Make that another award for Rutgers Wrestling head coach Scott Goodale. He was named the 2019 Dan Gable Coach of the Year by WIN Magazine.
That goes along with being named the 2019 NCAA Tournament Coach of the Year - after Anthony Ashnault and Nick Suriano secured national titles and the Scarlet Knights finished 9th as a team - and being named the co-winner of the Mike Chapman Impact Award along with Fresno State’s Troy Steiner for Rutgers Top 10 finish in average home attendance (5,038).
For NCAA Wrestling fans, Goodale winning these awards is justified based on what he did with Rutgers this season and finally putting them over the hump, particularly in the Big Ten, with two national champions. But for Rutgers fans, this has been brewing for over a decade.
Goodale took over a lower-tier program in July of 2007. Rutgers hadn’t really sniffed sustained success in quite awhile and Goodale even remembers his days in the College Avenue Gymnasium in front of less than 20 people in attendance for a dual meet. Fast forward to 2019, Rutgers Wrestling competes in the premier college wrestling conference, the Big Ten, is top five in home attendance, sells out the RAC, has All-Americans year in and year out, is a regular Top 20 team, and just earned their first Top 10 finish at the NCAA Tournament along with...oh yeah, two individual national champions.
The list is so long, I almost forgot to mention he has the program record in wins with 173...and counting.
What other Rutgers program has seen this kind of turnaround and steady growth? Sure, football had it’s glory days under Greg Schiano, the men’s lacrosse team has been really good lately by knocking on the door of the NCAA Tournament, the women’s soccer team even made the Final Four a few seasons ago, but everything else pales in comparison.
This hasn’t been a loud rebuild and ascension. Goodale preaches hard, blue-collar type of work and attitude. They’re doing everything by the book. Heck, those brand new facilities are going to be used for the first time this upcoming season. Rutgers Wrestling practices in the basement of the College Avenue Gym. It’s their dungeon and it symbolizes what Goodale teaches.
It’s not just the on the mat success, it’s the recruiting end of the deal. High school kids are buying into the idea that they can be All-Americans and National Champions by staying home in New Jersey. It’s even better now. The best recruiting class in team history, featuring JoJo Aragona, Rob Kanniard and Jackson Turley, among others, hit the Banks this Fall. The 2019 class was ranked No. 4 according to Flo Wrestling.
Wait a minute, I did not even mention what Goodale has been doing with the NJRTC, one of the newest but most impressive regional training centers in the country. At the USA World Team Trials, Ashnault, Tyler Graff and Pat Downey made a lot of noise trying to represent the United States at the World Championships later this year. Ashnault fell one round short by losing and eventually getting injured against James Green in the finals, while Graff and Downey won their weights and advanced to the Final X competition. With a win there, they will represent the USA at the World Championships. Downey however, already qualified due to the injury to David Taylor. Ashnault and Graff did earn National Team membership due to their finishes.
So, there is no offseason for Goodale. If he succeeds like this as a coach with Rutgers and within the entire state of New Jersey on the international level, how could you not smell what he’s cooking in Piscataway?
Injuries are part of this sport and we wish @magicman_psu a speedy recovery. One of the best in the world pound for pound! But the @TheNJRTC is fired up for @iAmPatDowney our first senior level world team member!! Lot of work was put in, proud of this cat #WorldChamporhomeless— Coach Scott Goodale (@CoachGoodale) May 25, 2019
Big Ten Opponents for 2019-20
The Big Ten opponents for Rutgers were announced recently. While the full schedule won’t be released until around late August, fans can already start preparing for some big names coming into the RAC. While Rutgers will travel to premier spots like Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan, they’ll welcome in a rising Northwestern program and an always tough Illinois squad.