Tyler Cox is a sophomore Cowboy wrestler who has competed for the Olympics and knows what it takes to ascend to the top! He began his journey in Gillette, Wyoming where his parents placed him into a program and his skills have grown from there. He says that he learned to set his goals high and to work as hard as he can to get there and it has certainly paid off. Tyler currently is listed in many wrestling resource sites and in all he is in the top twenty wrestlers nationally. This comes even though he did not wrestle for the Pokes this year.
Tyler took what is called a redshirt Year for Olympic competition. The NCAA allows him to not lose a year of competition and allows him to compete in a whole different arena. The competition is tremendous and training is tough. It requires self-discipline and concentration, where he would start running at 6am most days and then onto lifting with his coach and trainer Ethan Kyle for a large part of the day. Later on he would work out with the team and work on Qualifying for trials which eventually qualified him for the Olympic trials in Iowa.
At the Olympic Trials there were competitors that have competed all around the world and in past Olympics and World competition. Tyler said the fans in Iowa filled the arena and that it made him proud to show up as a Cowboy and represent the state of Wyoming in the sport. The rules are played according to Olympic code and it is different then the college rules. At this competition were other Wyoming wrestlers and our own Coach Pendleton trying to make the National Team. This is a tremendous achievement for those who wrestle for the Pokes.
When asked how his progress has influenced wrestling in the state overall, Tyler is quite humble and compliments those who have been in his life as well as having a strong faithful background. His list not only includes his parents and coaches, but others who have pushed him such as Mike Johnson (former coach) who actually took a private plane to the Olympic trials to see Tyler wrestle and John Poloncic who inspired him along the way. He also has said that while wrestling in the state of Wyoming, he noticed how the level of competition each year progressively got stronger. He still won 4 state titles during the increase in level of competition.
Tyler was heavily recruited by nationally renowned programs from the beginning. Schools such as Minnesota, Oklahoma and Stanford wanted him on their team, but he chose Wyoming. He says that is because he believed in what Wyoming Coach Mark Branch was teaching and he wanted to be a part of it. During his time at Wyoming coach Branch pushed hard for the site in Laramie to become a Regional training center for Olympic wrestlers. It's official name is the Wyoming Regional Training Center. Branch has brought the Wyoming program into the spotlight nationally. He has the program competing and winning against teams in the top ten and with wrestlers such as Tyler Cox the program will continue to ascend towards the top. With a top twenty program doing this well and with the level of competition in Wyoming high school wrestling getting much better, its only a matter of time that Branch will be seeking more wrestlers from within the state. This is a testament to wrestling programs throughout the state and club wrestling as well.
According to statistics provided to me by the University, there has been an increase in the the level of interest in the program and attendance at the meets. In the last three years season ticket sales have increased over 60% and single game sales increased about 20%. Attending a "dual" as they are called is fun and when you attend an event you will see Wyoming wrestling against some of the best teams in the country. Coach Branch has brought in teams that compete for national championships each year and the Wyoming Open features some of the best competition in the United States and has had Olympic National wrestlers in the compete as well. Come see this sport in Laramie, support the Olympic sports and programs and the affordable price for tickets allows one to take the whole family. It would be nice to see all the competition in the Arena-Auditorium and the University would appreciate it as well.