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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling: NLWC Star Turned Down ‘Massive’ College HC Job

Photo by Mark Selders, Penn State Athletic: Kyle Dake

A Penn State wrestling and Nittany Lion Wrestling Club legend recently took a head coaching position at one of the nation’s premier programs.

Another wrestling great who didn’t go to Penn State but is one of the shining stars of NLWC had an opportunity to take a big-time HC job. But he turned it down to focus on winning an Olympic Gold Medal.

In an interview with, Kyle Dake, 33, said he has an opportunity to take a “massive” coaching job, but declined.

“There were plenty of opportunities for me to move on from wrestling,” Dake told CNBC Make It. “Job opportunities where I’d be making a lot more money and living a more secure life. But that wasn’t something I wanted to do. I wanted to make it work and be able to compete and wrestle at the highest level.”

“I don’t wrestle for income, I don’t wrestle because it’s easy,” Dake said. “I wrestle because it’s something that I want to do.”

Dake, competing at 74 KG, is one of six American wrestlers competing for Olympic Gold in Paris.

Of those six, four are NLWC members.

Another NLWC member who competed at last months trials in Happy Valley is new Oklahoma State head coach David Taylor.

Taylor won Gold at 86KG in Tokyo three summers ago. Many felt he was the favorite to get to Paris for team USA.

But Taylor— who’s the same age as Dake— fell to fellow Penn State great Aaron Brooks in two straight matches of a best-of-three.

Weeks later, he was bound for Stillwater, succeeding two-time Gold Medalist and coaching legend John Smith.

Dake didn’t say whether or not Oklahoma State was the school that offered him.

But OSU certainly would meet the “massive coaching job” criteria Dake described.

Additionally, Pat Mineo of The Wrestling Room reported that, indeed, it was the Oklahoma State job that Dake had turned down.

Dake, a Cornell legend, is one of seven wrestlers to win four national championships, with the last one being against Taylor in 2013. In freestyle, Dake has won three world championships and earned a Bronze at the Tokyo Games. He’s yet to win Olympic Gold, and with him already being the oldest member of Team USA, Paris might be his last chance.

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