Penn State Wrestling’s Cael Sanderson, Levi Haines Earn Big Ten Honors

With another regular season and conference tournament in the books, Penn State wrestling has earned some individual Big Ten recognition.

Head coach Cael Sanderson earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Nittany Lions through yet another undefeated season. Penn State won its first Big Ten team championship since 2019 under Sanderson’s tutelage.

Arguably one of the greatest college wrestlers of all time, Sanderson has cemented himself as a terrific coach. Sanderson has elevated Penn State’s wrestling program to one of the best in the country since his arrival in Happy Valley in 2009, with this being his seventh Big Ten Coach of the Year award.

As far as the wrestlers go, Penn State’s individual prowess this season hasn’t gone unnoticed.

True freshman Levi Haines was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year after he went undefeated this weekend on his way to a Big Ten individual title — one of four Nittany Lions to do so. Haines, the number No. 2-seeded wrestler in his weight class, took down the undefeated Peyton Robb of Nebraska in the finals, capping off a dominant tournament run from the freshman.

“It’s a dream come true,” Haines said after the match.

Haines sported an 18-1 regular-season record after earning a spot in the starting lineup midway through the season. He hasn’t posted a loss since November 13.

Sanderson and Haines will try to continue their winning ways when the Nittany Lions head to the 2023 NCAA National Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from March 16 to 18.

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About the Author

Brendan Wagner

Brendan is a Junior majoring in print and media journalism. Born in Pittsburgh, he now lives in Mooresville, North Carolina. As a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan, you can find him on Twitter, @brchwags, often complaining about the Pittsburgh Steelers and probably Russell Wilson.

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