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Old 05-04-2009
Danny Burk's Avatar
Danny Burk Danny Burk is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 1,782
Productive week

I think last week was a pretty productive week in my life as far as wrestling was concerned. This off season has been full of rumors speculating on new coaches and who would end up where. And, honestly, I was only concerned with two of those situation. I am relieved that Illinois and Iowa St have both moved on and named coaches before the kids are done with classes for the semester, and I think both programs have made positive choices for their new coach.

I do not know Jim Heffernan, but from what I have heard through the years, he seems like a very positive influence in the lives of the athletes that he coaches. That, above most anything else, is very important. I am sure he can coach - he has been an assistant at a successful program for 17 years and have heard that he is often the motivating factor for the big matches for the wrestling at Illinois. I will not pretend to know anything more about the situation, but I think Illinois will be in good hands under their new coach. I am sure some people will still find something to complain about at times, but that is life.

I also do not know Kevin Jackson but am a little more familiar with the situation at Iowa St. I think he steps into a very nice situation for a coach, although he will also face a lot of pressure. Iowa St has the potential to have a very special season next year, and they simply needed someone who could come in and motivate the athletes in a way that they were previously not exposed to. And, I think they have found the right guy. I think that Kevin Jackson will not only be a good coach and motivator, but he will also bring in some very successful athletes to train with and around his Cyclone team. That, more than anything, is very important.

It was rumored that Cael left ISU because he did not feel that he could set up a regional training center in Ames. From what I have heard, Kevin Jackson feels completely opposite of that and is planning on setting up a training center for athletes who are competing internationally. Also, I think that he will bring in a very nice staff that will help develop the athletes and allow them to reach their full potential. Kevin Jackson is used to training our country's elite to go over and compete in the World and Olympic events. He has been training our teams for the past 7 or 8 years, and clearly he knows how to handle successful athletes and how to motivate them to compete at a high level. Assuming he can adjust to the college game of coaching and recruiting, I think the wrestling program at ISU is in good hands.

Does anyone have any questions this week? If so, let me know. I'll be more than willing to answer. Also, if you have any ideas or questions that you feel should be discussed in a future blog, let me know. I am open to ideas.

Thanks all!
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