Flynn, Robinson share InterMat Coach of the Year

Edinboro head wrestling coach Tim Flynn and Minnesota's J Robinson have both been named InterMat Coach of the Year for 2014, the amateur wrestling website announced on Wednesday.

Tim Flynn & J Robinson (Photos/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)
In nearly a decade of annual InterMat awards -- with results based on votes of the website's writers and management -- there has never been a tie for first place in the Coach, Wrestler or Freshman of the Year balloting.

To earn the honor, Flynn and Robinson each received a total of 61 votes, including four first-place votes each. In third place with 47 votes -- including two first-place ballots -- was Cael Sanderson, head coach at 2014 NCAA Division I team titlewinner Penn State. Fourth place went to Virginia Tech's Kevin Dresser, with 26 votes. Just one vote separated fifth-place Doug Schwab of Northern Iowa, and sixth-place John Smith of Oklahoma State, with 13 and 12 votes, respectively.

This is the first time Flynn and Robinson have been named InterMat Coach of the Year.

2014 InterMat Coach of the Year
1st-5th-Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)

T1. Tim Flynn, Edinboro 61 (4)
T1. J Robinson, Minnesota 61 (4)

3. Cael Sanderson, Penn State 47 (2)
4. Kevin Dresser, Virginia Tech 26
5. Doug Schwab, Northern Iowa 13
6. John Smith, Oklahoma State 12
7. Drew Pariano, Northwestern 9
8. Frank Ramano, Notre Dame 7
9. Nick Mitchell, Grand View 5
T10. Eric Keller, Wartburg 3
T10. Tom Ryan, Ohio State 3
T12. Roger Kish, North Dakota State 1
T12. Rob Koll, Cornell 1
T12. Jason Moorman, King 1
Flynn's Fighting Scots posted their best season ever at the NCAA Division Wrestling Championships, placing fifth with 62 points. Robinson's Golden Gophers won their third straight National Duals title, and finished runner-up at the NCAAs to Penn State.

"Tim Flynn has been and will probably continue to be the most underrated coach at the Division I level," said InterMat's T.R. Foley. "Everyone who has even a passing knowledge of the sport understands that when the Edinboro Fighting Scots go to the NCAA tournament they will perform above expectations. Flynn is one of the great coaches in the sport and this award barely does justice in recognizing the efforts he has put in to making the Edinboro programs one of the most consistent in the country."

In making a case for J Rob as co-winner of Coach of the Year honors, InterMat's Tom Franck said, "All season long, number-crunchers had Minnesota a distant second to Penn State at the NCAA tournament. However, Robinson had the Gophers ready when it mattered most. At the Big Show, the team accumulated a number of upsets along the way and racked up bonus points to match the front-line strength of the Nittany Lions ... That Minnesota finished 5.5 points behind Penn State when the dust settled does not deny the fact that the Gophers finished ahead of their seeds at six weight classes, nor that each wrestler came in intensely focused and well-prepared for each bout -- a testament to Robinson and his staff on a motivational and a technical level."

Coach of the Year Winners

2014: Tim Flynn, EU/J Robinson, MN
2013: John Smith, Oklahoma State
2012: Cael Sanderson, Penn State
2011: Mike Denney, Nebraska-Omaha
2010: Rob Koll, Cornell
2009: Tom Ryan, Ohio State
2008: Tom Ryan, Ohio State
2007: Cael Sanderson, Iowa State
2006: John Smith, Oklahoma State
Flynn and Robinson join past InterMat Coach of the Year honorees Rob Koll of Cornell, Mike Denney of the now-defunct University of Nebraska-Omaha wrestling program (and now Maryville), as well as two-time winners John Smith of Oklahoma State, Cael Sanderson of Penn State, and Tom Ryan of Ohio State.

Coach of the Year is the final award released by InterMat.


