Iowa State hires Virginia Tech’s Dresser as wrestling coach

AMES, Iowa (AP) Kevin Dresser, who built Virginia Tech into an Atlantic Coast Conference wrestling power, was hired Monday as Iowa State’s wrestling coach.

He grew up in Humboldt, Iowa, and wrestled for the rival Hawkeyes. He succeeds Kevin Jackson, who is stepping down following the end of his eighth season.

Dresser agreed to a seven-year deal worth $2.25 million plus incentives, Iowa State said. Virginia Tech said Tony Robie, in his 11th season as associate head coach at the school, will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season.

Dresser was the 2016 National Wrestling Coaches’ Association Coach of the Year. He became the Hokies’ wrestling coach 11 years ago. The Hokies went 48-5 in dual meets the past three seasons and placed in the top 10 at the NCAA meet each of the past four years.

”I believe this hire will be viewed someday as a very historic one for Iowa State wrestling,” athletic director Jamie Pollard said. ”Kevin is joining our team because he wants to restore Iowa State to its historic place – one that includes eight NCAA championships – on the national wrestling landscape. He shares our vision that it has been far too long since we won our last team championship (in 1987).”

Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock called the timing of Robie’s in-season hiring ”not ideal and disappointing to hear.” But, he added, ”the opportunity for someone to return home is rare in collegiate athletics.”

Dresser was a two-time All-American at Iowa who went on to coach high school wrestling in Iowa and Virginia before taking over at Virginia Tech in 2006.

Dresser will inherit a program with a proud past but cloudy future. Iowa State has won just one of its 13 meets in 2016-17, and it must contend with the Hawkeyes – who remain among the handful of programs that compete annually for the national title.

”The administrative commitment, both facilities and operating budget, along with a devoted and knowledgeable fan base makes Iowa State one of those few programs in the nation that has the foundation to compete for elite national status annually,” Dresser said.

This story has been corrected to say that Kevin Jackson stepped down as Iowa State coach. He was not fired from the position.