Tom Brands

Last updated

Tom Brands
Personal information
BornApril 9, 1968 (1968-04-09) (age 55)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Home town Sheldon, Iowa, U.S.
Alma mater University of Iowa
Medal record
Men's freestyle wrestling
Representing the Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Olympic Games
Olympic rings.svg
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1996 Atlanta 62 kg
World Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1993 Toronto 62 kg
Pan American Games
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1995 Mar del Plata 62 kg
Collegiate Wrestling
Representing the Iowa Hawkeyes
NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg1990 College Park134 lb
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg1991 Iowa City134 lb
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg1992 Oklahoma City134 lb

Tom Brands (born April 9, 1968) is an American former Olympic wrestler and is currently the head coach of the University of Iowa men's wrestling team. He won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics. [1]


An intense competitor, Brands' wrestling career with the University of Iowa included a record of 158-7-2 and an undefeated season in 1991 where he was 45–0. He was a four-time All-American, three-time NCAA Champion, three-time Big Ten Conference champion, and Outstanding Wrestler at the 1992 NCAA tournament. His twin brother, Terry, was also an Olympic medalist and a standout at Iowa.

Internationally, Brands won a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in freestyle at 136.6 pounds; a gold medal at the 1993 World Freestyle Championships in Toronto; two World Cup gold medals (1994 and 1995); and the gold at the 1995 Pan American Games. He won four U.S. Nationals titles (1993–96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993–96). He was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, 1993 John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler, and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 2001.

Coaching career

Brands served 12 seasons as assistant coach for the Hawkeyes, from 1993 to 2004. Brands was named National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000. He also served as head coach at Virginia Tech for two seasons. In the spring of 2006, Tom Brands returned to the University of Iowa as head coach. Brands led the Hawkeyes to national titles in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2021. Under Brands, Iowa also captured conference titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, were the 2015 co-champions with Ohio State and were the 2021 co-champions with Penn State.

During Brands' tenure as head coach, 8 different wrestlers have won individual national titles, and Iowa has won over 200 dual meets.

NCAA Champions under Tom Brands

Head Coaching Results
SeasonDual RecordConference recordConference FinishNCAA Finish
Virginia Tech
2004–0516–4–05–0–0Silver medal icon.svgT-42nd
Va Tech Totals:17–20–06–4–0
University of Iowa
2006–0714–5–05–3–0Bronze medal icon.svg8th
2007–0821–1–08–0–0Gold medal icon.svgGold medal icon.svg
2008–0924–0–08–0–0Gold medal icon.svgGold medal icon.svg
2009–1023–0–08–0–0Gold medal icon.svgGold medal icon.svg
2010–1115–0–18–0–0Silver medal icon.svgBronze medal icon.svg
2011–1214–4–06–2–0Bronze medal icon.svgBronze medal icon.svg
2012–1320–3–08–0–0Bronze medal icon.svg4th
2013–1415–2–07–1–0Silver medal icon.svg4th
2014–1517–1–09–0–0Gold medal icon.svgSilver medal icon.svg
2015–1616–1–09–0–0Silver medal icon.svg5th
2016–1713–2–08–1–0Bronze medal icon.svg4th
2017–1812–3–06–3–04thBronze medal icon.svg
2018–1914–1–09–0–0Bronze medal icon.svg4th
2019–2013–0–09–0–0Gold medal icon.svg
2020–215–0–05–0–0Gold medal icon.svgGold medal icon.svg
Iowa Totals:236–23–1113–10–0
Career Totals:253–43–1119–14–0

Personal life

Brands and his twin brother Terry were both coached by Dan Gable. Brands has authored several instructional VHS/DVD products that teach and advocate his "in-your-face" style of wrestling.[ citation needed ]

He grew up in Sheldon, Iowa and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from the University of Iowa. He is married and has three children, two daughters and a son. [2]

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  1. Litsky, Frank (August 3, 1996). "Brands's Intensity Salvages Day for U.S." New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  2. "Tom Brands Profile". Retrieved December 31, 2010.