May 14, 2009
Backes named volunteer assistant coach for wrestling
Two-time All-American to join staff immediately

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech Athletic Department, along with head wrestling coach Kevin Dresser, announced Thursday that former Iowa State standout Kurt Backes will join the staff of the Hokies beginning immediately. Backes will serve as volunteer assistant wrestling coach for Virginia Tech after spending the 2009 season as strength and conditioning coordinator for the University of Missouri.

“I saw how well Virginia Tech did [in 2008-09],” Backes said. “They have a lot of talent, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to come aboard and help. Coach [Kevin] Dresser worked under Dan Gable, so he learned from the best, and now I feel like I can learn from the best in Coach Dresser.”

Prior to his Missouri stint, Backes was a two-time All-American at Iowa State University. Backes took seventh place at the NCAA Championships at 184 pounds his freshman year, and then collected runner-up honors as a senior at 197 pounds. Backes won Big 12 titles at 184 pounds in 2005 and 2006. In his Cyclone career, Backes tallied 109 wins. He spent the 2008 season as a member of the support staff for the 2008 Big 12 Champion Cyclones.

While redshirting his freshman season at Iowa State, Backes won the 185-pound title at the 2003 Men’s FILA Junior Freestyle National Championships and wrestled on the U.S. squad at the 2003 World FILA Junior Championships.

“Kurt Backes is exactly the kind of guy we need right now to continue the growth of Virginia Tech wrestling,” Dresser said. “Kurt is a young guy who can make an immediate impact in our room. His background in New Jersey and at Iowa State will also be addition to Virginia Tech wrestling. He will work the entire team, however wrestling with the big guys will be an asset.”

Backes was born May 13, 1983 and graduated from Iowa State in 2007 with a degree in business finance. A native of Neshanic Station, N.J., he attended Blair Academy, where he was a three-time national prep and New Jersey state champion.

For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).

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