In Cael Sanderson, Penn State did not just hire a wrestling coach.
It hired a legend, a four-time NCAA champion and an Olympic gold medalist.
And, oh, he never lost a collegiate dual meet while at Iowa State, where he's spent the past few years as the school's head coach.
There are reports that Sanderson will become the highest-paid college wrestling coach in the country.
If that's true, I say good.
Penn State has a rich wrestling history and had been a major player on the national scene for many years.
The program was slipping under Troy Sunderland and had not reached the heights it enjoyed under Charlie Speidel, Bill Koll, Rich Lorenzo and John Fritz.
Penn State has done much of its hiring over the years from within. That's worked at times, but in this case, Sanderson's arrival proves the school was committed to finding the most attractive candidate available.
Sanderson's hiring will give Penn State and the state of Pennsylvania the kind of program the wrestling community can get excited about.
Every key hiring at PSU also is greeted with the following question: Is this an indication, another indication given Coquese Washington's replacement of Rene Portland, of how the eventual football search will go?
If so, that's not good news to current members of the Nittany Lion staff who fashion themselves as potential successors to Joe Paterno's throne.
Random thoughts ...
n The Pirates have never drawn well on weeknights in April, but the scene at PNC Park - with a thousand or so dotting the stands - was stunningly eerie Monday. Granted, the game followed a chilly, rainy day. But it's still another reason Major League Baseball should allow doubleheaders to be scheduled prior to the season. Figure a Friday night twi-nighter in June would pull in way more people and concessions to justify scrapping an early-season Monday night game in the middle of the team's first homestand.
n Ditto the Eastern League, which virtually sentences its teams to seven- and eight-game home stretches in April.
n Early-season new announcer impressions: I like the Pirates' Tim Neverett - he sounds a little bit like Chip Carey, a little bit like Guy Junker - and the new voice of the Altoona Curve, Ron Potesta, does a bang-up Harry Carey in the seventh-inning stretch.
n Break up the Bucs, by the way.
n Here's hoping Pitt's DeJuan Blair made the right call to bypass his final year of eligibility. Either way, it's difficult to remember an athlete who did more to raise a program's profile while appearing to have fun the entire time.
n Altoona Area High School's decision to open its search for a new head football coach would not seem to be overly positive for the interested in-house candidates.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.