Kurt Backes spent recent years carving his career path from lessons he learned on the mat.
Beginning next month, he’ll utilize the education he received in the classroom.
The Iowa volunteer assistant wrestling coach said Tuesday that he is leaving the Hawkeyes for a job at Wells Fargo in Des Moines.
“I’m going to use my finance degree,” said Backes, who spent the past three seasons with the Hawkeyes after brief coaching stops at Missouri and Virginia Tech. “(The time at Iowa has) been great. It’s been priceless.”
Backes said his career change was driven when his wife, Mandy, received a promotion in the physical therapy field.
“I think it’s the best decision for our family,” he said. “Was it a hard decision? Yeah. I’ve had a relationship with wrestling for 24 years, so competitively it’s going to change.”
Backes was a 2007 NCAA runner-up at Iowa State, where he was a two-time all-American. He said he’ll still be involved with wrestling and plans to work with Takedown Radio. He said he intends to coach in the future.
“I know I’m definitely not out of it,” he said. “I definitely anticipate myself helping coach at a different level, not necessarily Division I. Division I is a full-time commitment. Switching gears to a different career, I’m not totally going to cut myself off from competitive wrestling. If somebody comes along and asks for my knowledge, I’d be more than happy to help.”