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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Rob Koll's Career at Cornell by the Numbers

    Rob Koll (right) at the 2018 NCAA Championships (Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    Give the Stanford administration credit (just a little). We've crushed them for the better parts of 11 months (and rightfully so). But, now that it's time to hire a new coach, they have swung for the fences and reeled in the biggest fish possible (if I'm able to mix metaphors). This wouldn't be possible without the alumni, as well, since they fought so diligently to keep the program and undoubtedly have chipped in financially to make Rob Koll's hire a reality.

    As Koll's name surfaced as a leading candidate for the job, it occurred to me that he is probably one of the top-five most accomplished active DI head coaches. Cael Sanderson, John Smith, and Tom Brands lead the conversation with four or more national titles and handfuls of conference crowns. Tom Ryan is also in the mix with Ohio State's 2015 championship and five runner-up finishes. After the big four, Koll is on a level of his own, as perhaps the coach with the longest track record without a national title.

    Here are some numbers from Koll's time in Ithaca which make a strong argument for securing his place among the coaching elites.

    Head Coach at Cornell from 1993-2021

    Also an assistant at Cornell under Jack Spates from 1989-93

    Career dual record at Cornell: 317-101-5

    Cornell has earned team trophy's at the NCAA Championships (top-four) on four different occasions. Twice the Big Red has finished as the runner's-up (2010 and 2011).

    Ivy League dual record: 125-9-1

    All-time leader in dual wins by an Ivy League coach: Former Cornell head coach Jimmy Miller had the previous record with 203.

    Had a 92-match Ivy League winning streak that spanned from 2001-02 to 2019-20 (snapped by Princeton).

    Finished top-two in the Ivy League in 26 of 27 seasons.

    Won 17 straight Ivy League titles between 2002-03 and 2018-19.

    Koll was named EIWA Coach of the Year on four occasions (2007, 2010, 2011, 2017).

    Despite typically wrestling a very strong out-of-conference schedule, Cornell has managed to finish with just one dual loss three times during Koll's tenure.

    Under Koll, ten wrestlers have combined to win 16 NCAA titles (David Hirsch, Travis Lee x2, Jordan Leen, Troy Nickerson, Kyle Dake x4, Cam Simaz, Steve Bosak, Gabe Dean x2, Nahshon Garrett, Yianni Diakomihalis x2).

    The program only had one multiple-time national champion before Koll's arrival. They have had four others join the club since (Lee, Dake, Dean, Diakomihalis).

    In the NCAA Finals, under Koll, Cornell has gone 16-7. No single wrestler has lost more than once in the national finals.

    Cornell has also been excellent in the Round of 12. During their last five NCAA Tournaments 2015-19, the Big Red went 7-0. No other program with more than five bloodround matches during that span is undefeated.

    Excluding the 2020 (cancelled) and 2021 (Ivies didn't participate) NCAA Tournaments, Cornell has had at least one All-American every year since 2000-01 (19 straight tournaments). 2001 featured 1 All-American, every other year had more than one.

    Also with the same disclaimer as above, Cornell has finished in the top-12 at the NCAA Championships every year since 2002-03. 15 times Cornell placed top-ten.

    On two occasions, half of the Big Red lineup has earned All-American honors at that respective year's NCAA Championships. (2011 and 2012).

    Koll saw four of his unseeded wrestlers make the NCAA podium. Jim Stanec; 7th/2001, Josh Arnone; 8th/2007, Cam Simaz; 8th/2009, Mike Nevinger; 7th/2012

    During his tenure, Cornell has captured 11 EIWA titles, including every one between 2006-07 and 2016-17.

    Cornell has produced multiple EIWA champions every year since 2008-09. 2019-20 was the only year during that span which had less than three.

    Since 2003-04, Koll's team has not finished lower than second in the EIWA.

    The 176 points amassed by Cornell's 2015 squad at the EIWA Championships is the tournament's second-highest total ever. It was the most since 1997 when Penn produced 183.

    Seven current DI head coaches either assisted underneath Koll or wrestled for him. Matt Azevedo (Drexel), Steve Garland (Virginia), Mike Grey (Cornell), Damion Hahn (South Dakota State), Troy Nickerson (Northern Colorado), Brian Smith (Missouri), and Jeremy Spates (SIU Edwardsville).

    In 2005, Travis Lee became the first Cornell (and Ivy) wrestler to earn All-American honors four times. Since then six others have achieved the feat (Dustin Manotti, Nickerson, Simaz, Dake, Garrett, Gabe Dean).

    Since 1990, there have been 14 occasions where a team produced three NCAA champions in the same season. Only five programs have been able to claim this distinction. One of which was Cornell in 2012 with (Dake, Bosak, Simaz). The other teams were Iowa (x5), Oklahoma State (x2), Iowa State, and Penn State (x5).

    The 2012 team put up 102.5 team points at the NCAA Championships which is the highest number in school history.

    Kyle Dake came in and rewrote Cornell and NCAA record books. He was the first freshman (true) to win an NCAA title for Cornell. He then became the first and only wrestler to win four titles at four different weights.

    Dake was a Hodge Trophy winner in 2013. It marks the only time before or since that a wrestler from the EIWA has earned the honor.

    Dake is also the only four-time NCAA champion from the EIWA and the only one to do so without taking a redshirt.

    13 times during Koll's time in Ithaca, a Cornell wrestler was named EIWA Wrestler of the Year. (Lee x 2, Leen, Nickerson, Dake x2, Simaz, Garrett x2, Gabe Dean x2, Diakomihalis x2)

    5 Cornell wrestlers have won 4 EIWA titles while wrestling for Koll (Lee, Mack Lewnes, Simaz, Garrett, Gabe Dean).

    9 Cornell wrestlers have earned EIWA Freshman of the Year honors while competing for Koll's teams (Lee, Nickerson, Lewnes, Simaz, Dake, Garrett, Gabe Dean, Dalton Macri, Diakomihalis).

    The seven winningest wrestlers in Cornell history have all wrestled during Koll's time as head coach.

    Seven of Koll's wrestlers have gone on to get elected to the EIWA Hall of Fame (Lee/09, Hirsch/10, Dake/14, Nickerson/16, Lewnes/17, Simaz/18, Leen/19).

    Cornell won the team title at the Southern Scuffle in three consecutive years 2008-09 thru 2010-11.

    The 2010-11 team won the championship at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. They were second four times.

    Koll's Cornell teams made the finals of the National Duals on four occasions (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014).

    The Big Red won the National Duals in 2011 after defeating Ohio State, Missouri, Minnesota, and Virginia Tech.

    This spring, Kyle Dake became Cornell's first Olympian since Dave Auble in 1964 (both Games were in Tokyo).

    Dake was also a two-time World Champion under Koll.

    Also on the international front, Andrew Berreyesa was a Junior World silver medalist in Greco-Roman while at Cornell.

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