It can be intimidating to follow in the footsteps of one’s mentor, especially if that mentor, Dan Gable, happens to be the mastermind behind one of college athletics’ longest-running dynasties. But that’s not the case for University of Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands.
The onerous task of meeting fans’ high expectations and restoring the program to a position of dominance does not deter the 1996 Olympic gold medalist. It motivates him. It pushes him. Every loss he has endured, including those of friends and fellow grapplers, drives him, he insists.
For all the intensity his career demands, Brands does have a soft side. He lights up when he talks about his wife, Jeni, and their three children, Madigan, Kinsee, and Tommy. He eagerly anticipates the periodic pheasant-hunting expeditions he schedules with his staff. He saves every letter he gets—a deep desk drawer in his Carver-Hawkeye Arena office brims with them—and he takes time to respond to each one with a handwritten note.
In an effort to keep the UI community informed about campus growth and development, Facilities Management has initiated an annual update to the University’s campus master plan, putting forth what progress has been made since the last master plan submission in 2006, and detailing what issues are fast approaching.
“We promised ourselves not to do what happens at other institutions and what has happened here in the past: end up with a master plan that becomes a dusty volume sitting on a shelf,” says Rod Lehnertz, director of campus and facilities planning. “We wanted to commit to it as a living document, and we came up with the idea to do an annual snapshot.”
The 1878 Steinway and Sons grand piano in Old Capitol will be instrumental in providing entertainment for Piano Sundays audiences this spring. The concert series will hold performances at 1:30 p.m. on March 2 and 30 and April 13, featuring performances by UI graduate students, area high school students, and esteemed faculty. The concerts are free and open to the public. The 1,500-pound antique piano was added to the Old Capitol Museum collection in 2006.
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