Cael Sanderson Bio: Wife, Salary, Family & Daniel Cormier

The best there ever is the best there ever was and the best there ever will be. “It is a quote befitting for the greatest collegiate wrestler of all-time, Cael Sanderson.

Moreover, the 40-year-old dominated wrestling from 1999 to 2002, but he also won the Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Cael Sanderson
Cael Sanderson

As a result, Sanderson is a national icon in his home country. However, his exploits are not just limited to competing as a wrestler. Instead, the Utah native is as good a coach, if not more than a player.

Let’s get started on this article, where we will inform you about Cael’s life from his early years to his current coaching role. You will also find details about his career, age, height, salary, net worth, family, and social media.

Quick Facts

Full NameCael Sanderson
Birth DateJune 20, 1979
Birth PlaceSalt Lake City, Utah
EducationWasatch High School

Iowa State University

Father’s NameSteve Sanderson
Mother’s NameCael Norman
SiblingsBrothers-  Cody Sanderson and Cole Sanderson
Age42 years old
Height5 feet 11 inches (1.82 m)
Weight184 lb (83 kg)
Hair ColorBrown
Eye ColorBlack
Marital statusMarried
WifeKelly Sanderson
Kids2 Sons
 Profession  Wrestling Coach ( Current), Wrestler (Former)
NCAA Record159-0
OlympicGold (2004 Summer Olympics)
Olympic TeamUnited States of America
State championships4 (Utah)
NCAA Championships12 ( Four Competing, Eight Coaching)
Active Years1999-Present
Current AffiliationPenn State
Net-Worth$2 million
Social MediaTwitter, Youtube, Instagram
Merch Not Available
Last UpdateOctober, 2021

Cael Sanderson: Early Life, Family & Brothers

It was June 20, 1979, when Steve Sanderson and his wife begat their son Cael Norman Sanderson in Salt Lake City, Utah. Furthermore, Steve was a former wrestling coach. And, it is with his old man that Cael learned all of his craft from.

Besides, Sanderson grew up with his two brothers, Cody Sanderson and Cole Sanderson, both of whom are wrestlers.

Hence, it is fair to say that wrestling runs in the genes of the Sanderson family. However, the 40-year-old has one more brother who remains a mystery at this point.

Talking about his lower education, Cael went to Wasatch High, where he became a high school wrestling star. Moreover, at this time, the 40-year-old started to gain a reputation for being the best wrestler in his age group.

Cael Sanderson: Career (College & International)

After graduating from high school, Sanderson attended Iowa State University, where he dominated collegiate wrestling for the next four years. In fact, Cael was so good that he never lost a match in the NCAA tournament.

During his time at Iowa, the 40-year-old competed in 159 matches, winning all of them. Other than that, Sanderson became the first freshman in the NCAA tournament’s history to win the NCAA Wrestling Team Championship’s Outstanding Wrestler.

Iowa State University, Cael Sanderson
Sanderson is the best collegiate wrestler of all time.

Added to that, Cael was also the first freshman in history to win the Dan Hodge Trophy given to the best college wrestler in the U.S.

Moreover, by the time the Utah native his four years at Iowa State, he won the NCAA Outstanding Wrestler four times, Big 12 Conference Championship four times, Dan Hodge Trophy three NCAA title four times.

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Thus, by the time Sanderson finished his college career, he was the undisputed best collegiate wrestler of all time. In fact, no one before him and no one after has achieved what Cael did in his time at Iowa State University.

Cael Sanderson vs Daniel Cormier

Sanderson squared off against former two-weight UFC Champion Daniel Cormier during the 2001 NCAA tournament finals. Although Daniel showcased his strength by putting Cael on his back twice, Sanderson came back and won the match.

In doing so, he won his third straight NCAA title. However, both men have gone on their own paths since and have become greats in their work line.


Taking a look at his international CV reveals that Cael has won what every young wrestler dreams of winning, Olympic gold medal.

Likewise, the 40-year-old won his gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Other than that, Sanderson has also won silver at the 2003 World Championships and a bronze at the 2003 Pan American Games.

Coaching Career

Cael began his coaching career with his alma mater, Iowa State University, two years after graduating. During the 40-year-old’s three years at Iowa, the best he could manage was a second-place finish in 2007.

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Thereafter, he signed with Pennsylvania State University, where he would go on to make further history.

Just like his college days, Sanderson went on a winning spree that has seen him eight NCAA Division I team titles in his ten years as of now.

Cael Sanderson Autograph
Cael Sanderson Autograph

Moreover, the Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling team is the four-time defending champions of the NCAA tournament.

