home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 18, 2017

Dean Heil

St. Louis, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: Joining us now, 141-pound national champion Dean Heil of Oklahoma State.

DEAN HEIL: Just thank you for being here. I appreciate it. It was a great experience.

Q. Last year you had a chip on your shoulder. Do you still have a chip on your shoulder?
DEAN HEIL: No. Everybody's tough. 141 is a tough weight class. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. I had to prepare myself for every individual match and give it my all.

Q. Wrestling George, obviously there's a lot of history there, both Cleveland guys -- you're from Brunswick and he's from Highland Heights, both greater-Cleveland communities. Saint Ignatius, was there more to this rivalry that's been you guys forever for over a decade, was there more to this match or was it just another opponent?
DEAN HEIL: You said it yourself, you asked me the same question the other day. And I really thought about it after the interview. And all it is is just another match. Just this time it's in front of a lot more people on a stage. And that's it, that's the only difference.

Last time I wrestled George in an official match, aside from the Scuffle, was my freshman year in high school. He's just another opponent. After I thought about it, just going in to today, there's nothing to worry about, it's just another match. I've been here. He hasn't. I think that's why I had the upper hand.

I could feel it in the first period, I could just sense that he had the nerves. He was weak. I could just feel that he was kind of a little bit more scared and timid, whereas I thought strength. I felt a lot of my shots. I took advantage of that.

Q. What was more difficult, winning it the first time or coming back and being able to hold the turf? Obviously this also puts you in another step of great champions from Oklahoma State?
DEAN HEIL: I don't really look at it as defending title. A lot of guys' dreams are to win a national championship. I just had the opportunity to win a second. And I'm blessed for that. But at the same time I'd have to say winning my first one was definitely a lot more tougher, just because the whole experience was different. The environment, the crowd.

I mean this time, like I said on the previous question, George was new to it. Three years in a row he got knocked out on (indiscernible) round, not even experiencing the semifinals or in this case the finals. I could just feel that timidness, the nerves and everything that he had, whereas I've been there. I experienced it. And I knew what to expect. And I felt so calm going into that match.

Q. What you guys did at the Big 12 Tournament was amazing. Eight All-Americans here, the most you've had since 1990. This has been an amazing year. You don't win the team title. Coach Smith is happy with your guys' performance. Penn State had an unreal tournament. And you end up a champ. You're the team leader. You're the face of the program. Just because you guys don't win the national title does that take a little bit away from this? Are you still pumped and excited? Are you going to build off of this, off eight all Americans?
DEAN HEIL: You know, even though you said -- I don't believe that I'm the face of OSU. John Smith will forever be the face of Oklahoma State. He's just got eight All-Americans to back him up. Even then you've got a whole team of guys who are in the stands or back home who couldn't make it.

That's OSU. I couldn't be more thankful for the guys that are -- to push me every day, to help me win my championship. It's those guys who are most important to this program more than anything. They put their bodies on the line every day to give us the opportunity for these type of situations and it was a great tournament.

Like you said, Penn State had an unbelievable tournament. I'm very happy for it. But I still would have liked to have won that national championship. And with six returning All-Americans going into next year, I think five or six, you best believe we're going to be coming back for the title next year.

Q. What is it about your mindset that makes you such a great scrambler and get out of so many bad situations? What is your thinking as you go into those situations?
DEAN HEIL: I just don't let it bother me. I've been a scrambler my whole life. I've been in big matches my whole life. I just don't let things get to me. Because I know if I go down by a takedown, I can come back and take you down. I believe I can take anybody down in the country. If you take me down, get the first takedown, I'll come back and throw two more takedowns on you.

And if you get on my legs, I'll make you work for it. That's what I do every time. I may have given up takedowns early in this tournament, ones that didn't really matter, but in a match like this, it's going to be a dogfight to take me down. And as you can see, we got in many scramble situations and he didn't score one takedown.

Q. So much has been made about all the close matches you've had but you find a way to win them all. What is it that you have that has enabled you to get your hand raised every day?
DEAN HEIL: Just the mental aspect, just like I said. I don't let nerves get to me. I know I can take anybody down and I know I can escape from anybody. And with those two combinations, you know, it's a winning combination.

If you can escape from anybody and you take anybody down, your scoring the points. They're not. That's my mindset.

I don't let one-point matches or two-point matches get to me. Just because I know I can outwork anybody. And if they want to wrestle me it will just open up more my shots. So it's all staying level headed and just being ready for a tough match every time.

Q. You talked about seeing stuff on social media throughout the year. How much more satisfying is this to be able to prove those doubters and those naysayers wrong?
DEAN HEIL: It's great. But I also have to thank those people because of them that motivate me throughout the season. And going into next season people are probably still going to do it. If you saw in my match now, I got boos here and there just because they wanted takedowns for Georgie. They wanted me to get pinned in a scramble situation.

I'll probably get messages on social media saying, you were pinned, stuff like that. But who got their hand raised? That's all that matters in my book. I don't care what people say. It's just, it motivates me. So I hope people will actually still continue it.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297