There and back again
March 01, 2018


I remember when Rob Koll showed up to be the wrestling coach at Cornell. It was 1993, he was five years removed from winning the national championship in the 158-pound weight class as a North Carolina Tar Heel, and he was still relevant on the international stage, winning matches in the World Cups of 1990 and ’93.

Some seasoned wrestling vets were skeptical that such a young coach could bring in the type of wrestlers needed to make Cornell an elite Division 1 power, but others knew that Koll’s father, Bill, was himself a towering figure in collegiate wrestling, his son had excellence bred into him, and were confident that Cornell had made the right decision.

Eighteen Ivy League titles, 11 EIWA championships, 14 individual NCAA champions, 63 All-Americans and about a million Coach of the Year awards later, “the right choice” stands as an understatement.