Teske transferring to University of Iowa
IOWA CITY — Brody Teske wants to set the record straight.
The four-time Fort Dodge state wrestling champion’s decision to leave the University of Northern Iowa last month and officially commit to the University of Iowa on Sunday wasn’t because of a coach, a teammate or an opponent.
This came down to how Teske felt about himself.
“My window of opportunity is closing quickly,” Teske said in an exclusive interview with The Messenger. “I’m someone who has always valued self-reflection and focused on constant growth. At the end of the day, I am what I am at this stage in my career: a two-time NCAA qualifier who has gone 2-2 twice at nationals. That’s not good enough.
“I’m unsatisfied with myself. I’ve got two short years (of eligibility left collegiately) to make this work. So I sat down and evaluated where I’m at and what I need to reach that next level. And to me, there’s no better place and no better room to push myself to see my full potential than as an Iowa Hawkeye.”
Teske didn’t leave Cedar Falls on a whim; as a one-time transfer who had already gone from Penn State to UNI, by rule, he had to graduate first in order to put his plan into action.
“I grinded my way through summer school and just officially got my degree (from Northern Iowa) on Friday,” Teske said. “It wasn’t easy. This has been in the works for a while behind the scenes, but I had a lot of business to take care of in order to make it become a reality.
“People are going to say or assume whatever, but I know the truth. At the end of the day, I have to be loyal to my ambitions and get what I want out of the sport before all is said and done. It won’t be a popular decision (in the eyes of) some, and I realize (competing for a third different school) isn’t the ‘conventional route,’ so to speak. But I can’t worry about that now. I’m just excited to get started and earn my place (with the Hawkeyes).”
To date, Teske has been a 125-pounder for his entire collegiate career. With three-time national champ Spencer Lee returning this season and fellow ex-Fort Dodge gold medalist and Dodger teammate Drake Ayala already on board at 125 for Iowa, Teske will make the move to 133 alongside Cullan Schriever, who was 15-5 at that weight a year ago with the Hawks.
“I’m definitely excited to be in the same room again with Drake and Drew (Bennett, another Dodger state champ and classmate of Teske’s at FDSH),” Teske said. “It’s sink or swim time. I’m not going to be able to do anything more than demand the very best for myself in a room with that kind of talent. I’ll be training with the elite, and will have incredible resources and facilities in my corner.”
Teske holds “absolutely no ill will” toward head coach Doug Schwab and his UNI program.
“When I left and moved back from Penn State (in January of 2020), (the Panthers were) exactly what I needed at the time,” said Teske, who was 33-13 overall at UNI and a 2021 Big 12 champion. “I couldn’t thank Coach Schwab more for the opportunity he gave me. I just feel like I’ve outgrown Cedar Falls in some ways. I gave it my all, and it’s a chapter I’ll always appreciate, because it got me here and helped me grow as a man. I’m just ready to get back into the Big Ten, and I’m at a point in my life where I felt like I needed to go for it.”
Teske added that the recent illness and death of a close family member really emphasized the vulnerability of time.
“I saw my uncle pass away from ALS after suffering a lot during this past year,” Teske said. “He was one of my biggest and most loyal supporters. It was very tough to watch that happen and have to say goodbye.
“Life is short. The last thing I want is to spend the rest of my (post-collegiate days) dealing with regret or wondering, ‘what if.’ This has been a crazy journey for sure and I’m taking a risk, without question. I understand I’ll have to fight my way into (the Hawkeye lineup). I’m ready and excited, though. I’ve got two years to be all-in and make the necessary changes to reach my full potential as a wrestler and as a person.”