Bettendorf native Jack Wagner has informed IAwrestle he plans to take his talents north to the University of Northern Iowa. Wagner was a three-time Iowa high school state champion and part of a massive 2016 recruiting class for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The redshirt freshman competed in five open tournaments for a season record of 17-7 at 133 pounds.

“It’s going to be a great fit and a great culture to be in and I’m excited to be a Panther.” – Jack Wagner


That Iowa recruiting class has been thinned out as of late with the departure of Wagner, Brock Rathbun and Matt Malcom. Rathbun has transferred to Wartburg and Malcom moved back closer to home to wrestle for Nebraska Kearney.

Wagner will likely slot in at 133 pounds for the Panthers. Current roster lists Tanner Rohweder, Jay Schwarm and Rudy Yates at 125 pounds. Chase Lienhard and Josh Alber are listed at 133 pounds, but two weeks ago, Head Coach Doug Schwab told IAwrestle that two-time NCAA qualifier, Josh Alber, will be moving up to 141 pounds this season.

“Alber is going to move up so you can slot a guy like Yates in at 133.” Schwab said. “Obviously looking to slot a guy like Rudy in at 133 it’s not like ‘What are you going to do? Who are you going to put there?’ so it works out well.”

Yates is coming off a 15-2 record in his redshirt season, with all of his matches coming at 133 pounds. When he committed to UNI Yates told IAwrestle he saw himself as a career 125-pound wrestler for the Panthers, but it looks as though plans have changed (as they often do when trying to project a weight three years down the road).

Wagner and Yates wrestled at the 2016 Grand View Open where Yates come out on top by a 9-6 decision. Wagner was giving a full release by the University of Iowa and will have four years of eligibility left.

10 thoughts on “Jack Wagner Transferring Out of Iowa”
  1. […] or not Glynn and Stickley make it down to 125. During the offseason Iowa lost Brock Rathbun and Jack Wagner due to transferring out of the program. While those transfers hurt Iowa in terms of program depth […]

  2. […] including winning two meetings against former Hawkeyes Brock Rathbun and Jack Wagner (who has since transferred to UNI), and he also won 6-4 over Campbell wrestler Nathan Boston. His two losses were to Nebraska […]

  3. The wrestlers that are leaving the Iowa program are not potential All-Americans. They are wrestlers that were great in high school and never adapted to D-1. I dont know for sure but I am guessing they are trying to find a place where they can see the mat.

    1. Dale, I will help you with your reading acumen. I said Dresser was better than Brands (AT) VA Tech. NOT who was better during the years Dresser was at VA Tech and Brand was at IOWA. One program is/was a Camaro the other is/was a Ferrari. Dresser is beats Brands when they both drive a camaro. My money’s on Dresser beating Brands when they both are in a Ferrari. Hey Nice try at deflection though.

      Dale, since I have cleared up your confusion with VA Tech, let’s address Brands national titles and recruiting.

      Brands 3 titles were won with Zalesky’s recruits. Much the same as it WAS said that Zalesky won with Gables recruits. Since I assume we are both Iowa boys can we be honest in saying it would’ve been a miracle if there wasn’t a drop off in recruiting and dare I say performance from Gable.

      Dale you stated, “Tom was an assistant at Iowa from ’93-’04 do you think Gable was a “meathead” for hiring him as an assistant?

      No What fool wouldn’t want a defending world champion on staff for recruiting purposes. Much the same way Royce Algiers, Rico Chiapparelli, hell even Brad Penrith would be good to have in the room.. No way in Hell I am giving them the keys to the Ferrari. Barry Davis, Jim Zalesky, J Robinson etc. yes.

      Was Brands a better wrestler than Dresser? Well in the end yes.
      Michael Jordan was a better player than Danny Ainge. Jordan is a bad GM.
      Magic Johnson was a better player than Phil Jackson. Johnson was a bad coach.

      So Dale you stated Iowa has the Best Recruiting Class this year. I’ve heard that the past few years. Maybe it is true but it then proves my point. Wrestlers improve more at other schools under a different coach.
      Dale that recruiting class include Teasdale, Justin Mejia and Jason Renteria all who have decommitted.

      The best thing about Dresser his he paid his Dues as a Coach.. He had to get in the hallways and keep young average kid interested and improving at the high school level. Brands started on third base. Brands coaching philosophy seems to be “wrestle like me”. That’s part of the reason Iowa is so weak in the upper weights.

      It takes Iowa wrestlers FOREVER to score and they don’t link scoring moves together as a whole. The wear’em down and dominate the third period ain’t working anymore.

      Finally the room is miserable. I mean there is very little comradery or joy in that room. When you are constantly pitting guys against one another to “bring the best out of them” it get stale, old, and ineffective. You just end up with guys pissed at each other. Guys don’t help each other improve. A lot of these A+ recruits, especially the the middle to upper weights don’t get much better. This theory is going to be tested with Spencer Lee. Dayton Fix, and Nick Suriano. IOWA, Penn State, OK State.

      You just couldn’t help but notice every Penn State Guy saying Coach Sanderson really emphasises that we have fun.

      Not only is Iowa not winning the NCAA’s there dropping to 3rd in the Big 10.

      1998 Champions
      1999 Champions
      2000 Champions
      2001 Runner Up
      2002 4th
      2003 8th
      2004 Runner Up
      2005 7th
      2006 4th

      Toms Brands
      07 8th
      08 Champions
      09 Champions
      10 Champions
      11 3rd
      12 3rd
      13 4th
      14 4th
      15 Runner Up
      16 5th

    2. I know a few guys in the 80’s who were potential NCAA Champions who never started at Iowa or had to wait till their senior season. You have 3 freshman who are leaving. 2 of the 3 are solid enough to eventually be all-americans it is just unlikely they are going to break into the line-up at 157 or 133 with Spencer Lee or the Martinelli/Kemerer duo.

  4. The IOWA Exodus has begun.. IOWA is screwed.

    The only guy that could resurrect this program is sitting in Ames laughing. He was better at VA than the Brands and in less than 4 years he will have the best program in IOWA. Dresser is a great delegator and is a great psychologist which was probably Gables greatest and most under appreciated coaching qualities. He learned the lessons. Brands are just “do it like I use to” and “go harder” coaches.

    The meatheads created the negativity and dis-unity at Iowa when they were assistants for Zalesky and were rewarded with his job.

    The IOWA WAY is outdated. EVERYONE is conditioned now. Being a mat bully and taking 60 seconds to set up a scoring move is not effective.

    As a former Iowa wrestler It pains me to say that I would not send my kid to wrestle under Brands. Northern Iowa and Iowa State would both get consideration.

    1. Julian, sorry to let facts get in the way of a good argument. Iowa has the number one ranked recruiting class on its way in the door. Kevin Dresser coached at VT for 11 seasons and had one top 5 finish. Over that period, Tom Brands coached Iowa did not finish outside the top 5. Brands was at VT for two seasons. His Dual meet record was 17-20 with two All-Americans, Kevin Dressers dual record was 13-21 over the next two years and it took him 5 seasons to get his first All-American. Tom Brands has coached a team to three national championships as a head coach, Tom was an assistant at Iowa from ’93-’04 do you think Gable was a “meathead” for hiring him as an assistant?. For the record I think Kevin will do a good job at Iowa State. Is there any reason to think he is a better coach than Tom Brands, not at this point.

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