An interview by Logan Shanks
Marcus Coleman is a household name in the Iowa wrestling scene. As a three-time Iowa high school state champ and winner of the prestigious Bob Steenlage award, Coleman continued his wrestling career close to home - at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
The four-time NCAA qualifier recently finished his most successful season with the Cyclones, posting a 22-6 record and finishing on the podium, placing seventh at the 2022 NCAA Championships.
Coleman will be returning for his final year at Iowa State this season. Here’s what the hometown hero and Chain Wrestling athlete has to say about his career so far.
Q: What made you want to join Chain Wrestling?
A: A lot changed when NIL came in this year, and they were the first to reach out to me. They were teammates, and it seemed like a no-brainer to me. So, I sat down with them, and it was a pretty quick conversation. I knew I wanted to work with them right away.
Q: How did your wrestling career start?
A: I first started wrestling when I was 10. I moved from Waterloo to Ames in fifth grade. My uncle was the assistant coach for Ames High School, and he was the one that introduced me to the sport.
Q: What made you want to go to Iowa State and stay in the Ames area?
A: A big part of it was having my family be able to watch me wrestle. Having your family at every home meet is really special to me. I love Iowa State and the campus, and they obviously have a rich history of wrestling here in Ames.
Q: Since you’ve been here for a couple of years, you’ve seen the program change and Dresser and the staff grow. What/ who do you think had made the biggest impact?
A: Dresser plays a huge role as the head coach, but really it’s a group effort. Everyone has to be contributing. I feel like many people have put in a lot of work, so it’s hard to put one person above the other. But at the end of the day, Dresser is the guy who makes all this happen.
Q: You’ve made an impressive career so far, being a 4 time NCAA qualifier and always finishing high on the podium at the Big 12s. What has kept you going?
A: My love for the sport, I love wrestling and practicing every day. More than anything, I love competing, and my goal is to be a national champ, and I have one more year to do that.
Q: What made you ultimately decide to wrestle another year at Iowa State?
A: Like I said, I love it. It kind of felt like a no-brainer when we got that extra year. Another opportunity to accomplish more in the sport.
Q: Last year seemed like a breakout year for you at the collegiate level. How did that feel to have a great regular and post-season, and what do you think helped you achieve all you did?
A: It meant a lot because I’ve been grinding for the past three years to get up on that podium. Getting to the podium was a really special feeling. It felt like all my hard work has started to pay off. I feel like it was just putting in all that hard work through the years, and it all adds up.
Q: How has your “off-season” been going, and what else do you have planned before the season starts later in the year?
A: It’s been good. I went to the US Open and World Team Trials, so I didn’t take much of a break after the season. Then, I took a couple of weeks to work out on my own. I have just started an internship and training with the team again. I’ve been busy, but it’s been good.
Q: Is there anyone you look forward to wrestling in your final year?
A: Everyone. Every wrestler that finished higher than me on the podium. I want to wrestle the best guys in the country because they make me better.
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About the author: Logan Shanks
Logan was part of the Ankeny High School wrestling team from 8th grade until he graduated in 2020. He's currently a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications at Iowa State University. Logan hopes to one day write for a major league sports team and share with the world his thoughts and opinions on multiple sports.