As a matter of fact, reminiscent of his college days, Cael has guided his team to an undefeated four-year streak from 2016-2019.

Cael Sanderson: Career Highlights and Awards

Some of the career highlights and awards of Cael is listed below:

  •  Summer Olympic
  • John Smith Award as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year
  • World Wrestling Championships Pan American Game
  • John Smith Award as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year
  • Best Male College Athlete ESPY Award
  • Dan Hodge Trophy winner
  • NCAA Division I Championships Outstanding Wrestle
  • Dan Hodge Trophy winner
  • NCAA Division I Championships Outstanding Wrestler
  • Dan Hodge Trophy winner
  • NCAA Division I Championships Outstanding Wrestler
  • Big 12 Conference

Other honors

  • Iowa Sports Hall of Fame inductee
  • Wheaties cereal box appearance

Cael Sanderson: Coaching Record

                                               Coaching Record
SeasonTeam FinishDual RecordAll AmericansNational Champions
Iowa State University
Pennsylvania State University

Cael Sanderson: Age, Height & Nationality

At the time of writing, Cael is 40 years old because he was born in 1979. Likewise, the Olympic gold medalist celebrates his birthday on the 20th day of June. As a result, his star sign is Gemini.

Cael Sanderson Bobblehead
Cael Sanderson Bobblehead

Moreover, people who fall under Gemini’s sign are known for their smartness, sharpness, and adaptability. And, if you ask us, those are the exact traits that Sanderson exemplifies.

Moving on, Cael stands at 5 feet 11 inches (1.82 m) and weighs 184 lb (83 kg). Furthermore, the Utah native is probably the best collegiate wrestler since he went undefeated throughout his four years in college.

What is Cael’s Record?

Talking about Cael’s record, it is simply incredible, to say the least. To illustrate, the 40-year-old won four consecutive NCAA titles from 1999-2002, going undefeated with a record of 159 wins and zero losses

In doing so, he became the only wrestler in history to go undefeated for the entirety of his career.

Cael Sanderson: Net Worth & Salary

As of 2020, Cael has a net worth of $2 million, which he accumulated from his career as a wrestler and then coach.

Moreover, the 40-year-old has been involved in wrestling for over two decades. Hence, his net worth should come as no surprise.

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Talking about his salary, Sanderson earns a reported $175,000 per year with Pennsylvania State University, which does not include any performance-based bonuses.

However, because the Utah native has guided his team to eight first-place finishes in his ten years with Penn State, we are pretty confident that Cael takes home more than $200,000 each year.

It is said that Cael has re-signed the contract with Pennsylvania State University where his salary is predicted to be around six-figure as of 2021.

From here it seems that Cael is living a lavish life with family and enjoying the best moment of his life.

Cael Sanderson: Some Famous Quotes

  • Unless you continually work, evolve, and innovate, you’ll learn a quick and painful lesson from someone who has.
  • Wrestlers Compete as Individuals, Yet the Sport Builds Comradery Like No Other.
  • Anyone can wrestle until they are tired.
  • There will be many challenges ahead, and I’m looking forward to them.

Cael Sanderson: Wife & Kids

At the moment, Cael is happily married to his lovely wife, Kelly Sanderson. Likewise, the couple shared their wedding vows back in 2002 in the presence of more than 200 family and friends.

Moreover, Kelly celebrates her birthday on the 9th of November and is a caring housemaker.

Cael Sanderson Family
The Sanderson Family

Aside from that, the pair have two sons, Tate Sanderson and Teag Sanderson. Furthermore, Tate was born five years into their marriage in 2007, while the exact date of birth of Teag remains undisclosed.

In conclusion, judging by the strong bond and romance the two lovebirds share, we are incredibly confident that this duo will stand the test of time.

Added to that, Cael and Kelly have been together for nearly two decades, which further indicates that this is a match made in heaven.

Social Media Presence

Twitter: 64.9k followers

Instagram:12.4K followers

Youtube: 3.1k subscribers

Some FAQs

When was Tom Brands and Cael Sanderson have been named as volunteer U.S. Freestyle World Team Coaches?

Tom Brands and Cael Sanderson have been named as volunteer U.S. Freestyle World Team Coaches for the 2014 World Wrestling Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The competition was held from September 8-9 2014.

What is Cael Sanderson’s salary at Penn State?

The salary of Cael Sanderson at Penn State is estimated to be around $175,000.

Is Cael Sanderson the best collegiate wrestler of all time?

Cael falls on the top 10 range among all other collegiate wrestlers of all time.

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