McDaniel: Dresser should invest in season-long micromanagement

Iowa State Head Coach Kevin Dresser watches a match at the Big 12 Championships on March 8 inside the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa.

Stephen Mcdaniel

When you look at Iowa State wrestling’s schedule, you could say that Jan. 26 was a major turning point for an inconsistent wrestling squad.

At that point, the Cyclones had competed on the road for over a month and suffered some tough losses, and the importance of the season for some of the wrestlers was in question by Head Coach Kevin Dresser.

That’s why, when Iowa State was thoroughly defeated by perennial Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma State in front of a Hilton Coliseum crowd that waited nearly a month and a half to see them return home, Dresser knew that change needed to occur.

Iowa State lost seven of the weights in that dual, with Ian Parker, David Carr and Gannon Gremmel being the only ones to put the Cyclones on the scoreboard, but things just weren’t clicking for everyone else.

Following the dual, Dresser made an announcement that you could look back at and pinpoint it as one of the biggest turnarounds for Iowa State.

Dresser said that he was going to utilize his experience as a high school coach and start micromanaging his team.

With the season being over, it’s safe to say that the micromanaging worked, and it worked well.

After the first week of the micromanaging, Iowa State traveled to Fresno State and recorded on of its most dominating duals of the entire season. That dual saw guys like Marcus Coleman and Joel Shaprio, who struggled consistently throughout the season, have some of their best matches of the year.

It kept the ball rolling, too, picking up three consecutive wins over Oklahoma, West Virginia and Northern Iowa following the clinic put on in Fresno, California.

Iowa State only suffered one loss during the stretch of the micromanagement, which came against Missouri at the end of the season when Dresser had a large chunk of his usual starters either resting or participating in the Last Chance Open.

Overall, Iowa State recorded a 6-1 dual record since the start of the micromanagement, and it’s clear that it reaped some great benefits from it.

After weight swapping with Coleman, Sam Colbray started picking up some key signature wins. After being one of the guys who struggled, he picked up two massive signature victories over Oklahoma’s Anthony Mantanona and Northern Iowa’s No. 5 ranked Bryce Steiert.

Dubbed as a mystery by Dresser, Coleman completely turned his season around. Dresser and company wanted to see the “old Marcus Coleman” return, and that’s what they got. Coleman went 4-1 in duals since the Oklahoma State loss with three wins by major decision and one by pinfall. The only loss he suffered was to eventual No. 2 ranked Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa.

Redshirt senior Chase Straw had a rough season from a dual record perspective, but when the Big 12 Championships came around, he went on a run and wrestled some of the best matches of the season, which saw him place as at the true fourth place.

This is why Dresser needs to invest in year-long micromanaging of his team before the 2020-21 season even begins.

Iowa State is going to be loaded with talent when the start of the wrestling season comes around, and it has already been shown that the micromanaging works.

If you think about it, guys like Colbray and Coleman can be kept in check all season long and could produce wins like they saw at the tail end of the 2019-20 season.

The year-long micromanagement could also help Iowa State avoid some of issues that plagued them all throughout the season.

Imagine an entire season where everyone is able to wrestle in the best conditions that they’ve been in.

Carr and Parker keeping their names at the top of their weight classes. Alex Mackall, Colbray and Gremmel making cases for why they can be some of the top guys in the nation. Coleman producing at a high level from the get-go.

Also, think of it from an injury perspective. Jarrett Degen has been known to stay in good shape and outlast his opponents, but now, think of him being in even better shape and fully healthy after an off-season that lets him focus on nursing his shoulder.

Don’t forget about Austin Gomez, either. Coming into the 2019-20 season, Dresser mentioned that he was fighting to cut back on his weight, so he could compete at 133 before he ultimately suffered the concussion that sidelined him for the year.

Micromanagement from the start would make sure that Gomez and everyone else would be in the perfect shape to start a season that has the potential to be one of the best seasons in Iowa State history.

If Dresser believes that its time that Iowa State will be a top team and become the hunted instead of the hunter, he should invest in season-long micromanagement that’s already shown it can yield results.