2020 FloWrestling 8-Man Challenge: 195 lbs

'Not Going To Waste Opportunities,' Gabe Dean Comes Out of Retirement

'Not Going To Waste Opportunities,' Gabe Dean Comes Out of Retirement

Gabe Dean had a legendary college career and is a successful coach at Cornell, but he's coming out of retirement because life is short.

Oct 29, 2020 by David Bray
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After Gabe Dean's impressive career at Cornell came to a close, he didn't have the spark to compete. It was time to move into coaching full time. But the recent loss of a close uncle reminded him that life is short. Now, he's coming back to the mat and taking advantage of the opportunities in front of him.

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After Gabe Dean's impressive career at Cornell came to a close, he didn't have the spark to compete. It was time to move into coaching full time. But the recent loss of a close uncle reminded him that life is short. Now, he's coming back to the mat and taking advantage of the opportunities in front of him.

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

In Gabe Dean's 160 college matches, he only lost seven and never finished lower than third at the NCAA Championships. A two-time NCAA champ, Dean lost his final match by a razor-thin margin to Bo Nickal. On a recent episode of The Bader Show, Dean explained that, after that, he tried to keep competing but really just needed a break.

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From there, he moved on to coaching, but by all accounts, Dean was a better wrestler than ever in the Cornell room. From time to time, the Cornell coaches and athletes would prod him to compete again, but until recently, Gabe didn't seriously consider it.

Now, though, Dean has thrown his hat in the ring for the FloWrestling 8-Man Challenge at 195 lbs, and he already dusted off his singlet for Senior Nationals a few weeks ago. So what changed?

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In addition to encouragement from those close to him and the financial incentive of competing, Gabe's perspective on taking advantage of opportunities was brought into sharp focus when he lost his uncle to a battle with cancer.

Gabe's uncle had a huge influence on his life, so when Gabe heard that he only had a few days to live, he dropped everything, drove through the night, and spent a few days with his uncle before he passed away. The whole experience gave Gabe a fresh perspective on taking advantage of the opportunities in his life.

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So now, Dean is ready to compete. He's coming off a Senior Nationals title where he beat two competitors in the bracket, Nate Jackson and Taylor Lujan. He'll look to build on that success this weekend in a tournament with a $20,000 grand prize on the line.

He's fully aware of the quality of competition in the field and even has some idea of how the bracket will play out. Could Dean's coaching savvy and renewed perspective on competition help lead him to the title and the $20,000 check? We'll find out on Saturday night.

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