|Weight||184 lb (83 kg)|
|Born||June 20, 1979|
Salt Lake City, Utah
|High school||Heber City (UT) Wasatch|
|State championships||4 (Utah)|
|College||Iowa State University|
|NCAA championships||12 (4 competing, 8 coaching)|
|Olympic team||United States of America|
|Status||Head Coach for Penn State Nittany Lions Wrestling|
Cael Norman Sanderson ( KAYL; born June 20, 1979) is an American former folkstyle and freestyle wrestler, and is the current head coach of the Pennsylvania State University wrestling team. As a wrestler, he won an Olympic gold medal and four NCAA Division I individual titles. In 2002, Sports Illustrated recognized his college career as the second most impressive feat in college sports history.
After graduating from Wasatch High in 1997, Sanderson competed at Iowa State (ISU). He redshirted the 1997-98 season. As a redshirt freshman, Sanderson won all 39 matches and the NCAA title at 184 pounds (83 kg). He became the first freshman in NCAA tournament history to be named the NCAA Wrestling Team Championship's most outstanding wrestler.
Sanderson was also undefeated in the 1999-00 season, going 40-0 and winning another NCAA title. He also won the Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation's most outstanding college wrestler. He was the first underclassman to win the Hodge Trophy. In the off season, he won the World University title in Tokyo, Japan.
As a junior, Sanderson went 40-0, raising his record to 119-0. He broke the prior record, held by Iowa State alumnus Dan Gable, of 98 consecutive wins. He was also named outstanding wrestler in the NCAA tournament and was the first two-time winner of the Dan Hodge Trophy.
Sanderson's 2001-02 campaign was a coronation of sorts. He again went undefeated at 40-0. He became the second wrestler to win an NCAA Division I individual title four times, the first being Pat Smith. He also won his third Dan Hodge Trophy as outstanding wrestler. Sanderson set an NCAA record with 159 straight wins. His success brought attention even from non-wrestling fans. Sanderson was the first wrestler since 1988's "Wheaties Search for Champions" winner, Sammy Chagolla, to be featured on Wheaties cereal boxes for his achievement. His final college accomplishments were a record of 159-0, 4 NCAA titles, 3 Dan Hodge Trophy awards, 4-time NCAA Outstanding Wrestler, and 4-time Big 12 Conference Champion.
Sanderson won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece as well as a silver medal at the 2003 World Wrestling Championships. Sanderson also would have represented the United States in world competition in 2002. However, citing security concerns, the American freestyle team chose to not compete that year.
In 2011, Sanderson came out of retirement and placed fifth in the world. By 2011, however, he was the head coach of the wrestling team at Pennsylvania State University, and could only train when his coaching responsibilities were taken care of.
|World Championships & Olympics|
|2011 UWW world 5th at 84kg|
|Loss||13-3||Albert Saritov||0-1, 0-3||September 17, 2011||2011 World Wrestling Championships||Istanbul, Turkey|
|Win||13-2||Alireza Goudarzi||6-0, 1-0|
|Win||12-2||Yermek Baiduashov||4-3, 0-1, 2-1|
|Win||10-1||Alejandro Gallardo||6-0, 7-0|
|2004 Olympic at 84kg|
|Win||9-1||Moon Eui-jae||3-1||August 28, 2004||2004 Olympic Games||Athens, Greece|
|2003 UWW world at 84kg|
|Loss||4-1||Sazhid Sazhidov||3-4||September 12, 2003||2003 World Wrestling Championships||New York, New York|
Sanderson began his coaching career with the season ending in 2004 as a special assistant for the wrestling team at Iowa State University. After short stints in associate head coaching positions, he became the head coach for the season ending in 2007. In three seasons, Sanderson led the Iowa State University wrestling team to NCAA Division I national placements of second, fifth, and third. He also coached his wrestlers to two individual NCAA Division I national titles.
Before the season ending in 2010, Sanderson became the head coach of the wrestling team at Pennsylvania State University. As of 2019, Sanderson has won eight NCAA Division I team titles. During that time, he also coached his wrestlers to 23 individual NCAA Division I national titles.
|Season||Team Finish||Dual Record||All Americans||National Champions|
|Iowa State University|
|Pennsylvania State University|