Hansen to coach on European Tour

Simpson head wrestling coach Nate Hansen's career has taken him many places.

Through wrestling, he's been able to travel to Massachusetts, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Ohio and New Jersey, just to name a few.

Soon, he will be able to add France, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania to the list.

Hansen has been selected to serve as a coach for the annual D3 Cultural Exchange trip to Europe on May 28-June 8.

Along with Buena Vista University assistant Zach Mizer, Hansen will lead a group of roughly 20 Division III wrestlers on a 13-day trip, which will include stops in Paris, Istanbul, Varna and Bucharest.

The four-country tour offers many sightseeing opportunities, competition against local teams and clinic work. Hansen is particularly eager to learn more about European coaching methods not widely used in the United States.

"It's going to be a big coaching development trip," Hansen said. "There is a drastic difference in coaching and training styles. It's a much a larger scale that what you see in the United States."

Hansen will be joined by one of his own wrestlers, as Storm 174-pounder Brett Roberts plans to make the trip as well. Like his coach, the sophomore wants to experience the wrestling different countries have to offer.

"I'm looking forward to being able to wrestle people from different countries who have a completely different style than here in Iowa," Roberts said. "It will be a cool experience."

Originally from Ottumwa, Iowa, Roberts will travel outside of the United States for the first time. In fact, his first trip on a plane wasn't until his freshman year when the team traveled to Louisiana for a tournament.

It won't be all work and no play for Roberts and his fellow wrestlers. The tour begins in Paris and will include stops at several popular tourist destinations.

"My girlfriend is pretty jealous that I'll get to see the Eifel Tower," he said.

The program is made possible by a George Kaltchev, a former European wrestling champion and president of George Sport Tours LTD.