Tom Ryan has served as the Head Coach of Ohio State University since 2006. Since taking over, he has led the Buckeyes to seven top-3 NCAA Championship team finishes, including 5 runner-up finishes and the 2015 NCAA National Championship. He is a two-time Head Coach of the Year and a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year among many other accolades. Tom is a graduate of Iowa University, where he wrestled under legendary coach, Dan Gable. He was a 2x All-American and NCAA finalist while competing under Coach Gable.
Q1: The new, state of the art $49 million Covelli Center has just completed construction. How was this dream of yours for Ohio State able to become a reality?
A1: A coach’s vision can only be realized with an administration that is receptive. Gene Smith is the reason this facility was built. Each year myself and Gene have a “state of the program” meeting. 10 years ago, I shared with Gene the need to build something better than we had. He jumped on it and put the plan in motion. This complex is not only about Ohio State wrestling, but also about all ages of young men who have the deep hunger to improve. We will run a year-round wrestling academy as well as house the Olympic training center. The future is very bright.
Q2: What does the construction of the facility say about how far the sport of wrestling has come and how do you think this will raise the standard in other wrestling facilities around the country?
A2: Wrestling in Ohio has and always will be engrained in the fabric of the culture. Time has taught us all that the state of Ohio consistently produces many of the elite talent. Other programs have upgraded their facilities. This complex will be the best ever built, until another program commits to their student-athletes and raises the funds like Ohio State was able to. Personally, I am excited to challenge the donors and administrations of other programs to build something that will lead to so much good. We want great complexes to be built across the nation. The men and women of the sport deserve that.
Q3: We know the new facility has paid attention to absolutely every detail but what are some of the most exciting amenities The Covelli Center has to offer?
A3: I’m excited about so many parts of the complex. The five mats, each one whole piece, allow for plenty of room. The TVs just above the padded walls allow for instant replay. This is a great learning tool. The locker room and team spaces will result in our team spending more time together. The recovery area is unique as are the strength and cardio space. The thing I probably enjoy the most are the 14-foot-high windows that cover the span of nearly 78 yards. The windows face the east so will see plenty of sunrises. In my forty years of wrestling I have never been in a room with a window. The sound system is inspiring as well. Just a great place. The designers did a great job combining the practice complex and competition arena.
Source: Instagram @wrestlingbucks
Q4: Give us an update about the Buckeyes this summer and the outlook for next season.
A4: Summer training is critical to fall and winter success. Many of our recruits report in early and work hard all summer. There is no one formula for success, but we know that hard work and an incredibly high fitness level matter.
Q5: How are you incorporating your esteemed alumni like J Jaggers, Bo Jordan, Logan Steiber, Nate Tomasello, and Kyle Snyder into the program both at the collegiate level and senior level, in conjunction with the Ohio RTC.
A5: We have been blessed to have some amazingly talented team members through the years. The history of Ohio State wrestling is riddled with standouts. Our Olympic training center allows these elite talents to stay in Columbus and train. This helps us attract more of the elite prospects and also develop them.
Source: Instagram @buckeye158
Defense Soap is proud to have partnered with Ohio State University and the Covelli Center in providing both equipment and mat cleaning solutions. We want to thank Coach Ryan, his staff, and the Ohio State facility management team for their partnership with Defense Soap.