Cody Sanderson graduated from Wasatch High School in 1995 as the valedictorian of his class, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He received numerous academic recognitions from state and national organizations including the Utah High School Activities Association and the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Cody won four individual state wrestling titles during high school. He was Wasatch High School’s first four time individual state champion. Cody was named State MVP twice. Cody compiled a record of 118-5 during his high school career. He was undefeated his freshman year. Cody led his teams to two state championship titles. Cody was selected twice to the ASICS National High School First Team. After his senior year, he represented the United States in the Junior World Freestyle Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Following high school, Cody attended Iowa State University on a wrestling scholarship. He was a two-time national finalist at 133 pounds, advancing to the NCAA title bout in 1999 and in 2000. He was the first Utah native to ever reach the NCAA finals. Cody was also named the Big 12 Conference Outstanding Wrestler.
Cody ended his stellar Cyclone career with 116 wins, including a 33-3 mark his senior year. He claimed the Big 12 title as a senior and helped spur ISU to a National Runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships in 2000. Cody played a major role in the Iowa State wrestling program’s rapid ascent as a Big 12 powerhouse and NCAA team title contender.
Cody continued his academic excellence at Iowa State earning NCAA Academic First Team All-American honors three times. Cody graduated from Iowa State in 2000 receiving a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a pre-medicine emphasis.
Other notable accomplishments during Cody’s wrestling career include University National Freestyle Champion and University National Greco-Roman Champion. He was also a member of the USA National Wrestling team.
Cody began his coaching career in wrestling at Iowa State where he worked as an assistant coach and Director of Operations for the Cyclone wrestling program. Cody was instrumental in helping his younger brother, Cael, train for and win an Olympic Gold Medal in Athens, Greece in 2004.
In 2003, Cody was hired to be the first head wrestling coach at Utah Valley State (now Utah Valley University). He worked closely with the Utah Valley athletic director, boosters and others in building the program. Sanderson’s efforts helped create the nation’s first Division I wrestling program started from scratch in 30 years. Cody was inducted into the Utah Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010.
In 2006, Cody became the associate head coach at Iowa State. During his three year tenure, Iowa State earned three Big 12 Conference team championships. In 2009, Cody moved to Penn State to be the associate head wrestling coach. He continues in this position today working with his brother, Cael. Penn State has won four Big Ten Conference Championships and four NCAA National Team Championships over the past five years.
Cody is the eldest son of Steve and Debbie Sanderson of Heber City. Cody’s wife, Sarah, was a standout gymnast at Iowa State. They have three children, Kade, Mason, and Tylar Ann.