The official Cornell Big Red wrestling website had no mention of Dake joining the coaching staff as of 10:30 p.m. Eastern Wednesday, only listing head coach Rob Koll and assistants Damion Hahn and Mike Grey. However, Cornell Wrestling's Twitter account posted the news Wednesday afternoon: "Congratulations to @KyleDake444 on joining the Cornell Wrestling Staff! Glad to have you!"
“I think it’s a good opportunity for me interact with the guys, help the team and also focus on my training,” Dake said in a statement. “The wrestlers and coaches at Cornell have been a part of my family for as long as I can remember. This is a small way for me to give back. Even if I wasn’t a coach, I was planning on being in Ithaca. It will be really cool. My brother [Corey] will be there wrestling and there are some young studs who will make big splashes this year. I’m excited to coach and also have some great workout partners.”
The Cornell Daily Sun also reported that, in addition to his coaching duties, Dake will continue to train for his freestyle career while at the Ithaca, N.Y.-based school.
Dake, who graduated from Cornell in 2013, made headlines by becoming only the third-ever four-time NCAA Division I wrestling champ, joining Oklahoma State's Pat Smith and Iowa State's Cael Sanderson. However, unlike Smith and Sanderson, Dake won his four titles at four different weights.
The Lansing, N.Y. native was also a three-time EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) champ. Dake concluded his collegiate career with a 137-4 overall record for the Big Red.
It's been quite a year for Dake. After winning his fourth college title, Dake was presented with the 2013 NCAA Outstanding Wrestler award. A week after the NCAAs, Dake was named winner of the 2013 Hodge Trophy as the best college wrestler of the year... and also earned InterMat Wrestler of the Year honors as well. In addition, he was one of four 2013 NCAA champs to earn a place on the NWCA All-Academic Team. In May, Dake was named Sports Illustrated's Male College Athlete of the Year. That same month, a panel of wrestling historians assembled by Amateur Wrestling News included Dake among the top five greatest college wrestlers of all time.
Just last week, it was announced that Dake will face 2011 NCAA champ and emerging mixed martial arts star Bubba Jenkins in a freestyle match at Grapple at the Garden 2 college wrestling event at Madison Square Garden in New York City Dec. 1.
Recap of an incredible collegiate career
As a freshman wrestling at 141 pounds, the top-seeded Dake defeated No. 6 seed Montel Marion, 7-3, to win his first title at the 2010 NCAAs in Omaha. The following year, Dake moved up to 149… and, despite being seeded fourth in the bracket, managed to dominate No. 2 seed Frank “the Tank” Molinaro of Penn State with over six minutes of riding time, 8-1, to win his second NCAA crown. Then, as a junior, Dake advanced to the 157-pound weight class, and, at the 2012 NCAAs, the top seed from Cornell got a 4-1 victory over second-seeded Derek St. John of Iowa to claim his third championship. As a senior, Dake dared to move up to 165, where the defending champ was David Taylor of Penn State, his friend since childhood. The two wrestled three times during the 2012-13 season, the last being in the finals at the 2013 NCAAs… where Dake won a 5-4 decision over Taylor.
Learn more about Kyle Dake... see a list of all the College Wrestling Examiner's articles about the Cornell mat champ by clicking here. And, for a fun historical perspective, read a profile of Dake as a freshman for InterMat, written in fall 2009.
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