By Ryan Suchomel | Iowa City Press-Citizen
Iowa senior Matt McDonough has been pretty busy over the last four years, piling up 109 career wins. But if his coach tells him to take a day off, he’s going to listen.
On Sunday, McDonough sat next to the coaches on the bench for the dual over Purdue. It was the third time in the past four duals McDonough has not been in the lineup for Iowa.
“It was just what was needed at the time,” McDnough said. “Nothing more. Used in a totally positive way to get ready to go for upcoming events.
“I’ve never really had a weekend where you have a chance to do something like that. What Coach Brands wanted. Getting me ready to go.”
A two-time NCAA Champion and three-time finalist, McDonough (9-0) doesn’t have much left to prove on the mat as his collegaite career winds down. No. 4 Iowa (12-0) has eight more duals including Sunday’s trip to No. 2 Oklahoma State before the Big Ten Championships on March 9-10.
“Its an opportunity to go forward from here,” McDonough said. “Go at it with an iron fist and not look back. I’m getting ready to battle through a whole slew of tough opponents.”
McDonough ranks fourth in Iowa history with his career record of 109-4 (a .964 winning percentage). But he’s not made of iron.
And he said Tuesday the time off wasn’t about his weight.
“Y’know every year it’s a challenge for anyone,” McDonough said. “I don’t think there’s anything that’s held me back with my wieght.
“Its just a matter of figuring out your body, getting it to run optimally and go from there.”
The day off Sunday — two days after beating No. 12 Nikko Triggas of Ohio State 10-5 — was a chance to rest for the immediate future, and perhaps a look further into the future to a time when McDonough might consider beign a coach.
“You see a lot of things, absoltuely, you wouldn’t see wrestling,” McDonough said of sitting in the coach chair. “Noticing the pace and how a higher pace really does favor you as a wrestler.
“One thing to note, a lot of emotion, a lot of intensity can go a long way coaching … and in your wrestling matches, too.”
Iowa returns to action Sunday at Oklahoma State, then travels to No. 11 Michigan and Michigan State before a trip to No. 3 Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes return home for a dual against top-ranked Penn State on Feb. 1.