Beloved Hawkeye Wrestler Phil Keddy took some time answer questions about his time at the University. Phil was Fourth in 2009 NCAA Championships… Sixth in 2008 NCAAs and Eighth in 2010… Member of three NCAA and Big Ten championship teams… He placed 3rd at world team trials in 2013 and won Gold at the Pan Ams. Phil wrestled for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club for three years.
1. Let’s start off by telling us a bit about what you are doing now? Where are you living, where are you working and how is your family? Is it true that you have (3) girls? You might need some advice from Gable on how to handle that many girls?
I live in Vernal, Utah the town I grew up in and where I graduated High School. I teach health and P.E. at Uintah High school and I am the head wrestling Coach. I also own my own landscaping company in the summer. I have three daughters Paisley 4, Remi 3, and Bristol 5 months. Gable gave me lots of advice in life but I’m not sure there is any advice that prepares you for 3 girls. That being said it has been pretty fun…. so far.
2. If I were to guess, one thing most people remember from your time at Iowa was how fast you could escape from bottom. It is a skill that you made look easy but is obviously difficult to execute. How did you get so good at that move?
I think your right about the stand up being something most fans remember. I get asked about it a lot and requests to teach that skill at camps. I think it’s a skill that comes in two parts. I think I was blessed with fast twitch muscles that really helped me have the speed and explosion for it to happen really quickly which was a big advantage on bottom. With that being said it wasn’t the most important part because as a freshman I had the same ability and quickness but I had trouble getting away. I had to learn that It was a mindset more than a skill. The mindset had to become, no one can ride me and I will do it as many times as it takes. Once I was able to change my mindset the skills I had were able to take over. I think that’s the biggest thing with teaching the bottom position. Kids have different skill sets but they can all develop that mindset.
3. You wrestled for both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the HWC– can you explain a bit about how the club and training partners helped you as a collegiate athlete? When you were wrestling for the HWC what was your mindset– obviously you were training to get better– but did you see yourself as a mentor and leader for the guys on the team?
The HWC is such great blessing I was able to take advantage of in two different ways. In college, it was kind of becoming nonexistent when I first got there but when Tom came back he started to build it back in and bring guys in to train that were alumni and build the Club back. So I got to experience it from the college side a little, but much more as a club member after I graduated. When I wrestled for the HWC Tom always told us he viewed us as an extension of the coaching staff, and we were treated as such. It was fun to be able to train with the college kids coming in and help be an example to them so they could reach their own goals as I was trying to accomplish my own. So yes I would say a mentor for sure.
4. Any funny or peculiar stories you can share from your time in IC… about the coaches or your teammates?
Plenty of funny stories I had lots of great teammates and great coaching. A quick story that pops into my head when reading that question is about how Rick Loera my teammate loved to eat and drink Dairy despite being lactose intolerant. There were many occasions where he lost control of his bowels, but the best story was when he couldn’t make it to the bathroom in the hotel at University Nationals. Long story short all he was wearing was gym shorts and he ended up having to wash them in the toilet of the public restroom of the lobby before he could walk back to his room. You can ask him about all the details on that one, it was pretty funny.
5. How closely do you follow college wrestling and international wrestling?
I follow both college and the international scene pretty closely. It’s easier now with flowrestling and other media outlets. I haven’t been back to watch a duel yet but I will someday.
6. What advice would you have for a young athlete that has goals of winning an NCAA title and or an Olympic Gold medal?
My advice would be to expose yourself to the best competition you can find early and often. Iron sharpens Iron and just like we used the HWC for that purpose I think it’s important for kids to test themselves early and often to see where they stand and use that competition against high-level opponents to push themselves and to get better. Second, they need to have that as a goal from a young age. Make it a part of their life where it’s not just a goal it’s really the plan. Those two things would have helped me looking back so I think it would be good for kids to hear that.
7. What are your hobbies now? I know you were a huge help and organizer of the HWC Bow shoot when you were with the club– Thank you for that!
I love to hunt it’s my biggest addiction for sure. I drew an Archery Elk tag for a really good unit here in Utah and I’m about to head out there today to hunt tomorrow. I also do a lot of Bobcat trapping and predator calling as hobbies. But I love being in the mountains and camping and fishing. Utah is a pretty good fit for those types of activities.
8. Anything you would like to say to the fans and supporters?
One of the main reasons I went to the University of Iowa was because of the Tradition and the Fans. I have to say they didn’t let me down one bit. I don’t see how they could be any better with their love of the sport and the support they give. It really was an experience I am grateful for and will never forget. Some of my best friends now are my teammates from my time at Iowa and also some fans that I became great friends with. So thanks to the Hawkeye community !!
Thank you Phil!
Best, Randy Novak
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