The Virginia Tech Hokies suffered a big loss on Monday when wrestling coach Kevin Dresser announced his departure. Dresser, an Iowa native, takes over as head coach of Iowa State and will be paid handsomely, earning $2.25 million over seven years, not counting bonuses and other benefits.
In his 11 years in Blacksburg, Dresser turned the Hokies into a legitimate national contender and always had Tech in contention for the ACC title. The Hokies were perennially a threat in the NCAA Tournament.
Kevin Dresser becomes the eighth head coach in Iowa State Wrestling history.— Cyclone Wrestling (@CycloneWR) February 20, 2017
Here are some quick facts on the Humboldt, Iowa native: pic.twitter.com/I3J3obT7Wg
Athletic director Whit Babcock had this say to about losing Dresser, per Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times:
"You hate to lose a coach of his caliber. We certainly didn’t go down without trying our best. The goal of winning a national championship has not changed a bit. I’m disappointed, but, he just wanted to go back home and take on a new challenge.”
Dresser, an Iowa native who wrestled for the Iowa Hawkeyes, takes over at one of the nation’s top wrestling programs. Iowa, ISU’s biggest rival, is coached by Tom Brands, another former Hokie head coach.
Dresser was certainly well-compensated by Virginia Tech and Babcock was certainly open to sweetening the deal to keep Dresser. According to Babcock, Dresser was already the highest-paid coach in the ACC and Tech owned the league’s top wrestling budget. However, the pull of going back home proved to much for Dresser to resist.
“While the timing of this move isn’t perfect, making this very difficult decision is what is best for our family and I am excited to return home to Iowa,” Dresser stated.
Babcock named associate head coach Tony Robie the interim coach and a full search will begin after the ACC and NCAA meets in March.
The Hokies, 18-1 on the season, will certainly miss Dresser. The veteran coach is arguably the top developer of talent in all of the NCAA. He should have plenty of success with the Cyclones.
Gobbler Country wishes Coach Dresser the best and thanks for everything you’ve done at Virginia Tech.