Where are they now: 10 years after vanishing, Cole Konrad is one of MMA’s greatest what-ifs

The saga of Cole Konrad has long been an obsession of mine. Or rather, how it ended and what happened afterward. The mystery and absurdity beneath it all.

I may be the only person under age 35 to feel that way, but I can’t help it. Because 10 years later, Konrad is still the unicorn. The undefeated champion who pulled off one of the sport’s great escapes. The 300-pound goliath who woke up one morning, tiptoed out the back door and vanished into thin air, never to be heard from again. Why? It’s a page of MMA lore that will forever read like a Mad Libs on meth: One of the most decorated American heavyweight wrestlers of his era, famously hailed by Brock Lesnar as “the strongest son of a b**** I’ve ever met,” yet he throws it all away overnight without even a look back?

Just to work in dairy??

“Cole Konrad was the toughest guy in the room. In Brock Lesnar’s room, with all the Minnesota wrestlers, he was the guy,” remembers longtime coach Erik Paulson. Continue reading at mmafighting.com →

SCSU Wrestling Golf Classic opens 2022-23 season

Over 100 golfers and 75 sponsors participated in the annual event

St. Cloud, Minn. – St. Cloud State Wrestling opened their 2022-23 academic year with their Annual Golf Classic at Wapicada Golf Club in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. The 2022 golf classic featured about 110 golfers with three to five individuals per team and over 75 sponsors.

“I would like to personally thank all of the participants, sponsors and donors who helped make this tournament such a success,” said head coach Steve Costanzo, “Each year we depend on so many people and businesses – they always come through for us. We are so blessed to have so much support!”

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Gopher Wrestling Club Names Troy Steiner as New RTC Head Coach

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s regional training center will have a new head coach at the helm, as Gopher Wrestling Club announced on Monday afternoon that Troy Steiner will take over as head coach.

The announcement comes at the heels of former head coach Dustin Schlatter’s resignation to pursue opportunities outside of the sport, as Gopher Wrestling Club is set for a busy end to the freestyle season with athletes competing in both the Senior World Championships and U23 World Championships later this fall.

Steiner, who was a 1992 NCAA Champion and a nine-time U.S. freestyle national team member, returns to the Gopher wrestling room with nearly 30 years of coaching experience. He previously spent a one-year stint in Minneapolis from 1996-1997, where he acted as an assistant coach for the Gophers as well as the state freestyle coach for Minnesota Storm.

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Pat Smith wins Greco-Roman gold in Israeli tournament

BEER SHEVA, Israel – Three-time U.S. Senior World Team member Pat Smith (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) claimed a gold medal, one of three U.S. medals won on the first day of the Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial on Thursday.

This tournament is held in commemoration of the fallen Israeli athletes from the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, which occurred 50 years ago, and is named in honor of the four wrestling victims of the Munich Massacre: Yossef Gutfreund (referee), Moshe Weinberg (coach) and wrestling athletes Eliezer Halfin and Mark Slavin.

Smith won his two bouts in a round-robin competition, with a pair of 8-0 technical falls, defeating Niko Nikladze of Israel and Aziz Boualem of Morocco. Continue reading at teamusa.org/USA-Wrestling →

100th Birthday Celebration Set for Rummy Macias Oct. 17

Mankato, Minn. — An open house to celebrate the 100th birthday of Minnesota State wrestling legend Rummy Macias is set for Oct. 17 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Loose Moose in downtown Mankato.

Inducted into the Minnesota State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982, Macias got the Maverick wrestling program started in 1950 and coached for 38 years until his retirement in 1988. The Davenport, Iowa native led MSU to three national titles (NAIA championships in 1958 and 1959 and an NCAA College Division title in 1965), eight Northern Intercollegiate Conference championships, and one North Central Conference title. One of the all-time winningest coaches in the history of college wrestling, his overall record with Minnesota State was 299-207-12.

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Dragons Welcome 11 New Recruits for 2022-23

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State University Moorhead head wrestling coach Kris Nelson has announced the Dragons’ 2022-23 recruiting class. Eleven student-athletes are joining MSUM this week.

“We are excited to add these individuals to the Dragon wrestling program,” Nelson said. “This is a talented group of wrestlers who we are excited to get to work with this season. Thank you to the Dragon wrestling staff and recruiting coordinator/assistant wrestling coach Griffin Osing for their hard work bringing these individuals to Dragon Athletics.”

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