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Rutgers wrestling’s Scott Goodale always keeps it real with fans



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

There are few power five coaches in college sports as transparent and forthcoming with information as Rutgers wrestling head coach Scott Goodale. He also follows through on what he says.

The program had a down year in 2022-2023 based on past success and the standard he’s established. Goodale never played down expectations and has said things aren’t where he wants Rutgers to be. After the season, he was open about roster changes needing to be made.  “That’s what we’re going to do,” Goodale said after Rutgers was eliminated at nationals. “I’m pretty honest with myself, our staff, where we’re at and what we need to do. We may need a little bit of an overhaul right now. Not a total overhaul.”

True to Goodale’s words, Rutgers has been extremely active in the transfer portal this offseason. They have added Harvard transfer Yaraslau Slavikouski and Oklahoma grad transfer Jacob Butler. The staff were also finalists for high profile transfers Chris Cannon and Stanford grad transfer Shane Griffiths. Unfortunately, RU lost out on both wrestlers to Michigan. However, Goodale is likely continuing to work to upgrade the roster this offseason.

In regard to the schedule, a lack of home matches last season caused some unrest among the fan base. On The Scarlet Faithful podcast last fall, Goodale spoke about needing to do a better job in how he constructs the home schedule. Despite the concerns, Rutgers finished No. 4 nationally in attendance last season. It marked the seventh straight year that RU finished in the top five nationally.

On Thursday, Goodale addressed the home scheduling issue head on. He tweeted what he expects the 2023-2024 home schedule will be for the program.

For the non-conference schedule, hosting Rider and Princeton are always competitive matches that draw great crowds. Virginia Tech is a top ten program will bring in a great crowd. The Hokies feature former national champion and New Jersey native Mekhi Lewis.

In regard to the Big Ten, no surprise with Maryland, Indiana and Ohio State coming to the RAC. Rutgers faced them on the road last season. The intriguing part of Goodale’s tweet is the yet to be determined crossover opponent. While wrestling doesn’t hold divisions like Big Ten football, they do account for East and West pairings for scheduling. Could Iowa make another trip to Piscataway next season? Rutgers fans and the New Jersey wrestling community certainly hope so.

However the home slate ultimately closes out, I love Goodale’s willingness to share scheduling information in real time. He has always shown appreciation for the Rutgers fan base and is a straight shooter. Goodale seems to have genuinely felt bad about last season’s home schedule. While it didn’t deter fans from filling up the RAC, Goodale has made a concerted effort to come back with quality opponents and lots of them.

As usual, Goodale is keeping things real with fans when leading his program. Whenever his program lands a commitment, he famously tweets “Boom!” It’s always refreshing to see his passion in action. Especially with a coach who has meant so much in bringing Rutgers wrestling from obscurity to national relevance for many years now.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Biochemist

    May 12, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    I’m glad that we appear to be having a return to the kind of home scheduling that we’ve become used. Adding Va. Tech to the schedule is awesome.

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