• Cael Sanderson is an American former freestyle and folkstyle wrestler
• He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah USA, on 20 June 1979
• He went undefeated as a student wrestler, winning the NCAA Division 1 Championship every year from 1999 through 2002 and also won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the men’s freestyle 84kg category
• After retirement, he became a coach and his teams have won nine NCAA Division I team titles
• Cael has an estimated net worth of over $2 million as of February 2023

Who is Cael Sanderson?

American former freestyle and folkstyle wrestler Cael Norman Sanderson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah USA, on 20 June 1979, so Gemini’s his zodiac sign. He went undefeated as a student wrestler, having won the NCAA Division 1 Championship every year from 1999 through 2002, and he also won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the men’s freestyle 84kg category.

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Education and early life

Cael was raised in Salt Lake City alongside his older brothers Cole and Cody Sanderson, by their mother Debbie who was a housewife, and father Steve Sanderson who was a wrestling coach at Wasatch High School.

Cael was encouraged and motivated by his father to become a professional wrestler, as Steve himself was an avid wrestler prior to becoming a coach. Cael studied at Wasatch High School where he was coached by his father, and he was a Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) State Champion four times from 1994 through 1997, winning 127 of his 130 bouts; Cael’s brother Cody was also an keen wrestler while growing up.

Upon matriculating in 1997, Cael chose to enroll at Iowa State, which his brothers were already attending. He was redshirted for his first year there, and in the second year won all his 39 bouts and became both the Big 12 Conference Champion and the NCAA Champion; he was named Outstanding Wrestler, the first freshman in the history of NCAA to achieve this. During each of Cael’s following three seasons, he scored 40 wins and no defeats, completing his career as a student wrestler with a 159-0 score, the only perfect score in the history of NCAA Division 1. He won three Dan Hodge Trophies, becoming the only person to win more than one, and to this day remains the only person to win it thrice.

Cael graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2001, and was in 2017 inducted into the Iowa State Hall of Fame.

Career as a wrestler

Cael was a US Cadet World Team Member in both 1994 and 1995, with him and his team placing third and fourth, respectively. The year 1999 saw him become the US University National Champion, and the year 2000 the University World Champion.

Cael was US National Champion in 2001, ‘02 and ‘03, and was named a member of the US World Team in both 2001 and 2002, however, he chose not to compete in 2001, while the US team then didn’t compete in 2002.

Cael competed in the 2003 Canadian Manitoba Open, taking home gold, and the same year saw him win silver at the World Cup and bronze at the Pan American Games; he also won silver at the World Championship. In 2004, Cael won both the US Olympic Team Trials and the Manitoba Open, and the same year saw him win gold at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece after having defeated five professional wrestlers, including Moon Eui-jae, Yoel Romero and Magomed Kurugliyev.

Cael then retired from competing, and became a coach, but returned to competitive wrestling in 2011, when he won the US World Team Trials and the Ion Cornanu Memorial Championship, while he also placed fifth at the World Championships. The same year saw him inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Career as a coach

Following his retirement from competitive wrestling, Cael was hired as a special assistant to Iowa State wrestling coach,  then became the head coach in 2007, and in the following three years helped the Iowa State team reach 2nd, 5th and 3rd place in the NCAA Division I. Two of Cael’s wrestlers also won NCAA Division I individual national titles.

In 2010, Cael was named the head wrestling coach at Penn State, and has been coaching there since – his teams have won nine NCAA Division I team titles, while his wrestlers also won 32 NCAA Division I individual titles.

Love life and wife

Cael can rarely be heard speaking about his love life in public, but he still often features his wife and their children in his Instagram pictures.

He and non-celebrity American Kelly Sanderson exchanged vows in 2002, in front of their more than 200 friends and family members; not a lot has been shared about Kelly, because she prefers to maintain her privacy, but it’s known that she was born on 9 November, which makes her zodiac sign Scorpio.

Kelly gave birth to their first son Tate in 2007, and their second son Teag followed two or three years later, but neither of the boys’ exact birthdates have been disclosed.

Cael’s hasn’t spoken about other women whom he’s been with, but it’s believed that he dated only a single girl before meeting Kelly, and that she was his high school sweetheart; he’s married to Kelly Sanderson as of February 2023, and they have two sons together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

More than 20,000 people are following Cael on Instagram today – he’s posted only 37 pictures and videos onto the social media network, most showing him spending time with friends and family.

Cael’s passionate about fishing, and has shown off some of the fish which he’s caught in his Instagram pictures.

He works out at the gym on a daily basis, and often gives his fans advice on both which exercises to do and what diet to follow.

Cael’s been all around the world to wrestle, and his favorite city to travel to is Berlin, Germany.

He’s a lover of animals, with birds being his favorites; he and his family had a dog while he was growing up.

Some of Cael’s favorite actors to watch are Channing Tatum, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and some of his favorite films include “Good Will Hunting”, “Dear John” and “The Tender Bar”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Cael’s age is 43. He has brown eyes and is bald, he’s 5ft 11ins (1.82m) tall and weighs about 185lbs (84kgs).

Cael’s net worth’s been estimated at over $2 million, as of February 2023.


As Managing Editor at The Biography, I oversee a skilled team to produce insightful biographies of influential figures. My responsibilities include managing the editorial process, conducting detailed research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our content. At The Biography, we aim to deliver in-depth profiles that provide valuable insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Our commitment to meticulous research and dynamic storytelling highlights the significant journeys and successes of inspiring individuals.

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