University of Iowa assistant coach Ryan Morningstar has signed a new contract that will keep him in Iowa City through the 2020-2021 season. A native of Lisbon, Iowa – Morningstar has been a member for the Hawkeye program for almost every season since graduating high school in 2005.
A three-time state champion for the Lions, Morningstar joined the Hawkeyes and was a four year letter winner from 2006 to 2010 wrestling at 157 and 165 pounds. After wrapping up his college career, Morningstar accepted a position at Wisconsin, where he spent a season on the Badger staff. He then returned to Iowa City the following year to assume the Hawkeyes assistant role where he has thrived ever since.
“I am very excited and thankful that Tom Brands and our administration, Barbra Burke and Gary Barta, have given me the opportunity to continue to help lead the Hawkeyes through the 2021 season.” Mornginstar told IAwrestle.
Since taking over the assistant role on the Iowa staff Morningstar’s presence has steadily grown, but over the last couple of seasons his status has grown to the point of being recognized on a national level. In 2017 head coach Tom Brands credited Morningstar as being a key factor in assembling what ended up being a #1 ranked recruiting class which featured a pair of top ten recruits.
Morningstar was also referenced as a key reason that Ohio prep Alex Marinelli flipped his commitment from Ohio State to the Hawkeyes in the class of 2016. Marinelli went on to earn All-American honors as a freshman this past season at 165 pounds. It was the first time the Hawkeyes put a wrestler on the podium at that weight class since Morningstar accomplished the feat in Iowa’s 2010 NCAA championship season.
His success as Iowa’s lead recruiter has also drawn the interest of other programs looking to fill head coach vacancies, recently drawing interest from Big 12’s South Dakota State before they eventually named Damion Hahn as their new head coach. With the extension length being for three seasons it should result in a stable staff for Iowa’s immediate future.