Cole KonradCole Konrad grew up in New London, Wisconsin with parents Mark and Karen Konrad and older brother Klayton. Cole began wrestling at a young age, wrestling almost daily in the living room or basement of their home, going to youth practices his parents ran in Manawa at age 3 and participating in youth tournaments in preschool.

Wrestling throughout his youth, Cole’s love for the sport developed during his freshman year at Turlock High School in Turlock, California when he joined a group of high school wrestlers immersed in the sport. They wrestled daily throughout the year, traveling extensively to freestyle and Greco tournaments in the off-season. The Konrad family returned to Wisconsin where Cole attended New London high school as a sophomore and junior. Cole placed 4th at the State Tournament his junior year and earned All-American honors placing 2nd at Junior Greco Nationals and 4th at Junior Freestyle Nationals. Despite this success, he missed the camaraderie experienced his freshman year. On his 17th birthday his parents gave him tickets to the NCAA Division 1 Championships in Iowa City. He attended with a group of high school wrestlers from Freedom, Wisconsin who traveled in a caravan to cheer Freedom alumni, Garrett Lowney. Instantly connecting with these wrestlers, and witnessing a level of wrestling he had never been exposed too, Cole knew he had to make a change to follow his passion. Cole relocated his senior season (2002) to Freedom High School winning a State title as well as Junior National Titles in Freestyle and Greco.

Cole received a scholarship to wrestle for the University of Minnesota Gophers. Under the guidance of legendary coach J Robinson, his wrestling career blossomed. Cole became a three-time Big Ten Champion (2005-2007), four-time NCAA All-American (2004-2007), three-time NCAA Finalist, culminating with two undefeated seasons his Junior and Senior seasons, winning the NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007. Following his 2007 senior season Cole was named the Big 10 Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the year. Cole finished his collegiate career 155-13 ranking second all-time for career wins at the University of Minnesota, third all-time for win percentage (.922), third for career pins (50) and first in consecutive victories (76).

Cole experienced success on the international level for men’s freestyle wrestling, placing first at the 2005 Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala and earning a Bronze at the 2006 University World Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Cole competed in Mixed Martial Arts after college. Trained by his former college assistant coach Marty Morgan, Cole won the Bellator World Championship, while his training partner, Brock Lesnar, won the UFC heavyweight title. Cole retired from MMA in 2012, undefeated at 9-0.

Cole and his wife Carlie reside in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota with their three wonderful children: daughters Kensington and Remington and son Judge. Cole is grateful for the positive role models he has had throughout his life, beginning with his parents Mark and Karen and brother Klayton, as well as his mentors and coaches –specifically Coaches Nick Kindred, Mike Buechler, J Robinson, Marty Morgan and Joe Russell.