Wrestling coach Cael Sanderson agrees to new long-term deal with Penn State

Centre Daily Times (TNS)
  • Wrestling coach Cael Sanderson has agreed to a new, long-term deal to stay at Penn State.
  • Sanderson has led Penn State to six national titles in seven seasons at the helm.
  • No details were provided on the length or salary of the executed agreement.

Cael Sanderson isn’t going anywhere.

Sanderson — who’s led Penn State wrestling to six national championships in seven seasons at the helm — has agreed with the university on a new long-term deal, athletic director Sandy Barbour announced Tuesday morning.

Penn State's wrestling head coach Cael Sanderson has led his team to six national titles in the last seven years. Now he's agreed to a new long-term deal to stay with the Nittany Lions.

No details were provided on the length or salary of the executed agreement.

Penn State is obligated to release contract details of only four athletic department jobs: athletic director and the head coach of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

Sanderson’s previous contract — inked in 2012 — expired in June. But Barbour said there was nothing to worry about in retaining the wrestling icon.

“What Cael and our wrestling program have done is absolutely spectacular,” Barbour noted. “There was never an issue. There was never a concern. It was a matter of getting to a right place.”

Spectacular might be an understatement, too. Sanderson’s seven years at Penn State have resulted in 16 NCAA individual champions and 21 Big Ten individual title winners to go along with the six national crowns.

HEISER: Sanderson is best coach Penn State has to offer

But how long will Sanderson’s tenure be? It’s tough to say without available contract terms.

“We’re not going to as a course of practice give details on anything other than the four athletic department contracts that we’re required to,” Barbour said.

However, what’s known is this: Sanderson will be in Happy Valley for the foreseeable future — a comforting feeling for Barbour, Penn State and its fans.

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour.

Other topics: Barbour also touched on a few other issues:

►Barbour said that Penn State and James Franklin continue to talk about an extension to the six-year contract he signed in 2014. Now, it’s a matter of details.

“I can guarantee you this: We’re 100 percent committed to James, and James is 100 percent committed to Penn State,” Barbour said. “We’re trying to get to the right place. Sometimes it can be complicated, but I have no concern about us getting there. It’s just probably going to take longer than any of us thought.”

►Penn State will sell beer and wine this fall in the Mount Nittany Club, its club-seat venue at Beaver Stadium. It will mark the first time alcohol will be sold at football games, outside of packages for private suiteholders.

Penn State has tested alcohol sales at various concerts on campus, including the Happy Valley Jam at Beaver Stadium earlier this month. Sales will be limited to beer and wine and will not be available outside the club suites.

Penn State’s Board of Trustees last year approved alcohol sales at Beaver Stadium and other campus athletic venues.

►Barbour said she was “very pleased” with the first concert held at Beaver Stadium. She called the Happy Valley Jam, which featured Blake Shelton, a success in which the department learned how to manage an outdoor event.

Attendance and revenue figures were not available. Barbour said that Penn State will pursue another concert for 2018.

►Penn State has discussed a Heisman marketing campaign for running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley. Barkley called that important for the players and the program.

“The benefit to having two quality young men who are mentioned to varying degrees from a Heisman standpoint is for them and their futures, but it’s also for Penn State,” she said, “and continuing to elevate the program from the standpoint of where we are in our success as well as future PS student-athletes. This is a place you can come and have those opportunities.”

Mark Wogenrich of the (Allentown) Morning Call (TNS) contributed to this story.