Last week, the University of North Carolina officially announced that they had hired Rob Koll as their next head wrestling coach. Just over two years ago, Koll shocked the wrestling world by leaving Cornell, a school that he built from a good EIWA team into a consistent national power, for Stanford.
Now, we’re left to wonder, “Who replaces Koll at Stanford.” Even though it’s extremely late in the game (or really early) for coaching changes, there should be plenty of interest in the job. Stanford has a young, talented roster that starts the preseason ranked #24 in duals by InterMat and features six ranked wrestlers. Koll and his staff were able to ink back-to-back top-eight classes (#8 in 2022; #5 in 2021) and have an impressive list of high school seniors that have given the Cardinal program verbals. In addition, Koll's efforts have led to the possibility of an increase in funding from the athletic department.
Also, with conference realignment front and center, Stanford will have some stability as they head to the ACC. While it doesn’t make sense geographically, the Cardinal will now compete in a league that features four ranked teams and plenty of talented individuals. That should lead to more at-large opportunities for any Stanford wrestlers who don’t automatically qualify at the ACC Tournament.
With a brief bit of background information out of the way, let’s focus on coaches that InterMat has identified as quality candidates for the opening. With each coach, we’ll have some background information that helps us understand why he makes sense for the opening.
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