For 20 years, Tim Cysewski oversaw a Northwestern wrestling program that produced four individual NCAA champions, 27 All-Americans, 12 Big Ten champions and 88 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. From 2005-09, Cysewski enjoyed what was undeniably his most successful stretch as head coach at NU, guiding the Wildcats to five consecutive top-15 national finishes as a team -- tying a program-best with its fourth-place NCAA showing in 2007 -- and winning individual NCAA titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009, making Northwestern the only school in the country to have at least one national champion each of those successive seasons.
Following the 2009-10 campaign, Cysewski turned over the reins of the program to his former wrestler and associate head coach Drew Pariano. But Cysewski, who remains as passionate as ever about coaching and developing young wrestlers, remains on staff as an associate head coach for the Wildcats.
"I feel extremely confident about the direction in which I have led the program but in recent years have been trying to evaluate what might be the appropriate time for me to take a less active role," Cysewski said. "There's no doubt that I'm handing the program off to one of the hardest working coaches in the sport in Drew Parianoand I know he is ready for this challenge. Northwestern has been a special place for my family and me for 28 years and we've enjoyed devoting our time to the Wildcat wrestling family. I'm excited to continue contributing to the team's success and working with our student-athletes on a daily basis."
The winningest coach in school history with 155 dual victories to his credit, Cysewski was instrumental in recruiting, coaching and mentoring arguably the most decorated wrestler in NU history -- Hodge Trophy winner, two-time NCAA champion and U.S. Olympian, Jake Herbert -- during his six-year career at Northwestern and his foray into international wrestling.
"I just have to thank my head coach Tim Cysewski because I wouldn't have done any of this without him," Herbert said following his second NCAA championship in March. "I wouldn't have wanted to wrestle for anybody else and it's a special kind of guy that can handle me for six years."
Cysewski's send-off from the position of head coach was a memorable one as Northwestern came from behind to defeat Michigan 20-16 on Senior Day at Welsh-Ryan Aren in front of a house full of former Wildcat wrestlers there to support their collegiate coach.
In June, 2008, USA Wrestling named Cysewski the FILA Junior/University Person of the Year for his leadership in the establishment of the University National Championships tournament, which operated under Cysewski's direction from 1992-2006.
Cysewski took over as the Wildcats' head coach after serving eight seasons as an assistant under Tom Jarman. During that time, the Jarman-Cysewski tandem compiled a 108-79-1 record and produced seven All-Americans in eight years.
Cysewski, 56, also has been active in his career on the international coaching scene. He was invited to coach a squad at the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival and served as an assistant coach for the 1990 U.S. Wrestling Team at the World Cup Championships. He served as the head coach on the 1985-86 and 1988-89 ESPOIR World Cup teams, as well as the 1985 and 1986 U.S. National Team.
In 2005, Cysewski served as head coach at the Pan Am Games and was invited to be head coach at the NWCA All-Star Classic.
As a competitor, Cysewski captured many titles, including the World Cup Championship, the Pan Am Games, the New Zealand Games, the National Federation Championship and the AAU Championship. He is also a former All-American, U.S. World Team member and a five-time Midlands champion. Cysewski is a member of the Illinois Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Midlands Hall of Fame.
A four-year starter at the University of Iowa, Cysewski earned All-America honors as a senior in 1976. He placed third nationally at 134 pounds that season and was co-captain of the national-champion Hawkeyes. At the Big Ten Championships, he placed second as a sophomore (126) and senior (134), and third as a freshman (126). During his college career, he won two Midlands titles, posted a 99-23-4 career record and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration (1977).
Following graduation, Cysewski served as an assistant coach for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club and went on to win the last three of his five-consecutive Midlands titles. He also has served for six years on the National Wrestling Coaches Association, as well as four years on the NCAA Rules Committee.
A native of Glenview, Ill., Cysewski won the 119-pound prep title at Glenbrook South High School in 1972.
Cysewski and his wife, Kim, have two children, Kate and Mark. The Cysewskis live in Lincolnshire, Ill.