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Metcalf to step away from competition, start coaching

Brent Metcalf wrestling at the 2015 World Championships (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

Brent Metcalf, all-time University of Iowa mat great, appears to be moving away from freestyle competition as he prepares to become an assistant wrestling coach at Cedar Rapids Prairie High School, according reports at IAWrestle.com and Trackwrestling.com Monday.

In a Trackwrestling story titled "Metcalf likely stepping away from competition for 2017," Andy Hamilton wrote, "Brent Metcalf isn't ready yet to close the door on his career as a competitor, but it appears the four-time World Team member is leaning toward hanging up his shoes," adding that the former Hawkeye mat champ is likely will step away from competition in 2017.

"That's kind of how I'm moving forward," Metcalf told Trackwrestling. "My intention was to be done after the Olympic Games. Just because I didn't get what I want, that doesn't mean I go do it anyway and change plans."

In recent years, Metcalf had been arguably a major force in the 65 kilogram/143-pound weight class in men's freestyle. However, at last April's U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Carver-Hawkeye Arena -- what had been his home gym as an Iowa wrestler -- he lost to Penn State mat alum Frank Molinaro, who will be wrestling for Team USA later this week at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

IAWrestle.com -- a website that covers wrestling in the state of Iowa -- reported that Metcalf would be taking an assistant coach position at Prairie, joining Kane Thompson's staff.

"It was one of those things where we both kind of knew the same person and things just kind of got hooked up in the right way," Prairie coach Kane Thompson told IA Wrestle. "I couldn't be more excited for somebody like that to be willing to come and take their time and be willing to help some high school kids and a high school team, and help them continue to grow and reach the vision that we are trying to set at Prairie."

In a May interview with Takedown Wrestling, Metcalf said that his wife, Kristen, was working toward a graduate degree at the University of Iowa and that it would take "a pretty great opportunity" to uproot him from Iowa City. (Prairie High is located just off I-380, the highway that links Iowa City and Cedar Rapids a few minutes to the north.)

This past season Cedar Rapids Prairie qualified eight wrestlers for the state tournament, with four of those wrestlers earning a spot on the stand, IA Wrestle reported. Their 62 team points was good enough for a seventh-place team finish. Since its inception in 1956, Prairie has won two Iowa team titles (1979, 1995), two Iowa dual team titles (1994, 1998) and 36 district championships.

Brent Metcalf, who turned 30 last month, has crafted a sparkling wrestling career at all levels. He was a four-time Michigan state champ at Davison High, with a perfect 228-0 record. As an Iowa Hawkeye, Metcalf was a three-time NCAA Division I finalist, winning the 149-pound title in 2008 and 2010. He earned the Hodge Trophy as the nation's outstanding college wrestler in 2008. Among Metcalf's accomplishments as a freestyle wrestler: a two-time medalist in World Cup competition (bronze in 2014, silver in 2015), and the gold medal at the Pan Ams in 2015, and bronze in 2009.

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