Dresser visits old stomping grounds

HUMBOLDT — Kevin Dresser is eyeing a Top-20 finish for the Cyclones as he prepares to enter his first season as head wrestling coach at Iowa State.

“I like a challenge and obviously we have a huge challenge here,” Dresser said. “It’s about progress. We want to get into the Top-20. Getting into the top 20 would be a good step for Iowa State next year.”

Dresser, who was named Iowa State’s head wrestling coach in February, spoke to a crowd gathered for a town hall social at Rustix in his hometown of Humboldt Wednesday night.

More than 100 people attended the event.

Dresser said he and his coaching staff will focus on developing existing talent on the team.

“That’s what the missing piece was at Iowa State,” Dresser said. “What we have seen in the short few months we have been there is that there is talent in that room. We just need to develop them.”

Iowa State finished with a 1-12 duals record this past season.

“We have to get wrestling again,” Dresser said. “One way to do that is to have a great coaching staff.”

In April, Dresser announced the hires of Mike Zadick, Derek St. John, and Brent Metcalf.

Zadick, a three-time All-American at the University of Iowa will serve as Iowa State’s associate head coach.

Zadick said the development of the team will take time.

“You look around and think there is a lot of ability that just needs to be redirected,” he said. “We have to get tough and we have to get gritty. That’s going to take time.”

“We are developing our guys to beat the enemy,” Zadick added. “Whoever that is on the other side of our mat when we step in the arena is our enemy. Whether it’s in our conference or in the country. Anywhere.”

St. John also spoke at the event.

He said he will look to improve the team’s toughness and physicality.

Dresser said another key will be filling the stands at Hilton.

“That’s important to wrestlers is getting people in the stands,” he said. “I liked to wrestle in front of a packed gym.”

Dresser said it feels good to be back in his home state.

“It’s always nice to come home and I know there is a huge Cyclone base in this area,” Dresser said. “So it’s not just about Humboldt it’s about all of north central Iowa and getting people excited about Iowa State wrestling again.”

Dresser’s mother and brother live in Ankeny.

He currently doesn’t have family living in Humboldt.

Growing up in Iowa did play a role when the opportunity arose for him to coach at Iowa State.

“It was big,” Dresser said. “Growing up here and going to Iowa State matches as a kid is something you don’t forget. When the opportunity came up all those memories came back.”