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March 18, 2022

Cael Sanderson

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Penn State

Media Conference

THE MODERATOR: Please to be joined by Cael Sanderson, Penn State head coach.

Q. Coach, you guys lost the Big Ten Tournament. What did you change from Big Ten to here to dominate?

COACH SANDERSON: Nothing. We've got a lot of wrestling still to do. We've got to get ready for tomorrow now.

Q. A lot of wrestlers came in talking about the family atmosphere and the spiritual aspect at Penn State. Can you talk about that?

COACH SANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, that's kind of a long answer, something that I would to think about but, yeah, we love our guys and I think they love one another each other, but we're a team, and we've still got a lot of wrestling to do.

Q. Cael, you have put together an unbelievable last 10 years, 11 years. It's unbelievable what you have been able to do. How important is the coaching staff you have been able to keep together been to you?

COACH SANDERSON: That's everything. Coach Cody, Coach, Casey, Jake Varner has been there with us. We've just spent a lot of time together. I just try to stay out of their way, you know? Because they do a great job, and when I try to start coaching I just screw things up.

You know, we have Jimmy Kennedy with us now who has done a phenomenal job with our guys. Just the whole department. It takes a squad. There's a lot of support people, our director of ops, our strength coach, just up and down the line, our trainer, Dan Monthley, a lot of people doing hard work.

Q. Five winners, a range of scores but some close, some dominant. I mean, it didn't look like they were threatened. What's behind that confidence?

COACH SANDERSON: They were tough matches. Every one of those are great matches. They felt like NCAA Final matches. The guys did a great job, kept their composure, were the aggressors, went out there and got the takedowns. They were themselves. These big moments obviously when in the team race is on the line, that's a lot, and that's something our guys deal with.

We hope they deal with it every year, because that's our job as a coaching staff to be in the hunt as a team. We just want our individuals to be happy, and we want them to reach their goals. It's about them.

Q. Cael, your guys have talked about how they feed off each other's success. Has that been the key to your tenure at Penn State when you look back at all of those guys' success, and how they feed off each other?

COACH SANDERSON: I think so. I think wrestling you step out there by yourself, so you've got to be able to step up individually, but if you can feed off your team, obviously that's a great thing. That's the thing I love about wrestling, it's momentum. It can be something or not. Regardless of what happened the match before you, you've got to decide to go out there and compete well, and our guys have done that.

Q. Aaron has a big match tomorrow obviously with Myles Amine. Is that something you have been preparing for since the Big Ten match-up?

COACH SANDERSON: All our guys have been preparing for this tournament and the individuals they have to wrestle. We have a lot of big matches, and big matches are decided in little key areas, simple areas, fundamental areas, but Aaron is wrestling great.

He's gone through a very tough bracket right out of the gate, so he's done well and a tough semifinal match there.

Q. Social media, the media in general it's hard. You and your staff do an excellent job of keeping your guys off social media and insulating them from negativity from social media and media, period. What do you and your staff do? How do you do that?

Carter said after he won, he's the best guy in the world, and he said, it's not even going to be close. He wasn't wrong. He wasn't wrong. What do you say about that --

COACH SANDERSON: Carter is a tough kid. He's obviously a great wrestler, and I think we're going to advise our kids and guide them and try to provide the resources for them to be successful. They're going to choose to follow them and use them and use those resources as little or as much as they want. Our job as coaches is to make sure they have everything they need to be successful, and social media is -- it's a challenging time to be a student-athlete, I think. A lot of decisions they have to make. And they have a lot of people giving them a lot of advice, and usually not good advice.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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