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PSUhomerinVA (1) about 4 years ago
Dean20 (1) about 4 years ago
How can you guys pick Robinson? Minnesota was picked by virtually everyone as a top 2-3 team which was exactly where they finished. Robinson...why? Amazing. Sanderson gets hosed because he had his team ready to go every match and was expected to win it all. Minnesota's performance at the Southern Scuffle is forgotten.
dbabbitts (1) about 4 years ago
I actually think Minnesota was picked #-1 in some polls. If not for an official's mistake, they don't even beat Penn State in the dual. Cael wins four titles in a row, and gets coach of the year once. Gimme a break. Although Tommy Brands won 3 in a row and didn't get any respect either.
jnbroncos (1) about 4 years ago
Question for either of you hating on Robinson. Can either of you honestly say that you had Minnesota finishing second, much less only 5.5 points behind Penn State? I think Cael is a great coach, but an even better recruiter. You can get Coach of the Year once for your recruits. Taylor and Ruth would have performed at the level they did at any top program, and if you remove them from Penn State then they don't win 4 in a row. Both coaches were well deserving of the honor this year and I'm sure Cael will win plenty more.
Dean20 (1) about 4 years ago
jnbroncos...don't "hate" Robinson, he just doesn't deserve this award for finishing 2nd where he was rated. What did he do to earn this? And jnbronc, tell us who didn't have Minn rated at in the top three. What does dropping Taylor and Ruth have to do with this? And part of coaching is recruiting. This is the mentality of Intermat's pick...Cael should have finished first so no award. Robinson should have finished second so lets give it to him.
Dean20 (1) about 4 years ago
"You can get Coach of the Year once for your recruits". What??!! Who made that rule? Hate to beat a dead horse but I'm riding this bronco...stupid line I know. Minnesota was ranked higher than PSU in some polls so Robinson actually underachieved.
jnbroncos (1) about 4 years ago
My question to you, which you haven't answered is did you have Minnesota finishing second by 5.5 pts. to PSU. The recruiting comment was just to say that to call someone coach of the year because his amazing recruits score so many bonus points every year doesn't make him coach of the year every year. You could actually argue the opposite. The fact that PSU didn't run away with title this year would be a reflection of not getting full potential out of that team. I know this arguement could go on forever, and I thought the "riding this bronco" comment was funny. I could use the Alton's as an example of not getting potential and then you could throw the Dardanes back at me (maybe schools should stay away from twins). I just think Robinson is a great coach and to come that close to the title far exceeded anyone's expectations from what i was seeing. I know on the intermat blog during the NCAAs no one was talking Minnesota. It was all PSU, Iowa, and Oklahoma St. Minnesota is the best dual team in the country and that has been proven 3 years in a row. The fact that intermat added a dual team ranking to it's tournament ranking was one of the best things any ranking system has done. At the end of the day PSU wins the National title which was well deserved and Robinson wins the Coach of the Year which is also well deserved. I just wish people would celebrate the achievments of others instead of using forums like this to knock them down or question the honors they have been bestowed.
footestomper (1) about 4 years ago
My vote (which counts for nada) goes to Cael. I am biased, but I also look at the numbers. And the numbers show me that all 10 wrestlers contributed team points to the National Championship. 7 of the 10 were AA (as were 7 for Minnesota). But, and this is the big butt, ALL SEVEN AA's for PSU won their final match. ALL 7 finished 1st, 3rd, 5th or 7th. And the guy that finished 7th (James English) beat last year's National Champ to do it. Truly a TEAM effort. Sure, Taylor and Ruth led the way, but 2 wrestlers doesn't win a National Championship (see OK St.). Based upon the TEAM effort . . . and results . . . my vote goes to Cael.

Like the previous postings, my vote would not go to JRob. I believe he is a wonderful coach. I've watched his motivational talks, they are wonderful. But, his TEAM did not perform when it most needed to perform. At the Big 10's they put 9 into the Champ Semi's and only 1 survived to the Finals. Meanwhile, PSU and Iowa put 7 into the Semi's, and each had 5 make it through to the Finals. At the NCAA's Minn had terrific showing of 7 AA's. But, in those final matches Minn was 5-2.

Minn had a very nice dual meet season (except for the loss to Michigan). But, the championships are still decided at the NCAA Tourney, and hopefully it will remain that way. Perhaps with ESPN picking up all six sessions and showing a 39% viewership increase, that will put the nail in the coffin of the movement to Duals to decide the championship. The NCAA tournament is the most exciting tournament of the year. I loved being there, and met some wonderful fans from Minn and Iowa. We had one thing in common . . . we all love wrestling. We all appreciated how tough it is . . . and we all appreciated how very good these athletes are at this level.

PSU won the Big 10's by 5.5 because of TEAM production, and PSU won the NCAA's by 5.5 because of TEAM production. Sure, each wrestler individually deserves credit, but when the team steps up as a group, the credit needs to go to the coach. That's why my vote would have been cast for Cael.
jammen (1) about 4 years ago
Cael's team underperformed when it mattered. Starting with their dual loss to Minny, onto their B1G choke with only two titles when six were seeded #1, culminating with a lackluster performance at NCAA's where only English did better than his seed.

JRob had six wrestlers do better than their seeds. Don't confuse Taylor/Ruth's winning the team championship every year with Sanderson's coaching ability.
dbabbitts (1) about 4 years ago
I am pretty sure Ruth was the 2 seed so your facts are as poor as your opinion. Not sure how Cael's team underperformed and JRobs did not MN was in the lead when Nelson (who was seeded higher than Gwaz) lost.
In regards to the dual loss, maybe JRob lost in the tournament 'cause the officials didn't give him any free points. Arguing the dual win does not strengthen your case.
Dean20 (1) about 4 years ago
Cael's team underperformed all the way to the Big 10 and NCAA championships. Here's hoping he can keep on underperforming. Something wrong with winning an award when your season highlight is finishing 2nd. Again, Robinson is a superb coach but this choice is bogus. Jnbronco... Actually I and many others thought PSU didn't have a chance . PSU was starting their 2nd team hey, 3rd team 149 and didn't count anything from Alton or Gulibon. Minn had full team and lead but choked. They also choked against Michigan, at Southern Scuffle, and Big Tens.
2xTCAA (1) about 4 years ago
The biggest "travesty" was not giving it to Flynn outright! Nobody, NOBODY does more with less than that guy. Outside of Coach Denny, Flynn is the only guy on the list without a multi-million dollar facility, or a HUGE travel & recruiting budget. His salary probably pales in comparison too. And, he also does it with 1 full-time assistant and 1 volunteer coach in the room. Some of these teams have a club coach for every weight class. You go to a tournament and every kid has a personal coach in the chair. Not Flynn... it's just him, Coach Moore, Colt and the Fighting Scots taking on the big boys! Congrats to his boss Bruce Baumgartner for hiring him, but I don't think he will be getting a bonus for Tim winning this award. Too bad...HE deserves it!
BDB50 (1) about 4 years ago
jnbroncos.....I think Taylor and Ruth are Champs at any program, given! They have stepped it up bonus wise under Cael as has everyone in the program. That mentality throughout the line up adds up. Please rethink the Altons not producing.....both were coming off debilitating shoulder surgery and Andrew just had his second in two years. Add in our starting hwt was lost for the season and throw in the progress of lower recruits such as English and Beitz and a true freshman and I think Cael has a case. Not that he much cares.