Wisconsin travels to West Lafayette, Ind. to compete in the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships
Ryan Morningstar, a two-time All-American and a member of three national championship teams at the University of Iowa, is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Badgers.
"I think adding both Ryan and Kyle [Ruschell] to the staff is great," head coach Barry Davis said. "I know they're both young but they have the experience. They were both coaches last year. Ryan, as a club coach, helped guys train and was hands-on a lot. Kyle was a volunteer here last year so I have total confidence in these guys.
"The energy that they're bringing to this program is at an all-time high right now. I think it will work out great and I'm excited to have both of them."
Morningstar, who competed at Iowa from 2006-10, is looking forward to the coaching opportunity and is hoping the success he was a part of as a student-athlete carries over to his next endeavor.
"I'm really excited," he said. "There's a lot of buzz about it and I'm excited to be a part of this program and coach the Badgers.
"I've been on three national championship teams and three Big Ten title teams and been around some really great coaches throughout my career. I can bring a lot from that standpoint. I can bring some high energy and hopefully some of my philosophies will transition over toward some winning and titles."
Morningstar competed at 165 lbs. during his career and earned All-America honors for placing third in 2009 and seventh in 2010.
"I'd say my biggest strength was gutting out matches," he said about his career. "I've been known for being hard-nosed and staying in there and fighting for every position and every point from start to finish."
The Hawkeyes won three straight NCAA titles from 2008 to 2010 and Morningstar is looking to use that experience to bolster the Badgers program.
"I've seen how to win," he explained. "It's hard to put into just one bullet point as it's really a combination of things. It goes all the way from the wrestler to the coach to the administration and everything needs to be in unison.
"It's also about living the right lifestyle and doing the right things and training hard. That's what I've learned from my time on national championship teams and I'm excited to help pass that on."
Ruschell and Brandvold both wrestled at Wisconsin, so they know the ins and outs of the program. Morningstar brings an outsider's perspective and all involved feel that can only be a positive.
"You see different ways it can be done, even when it comes to little things," Morningstar said. "The training that I've done over the last five or six years, it's probably pretty similar to what Coach Davis preaches since he's an ex-Iowa guy, as well. A lot of little things that guys can pick up on that I've learned over the last couple of years that may be different from what they do here, I think it's good for both parties."
"I think it's good to bring in someone from the outside to get a different perspective," Davis added. "Ryan has been around a program that has been very successful so he'll have different ideas and a different perspective. I think that works out really well."
Morningstar and Ruschell both exhausted their eligibility following the 2009-10 season, while Brandvold finished his senior campaign this past season. Both Morningstar and Ruschell feel that they can make up for their youth in other areas.
"Inside the room, we'll have a lot of energy," Ruschell explained. "Our guys know how we train. They know that we know how to win. Ryan has been in a different program, but we've seen him win. He knows how to do that, so these guys will take our energy and make the room even more high-intensity."
"You're going to have guys that are training and wrestling every day with the guys in the room; that's how I've learned, through example," Morningstar added. "Having guys in the club, you see how it works and what it takes to get to that level. As far as us wrestling every day and working with guys hands-on, I think it can go a long way with the guys in the room."