Tom Brands believes wrestling facilities at Iowa are in need of a serious upgrade and in announcing a three-year contract extension for the Hawkeye coach, administrators have agreed to study the matter.
“We are working in a 34-year-old facility that doesn’t have a lot of what it needs for this day and age,’’ Brands said Monday during an appearance at the Davenport Grid Club. “The truth of the matter is that we do not have a top-10 facility anymore.’’
Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta said his department will conduct a feasibility study that could lead the Hawkeyes to training grounds outside of the second-floor wrestling room at Carver-Hawkeye Arena where Iowa wrestlers have trained since the building’s opening in 1983.
“The study will allow us to evaluate our options for the continued enhancement of Iowa wrestling,’’ Barta said in a statement announcing the study, which will look at the potential development of a wrestling practice facility.
That could include the creation of additional space within or adjacent to Carver-Hawkeye Arena or elsewhere on campus.
Brands said during his Quad-Cities visit that the facility, which could also house workout space for athletes training with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, is an important component to the continued growth of the program.
“It’s an important piece in a competitive environment,’’ Brands said. “A number of schools have made substantial investments into their facilities. That’s the reality of the situation. If we want to be the best, top-level facilities need to be a part of it.’’
Brands senses momentum behind the development of a facility. He calls it a “testament to the support and vision of our fans and leadership.’’
With the extension announced Friday, Brands is now under contract at Iowa through the 2022-23 season.
Since taking over the program in 2006, Brands has coached the Hawkeyes to three NCAA team championships and has coached 10 individual national champions.
The Hawkeyes finished fourth in the 2017 NCAA meet and continued to lead the nation in attendance, something Iowa has done in each of Brands’ 11 seasons as the program’s coach.
Barta praised Brands’ commitment in announcing the contract extension.
“Tom embraces the challenges and responsibilities associated with leading the Iowa wrestling program,’’ Barta said. “He is committed to our philosophy of ‘Win, Graduate, Do it Right.’ There is tremendous momentum behind our wrestling program and I’m excited about the future.’’