Paulson, who wrestled for Iowa State, will be an assistant coach, while Escobedo, an Indiana University mat alum, will serve as a volunteer coach, replacing Jon Reader, who just left that position with the Cyclones to become an assistant coach at South Dakota State University. Both join a staff headed up by Kevin Jackson, with Trent Paulson’s twin brother Travis already serving as an assistant coach.
According to the announcement, adding Paulson and Escobedo to the Iowa State staff makes the Cyclones one of the few wrestling programs in the NCAA with four former senior-level world team members. The coaching staff now includes an Olympic gold medalist, two World gold medals, eight world team members, 17 national team spots, five US Open titles, two NCAA titles and a total of 14 NCAA All-American honors.
“I’m really excited to have these two outstanding young men on our staff,” Jackson said. “They have great experience at the NCAA and world-class level, both being NCAA champions and world team members. Together they bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our program and are going to continue to push our program to be the very best.”
Paulson returns to Iowa State, having made a name for himself as a Cyclone wrestler. The Council Bluffs, Iowa native won the 157-pound title at the 2007 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The three-time NCAA All-American also won two Big 12 conference titles. Paulson completed his collegiate mat career with an impressive 116-20 overall record.
In freestyle competition, Paulson was a four-time member of the USA National Team who earned a place on the 2009 World Team. Paulson was the 2009 US Open champion and picked up numerous titles in international competition throughout his career.
“I’m excited to transfer into this role with the college athletes,” Paulson said. “I think between Kevin, Travis, Angel and myself, all being world team members, we can’t be matched as a staff. We’ve got youth and the experience of Coach Jackson. We’re going to attack this with a high intensity and I’m very excited.”
Escobedo was a four-time NCAA All-American for the Indiana Hoosiers, winning the 125-pound title at the 2008 NCAAs. In addition, Escobedo won three consecutive Big Ten titles from 2008 through 2010. He concluded his collegiate career with 137 wins.
A product of Griffith, Ind., Escobedo has also found success in freestyle. He picked up a fifth-place finish at the 2013 World Championships as a member of the United States National Team, notching the second-highest finish among the American grapplers. In addition to his duties as a volunteer coach, Escobedo plans to train for his freestyle career at the Cyclone Wrestling Club.
“I’m very excited to come to Iowa State,” Escobedo said. “There is a lot of tradition and a lot of winning in this program. I’m looking forward to continuing to build on that and work with the guys on the team, while also continuing my training towards becoming a world champion.”