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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Jagger's Friday Mailbag - 5/10/2024

    Before we get going here I just want to send my condolences to the South Plainfield wrestling family for the loss of one of their own as former standout Corey Stasenko tragically passed away on Monday. Corey was perhaps most known in wrestling circles for being part of the four state finalists in 2013 for the Tigers after famously dropping from 145 to 126 to combat the ever-growing Anthony Ashnault, Scott DelVecchio, and Troy Heilmann. I know my limits as a writer so I won’t try to put into words how big of a loss this is for South Plainfield, Rutgers, and the New Jersey wrestling community as a whole, but rest in peace, Corey. You will never be forgotten. 

    Now to this week’s mailbag. (Taylor’s version) 

    Does David Taylor win a team title within the next 5 years? Mason 

    I hate to make a prediction that he will just because it’s so tough to do and Penn State is so ridiculously strong right now that I’m not sure he can be done in his first recruiting cycle. But the hype train is so hot right now that it does seem like it would be a bust if he didn’t. The thing about team titles in wrestling is that they usually come in bunches or at least pairs. I'll give Taylor six years, but predict he rattles off a good four of five in a short span. Of course, with college free agency and a billionaire booster who clearly wants to win now, that could change very quickly. 

    Odds Taylor takes second in his first year at the reins? Also, what is the average placement for a top 10 program in the first year after a new coach hire? Cael, Brands, Oklahoma State, etc. JD Money 

    Ohio State is the second-best team next year in my book. But I suppose it could happen for the reasons mentioned above. So let’s take Cael, Gable, and John Smith, arguably the three most successful overall contributors to the sport and see how they did to start their coaching careers. All three also started their head coaching careers 15 to 16 years apart with Cael beginning at Iowa State. Naturally, Taylor now starts his own coaching career 15 years after he and Cael kicked off a dynasty at Penn State. Dan Gable took over in 1976 and immediately won his first of 15 titles. But Iowa was also the defending champs if that means anything to you. Smith took over in 1991, but I do believe it was under tumultuous circumstances, so I’ll give him the next year as his first real year and they finished second before winning his first in 1994. We all know what Coach Sanderson has done but this is running long and I’m not sure what my point is. The bottom line is that all three won titles within their first four years of being a head coach and if DT truly is the next chosen one then the clock is already ticking. 

    How many licks does it take to get to the center of the tootsie pop? Ronald Johnson

    As children, we were always told three but that’s a bunch of malarkey. Three licks and break your teeth if you listen to that advice. 

    Nudes in bio. Erica 

    Oops, don’t think that was a question. 

    Is David Taylor letting you on staff? Madison Hollenbeck 

    Taylor wouldn’t let me in his fantasy football league let alone his coaching staff. And I better not catch him watching games on his phone during Sunday duals. 

    What are your thoughts on previous coaching experience in college? And why is it overrated? Lucky Pearle 

    Well considering I just mentioned three guys who had immediate success while in their 20’s with very little coaching experience, I guess you could say it's overrated a bit. 

    How much does Stillwater being accessible by Turnpike impact David Taylor's chances to recruit Jersey kids? Dynasty Defined 

    Oklahoma State does have a bit of history in New Jersey with Espo and Mocco and a Skove or two in the 80’s, so I don’t count it out. I did hear that David was setting up a club here so he clearly has an interest already. But don’t think I’m not flipping birds at him if I see his horse on the New Jersey Turnpike. Go recruit one of the other three states you claim as home. 

    Coaching hot stove is fire - any predictions for all those openings including assistants? Also, what is the next Boom? PBR 

    As you read earlier when you sat down on the toilet to read all of this, I don’t like making predictions. I’m also no expert in the coaching carousel, but I do know that any coach who gets hired for any job is a great fit. That’s all you ever hear. It’s always a great hire. You never hear someone say this hire sucks. Except that one time when I got hired to do this thing.

    What is the next Goodale boom? I’ll go against my mantra of no predictions and say Cam Amine to Rutgers. 

    And that’s going to do it for the David Taylor edition of the mailbag. Apologies to Burger King of Kings and the rest as we ran out of time this week. I will try to get to your questions at a later time when I’m sure news will be much slower. Enjoy Mother’s Day weekend as the moms are the backbone of this sport and you wouldn’t even exist without them.

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