June 24, 2011
MADISON, Wis. – With a career-best fourth-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Trevor Brandvold completed his collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin in March. He now moves to the next stage of his life and, fortunately for him, he’s doing it in a familiar place.
Brandvold was named as volunteer assistant coach by head coach Barry Davis on Friday, keeping the Wisconsin native with the program he grew up rooting for.
“I’m really excited to have Trevor Brandvold as part of the staff,” Davis said. “He brings in experience having competed at the NCAAs and that he’s still training at the international level. He’s a very knowledgeable wrestler. He brings a lot to the program in that way, even though he’s young. He understands the sport, he can teach and he can relate to the athletes and that’s the key.”
“I’m really proud to be able to continue with this program,” Brandvold said. “Being from the state of Wisconsin, I’ve always been a huge Badger fan and that was one of the main reasons I came here. To be able to continue on and help this program move forward and help us achieve our goals and be where we want to be is exciting”
Hailing from River Falls, Wis., Brandvold was a two-time All-American and a two-time Big Ten champion at 197 lbs. He’s looking forward to using that experience to better the wrestlers in his home state.
“It means a lot,” Brandvold said about coaching for Wisconsin. “To be a wrestler here was a dream come true and now to be able to coach here is going to be awesome. It’s a good way for me to give back to the state and improve the wrestling, not just here on campus, but throughout the entire state. That’s going to be a big goal of ours.”
Echoing similar statements made by Davis, Brandvold feels that his five years of experience at Wisconsin, which included a redshirt year in 2008-09, will help him as a coach.
“Having been through the program, I know the ins-and-outs from the campus to academic matters. I just finished up with it so it’s going to be easy for me to relate to the guys and help them with things I just went through,” he said. “I still have a really good relationship with guys on the team so I think that’s going to help. I also just have a skill-set that’s pretty unique for my weight class so I’ll be able to train with everyone from 174 lbs. up to heavyweights.
“I’ll be able to help them and they’ll help me as I continue competing. To be able to wrestle with a wide range of guys, guys that I already have a good relationship with, is going to be something that’s going to help me in this next year with my coaching.”
Brandvold dubs his skill-set as unique because he felt he was more of an attacker than most wrestlers at his weight. In addition, he takes great pride in his ability to maintain control once on top.
“For my size, I wrestle with a more attacking-style with quicker low single-shots and then working on top is my area of expertise,” he said. “I have a lot of good things to show the team and show the bigger guys with things that I’ve had success with on top over the last five years.
“My attacks are a little different,” he continued. “My attacks on my feet can be applied to everybody from the lower weights to the upper weights, which will bring my coaching and my skills to a wider variety of guys on the team. I’ve also found that the importance of being able to ride is huge in winning matches so I’m going to get that across to the guys.”
Brandvold is just over three months removed from the end of his collegiate career, so one might think it would be tough to go from being a teammate to a coach. He doesn’t feel that way though.
“Since Eric [Bugenhagen] and I were the only seniors and also being a captain, a lot of the younger guys were seeking me out for advice on and off the mat,” Brandvold said about this past season. “I felt like I was playing a leadership/coaching role last year. The only difference is that I was involved in my own competition last year, too. This year will give me even more opportunities and time to spend with the guys and focus on my training and their needs and getting them to where they need to be.”
The ability to train and work with wrestlers he’s known for several years as they seek spots on the Olympic team also added to his desire to remain at Wisconsin.
“A big reason why I’m sticking around is because my goal this year is to make the 2012 Olympic team,” Brandvold explained. “I felt like Wisconsin provided a great opportunity to achieve those goals. Having guys like myself, Kyle Ruschell, Travis Rutt, Tyler Graff, not many rooms around the country have four guys that are going to try to make the Olympic team.”
Brandvold is particularly looking forward to working with Rutt.
“That’s a huge thing for me,” he said about working with Rutt, a senior-to-be that was an All-American at 184 lbs. in 2011. “He’s going to be wrestling Greco-Roman style and I’ll be freestyle, but we can really help each other throughout this next year and I think him and I will be great for each other to get one another to where we want to be.”
“Having Tyler and Kyle here too, to go through what we’re going through, having the same high-level world class workouts that we’ll be needing to do to make that team is helpful,” Brandvold continued. “It’s nice not doing it alone so having the four of us is good. Also, thanks to all the guys that have been in the room throughout the last five years, the tempo and intensity have really picked up.”
Should Brandvold run into challenges during his first year as a coach, he has a good support system that he can lean on. Not only does he have Coach Davis, but Brandvold also has his own dad, who served as his coach in high school.
“Going forward with this coaching position, I’m going to seek my dad out for advice and things involving working with the guys and the coaching aspect,” Brandvold said. “But I’ve also formed a great relationship with Barry over the last five years. He and I have a great open relationship, so I feel like I can ask him and depend on him to help me out with different coaching issues that might come up or just different ways of going about it. I think between those two it will really help.”
Wisconsin Athletic Communications