Sports, Saturday, March 28th

By: Nathan Bloechl —

Wesleyan Wrestling Tabs Contos as Men’s Head Coach: 

After a national search, the Iowa Wesleyan Athletics Department has announced that former Iowa State and Penn State coach Shawn Contos has been given the title of head coach of the Tiger men’s wrestling program.

Coach Robert Powell — who was hired in earlier this school year — will take over the reins for our newly formed women’s program, while Contos director operations for the men’s program.

Both will work collaboratively to lead and grow men’s and women’s wrestling at Iowa Wesleyan University.

Contos brings with him over 20 years of experience as a wrestling coach, coaching alongside many notable wrestlers throughout his years.

Contos coached at Iowa State with Cael Sanderson and at Penn State with both Cody Sanderson and Casey Cunningham. While at PSU, Contos helped lead the team to four NCAA National Championship Titles.

With Iowa State, he helped lead the Cyclones to a BIG 12 Conference Championship. That season the Clones were third in the NCAA, as well as producing NCAA National Champion.

In 2012, Contos qualified for the US Olympic Trials.

Contos was as Junior National Champion in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman and was a four-time All-American.

Contos was also chosen as the head coach for the Ohio Junior National Wrestling Team by USA Wrestling in 2008.

Big Ten Extends Athletic Suspension: 

The Big Ten Conference announced Friday that it will extend the previously announced suspension of all organized team activities through May 4, 2020 and will re-evaluate again at that time.

This is an additional measure to the previously announced cancellation of all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year. The Conference also has previously announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future.

The Big Ten Conference will continue to use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus.

Two In-State Women Honored:

For the second consecutive season, Drake University women’s basketball senior Becca Hittner is a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division I All-Region Finalist, the WBCA announced earlier this week.

Hittner is the first Drake player to earn multiple WBCA All-Region honors.

The selection committee will select the 10-member WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America team from 52 candidates. The 2020 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America team will be announced Thursday, April 2.

Hittner garnered WBCA All-American Honorable Mention honors in 2019.

This past season, Hittner was named the Jackie Stiles Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive year, becoming just third MVC player to win the top award three times.

Hittner led the Valley in scoring for third-straight season averaging 18.9 points per game in 2019-20.

Also being honored was Iowa guard, Kathleen Doyle.

It is the first WBCA All-Region selection of Doyle’s career.

The All-American is the 15th Hawkeye in program history to earn WBCA All-Region honors.

Doyle, a native of LaGrange Park, Illinois, finished the season ranking in the top-50 nationally in five statistical categories, including sixth in the nation in total assists (189), seventh in assists per game (6.3), 19th in free throws made (147), 37th in total points (544), and 49th in points per game (18.1).

The 2020 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America team will be announced on April 2.