out there,” said Clark, a senior who became Iowa’s first national champion since 2014. “I grabbed him. He said throw me. I tapped him on the back and went, no, I’m not going to throw you. Throw me. I go, no. He goes, throw me. I go, all right. I grabbed him and threw him. So that’s what happened. He probably wants it to seem like I tossed him for no reason. But I didn’t want to throw him; he wanted thrown. He was fired up.”
Brands had reason to be fired up. Clark came back from tearing wrist ligaments early in the season and reportedly separating his shoulder.
As for Brands, he was known as a fiery wrestler in his heyday. He won world titles in 1993 and 1995 but was beaten at the 1996 Olympic Trials by Kendall Cross, who took gold in Atlanta (as did Brands’ twin brother, Tom, who is now the head coach at Iowa).
Brands retired, then unretired and made the 2000 Olympic team, taking bronze in Sydney at age 32.
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