After graduating this past spring as a two-time NCAA national champion and one of the most decorated individuals in program history, Gabe Dean ’17 will be returning to the Cornell wrestling team in a coaching role.
Dean will step in as volunteer assistant coach following the departure of Donnie Vinson to NC State. The four-time All-American was eager to rejoin his former team and begin his career in coaching.
“It’s awesome to have this opportunity,” Dean told New York Wrestling News. “It’s what I want to do with my life — be a college coach. I had the influences of Damion [Hahn], Mike [Grey] and Coach [Rob] Koll during my career and to have those guys as mentors on the coaching side now — I’m just extremely blessed and lucky.”
As the winningest wrestler in Cornell history with 152 career victories, Dean will look to help continue the program’s tradition of winning that he helped perpetuate during his time on the hill.
“It’s really awesome to be here for all the guys,” Dean said. “As a coach now, especially for the young guys, I have the chance to help them achieve their goals and prepare for the season. Everybody coaches everybody here — it’s not super specific. I’ll just be helping and running individual workouts with everyone — from little guys to the big guys.”
Since graduation, Dean has been working at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club in addition to training for his own wrestling career. He will compete at 98 kg on Oct. 7 in Rochester, Minnesota for the U23 Trials, according to New York Wrestling News.
“I’m training in Greco and I’ll see where it goes,” he said.
Despite a disappointing second place finish at the 184 National Championship last year, Dean has his eyes set on his next chapter.
“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity,” he said. “It’s gonna be an exciting year. I feel really blessed. All I can say is … go Big Red.”
Cornell wrestling begins its season on Nov. 17 when the team hosts Northern Iowa at Bartels Hall.