- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser saw the opportunity to leave a secure gig at Virginia Tech to lead the scuffling Cyclones as a “chance to come home.”

Dresser, a native of Humboldt, Iowa and a former All-American for the Hawkeyes, was introduced Wednesday. Dresser left Virginia Tech after 11 seasons to take over a Cyclones program that had fallen substantially during the final years of Kevin Jackson’s eight-year tenure.

Iowa State has won just one of 13 dual meets this season.

“We have to understand patience a little bit. Division I wrestling is a different game than it was 12 or 13 years ago,” Dresser said. “We have to put systems in place that allow us to compete with the Penn States, the Iowas and the Oklahoma States of the world. That’s going to take a little bit of time.”

The encouraging thing for Iowa State was that Dresser took a program in turmoil at Virginia Tech and optimized its potential.

The Hokies finished with losing records in dual meets in Dresser’s first two seasons. But they went 48-5 over the past three seasons with four straight top-10 finishes at the NCAA national meet - a rarity for an ACC school.

Athletic director Jamie Pollard said Dresser was the only candidate he considered.

“Future results will dictate what we think of (Dresser’s hiring). But I truly believe in my heart that the future history will reflect on (Wednesday) as a very historic day in Iowa State wrestling history,” Pollard said.

Dresser doesn’t have an easy job ahead of him.

It’s been 30 years since Iowa State won the team championship at the national meet. Its recent results, combined with the typical flux created for both the current roster and future roster following a coaching change, has left the Cyclones behind the rest of its competition - perhaps for years.

But Dresser did add in his opening press conference that beating the rival Hawkeyes is one of his main goals, albeit a long-term one.

“It’s OK to say we want to beat Iowa right? There’s nothing wrong with that, for two reasons. One, it’s fun. Two, it’s a benchmark. I mean, let’s face it. Iowa is pretty darn good, and I don’t see them getting any worse,” Dresser said.

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