COACH SPOTLIGHT – UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA’S LOU ROSSELLI

As found on University of Oklahoma’s website, below is Lou Rosselli’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

“Lou Rosselli was named the head wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma on August 30, 2016, after spending 10 years on the Ohio State coaching staff.

In Rosselli’s first year at the helm the program’s development was evident as the squad produced a 10-3 mark after the holiday break to finish the season with an 11-6 overall record, including wins over three ranked teams. In addition, the Sooners finished in second place at the 2017 Big 12 Championship, and eight wrestlers qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships in St. Louis. Rosselli made a mark in the recruiting circuit as he picked up seven top-100 recruits to begin the 2017-18 season. 

The Sooners posted an 8-11 mark in Rosselli’s second season and sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, held in Cleveland, Ohio. Rosselli continued his trend of high-caliber recruiting, adding four more top-100 recruits to the roster ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Rosselli’s third year saw the Sooners go 10-6 overall and 5-3 in conference matches. Redshirt freshman Dom Demas became OU’s 274th all-time All-American wrestler and picked up the Big 12 title at 141. Demas and four other Sooners qualified for the NCAA Championships.

In his fourth year at the helm, the Sooners qualified six for the NCAA Championships, led by top-10 national seeds and NWCA All-Americans Dom Demas and Anthony Mantanona. Oklahoma continued its high level of recruiting, securing a top-20 class nationally.

During his time in Norman, Rosselli’s squads have produced 24 Big 12 All-Academic honorees, 29 NCAA qualifications and four conference finalists.

Prior to his arrival at OU, Rosselli was promoted from Buckeyes assistant coach to associate head coach following the 2008-09 season after helping lead OSU to NCAA runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2009. He also played an integral role in helping deliver the program’s first national championship in 2015.

A native of Middleport, N.Y., Rosselli was named the 2009 National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2014 USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year. He mentored four-time NCAA Champion Logan Stieber and two-time champ J Jaggers.

Additionally, the three-time Terry McCann National Freestyle Coach of the Year (2007, 2013 and 2016) has had a large presence with USA Wrestling and has served as a volunteer coach for the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team at both the 2016 Rio Games, where the U.S. earned two medals (one gold), and the 2012 London Games, where the U.S. won three medals (two gold). As a three-time U.S. Freestyle World Team Coach, Rosselli led his squads to third-place finishes at the 2006 and 2011 FILA Wrestling World Championships, and to a fourth-place showing in 2007.  Rosselli, the 14th head wrestling coach in OU history, was named to the 2015 USA Wrestling coaching staff for the 2015 World Championships, and his 2009 team earned gold at the Pan American Championships. In 2010, he coached the U.S. World University Games Team, and he served as assistant coach when the U.S. placed third at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey.

Rosselli was a wrestler on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team (114.5 pounds), and earned gold at the 1997 World Cup and silver at the 1998 Pan American Championships. He was also a University National Freestyle champ in 1994 before capturing U.S. National Freestyle titles in 1995, 1996 and 1999.

A two-time All-American, Rosselli wrestled collegiately at Edinboro from 1989 to 1993. He was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Eastern Wrestling League Championships Outstanding Wrestler in his senior season and was a three-time PSAC champion at 118 pounds. In his rookie season, Rosselli was named the EWL Freshman of the Year and became the first freshman from Edinboro to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Rosselli earned the Young Alumni Award from the Edinboro University Alumni Association and has been named to the Edinboro, Eastern Wrestling League and Greater Buffalo Sports halls of fame.

Prior to his stint with the Buckeyes, Rosselli served as a volunteer assistant coach at Edinboro for three years before being promoted to assistant coach for eight seasons. Rosselli earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Edinboro in 1993.

Rosselli and his wife Amy are parents to Jordan, Ty and Jaxson.”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COACH SPOTLIGHT: ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ZEKE JONES

As found on Arizona State University’s website, below is Zeke Jones’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

The seventh coach in ASU wrestling history, Zeke Jones was hired in April 2014.

Jones earned his third Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor in four years in 2020 after leading the Sun Devils to it’s highest conference tournament point total (141.5) since 1993 while winning the program’s 19th Pac-10/12 title. He becomes the first ASU wrestling head coach to win the conference award three times since Thom Ortiz did so in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

An Olympic silver medalist for the United States, Jones was the 1991 World Champion at 52kg, a four-time World-Cup Champion, and coached United States’ Olympians in the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2012 Olympic Games.

A member of ASU’s 1988 NCAA Wrestling Championship team, Jones was a three-time All-American and Pac-10 Champion for the Sun Devils. A national runner-up at 118, Jones sits at No. 4 in ASU’s career record book in both overall victories (134) and dual victories (59). He also holds the school record for dual match victories in a season with 22 during the 1989-90 campaign.

As Olympic head coach, Jones’ athletes earned two gold medals and one bronze at the London Games in 2012. His athletes in the 2004 Athens Games, where he was the freestyle coach, earned a gold and two silvers.

In the four World Championships during Jones’ tenure, USA placed third in the 2011 World Championships, fifth in 2013, and seventh in 2009. He also led USA to five individual World Champion medals, including two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs.

The United States competed in three Freestyle World Cups during the Jones era, placing third in 2012 and 2013, and sixth in 2010. During the Jones staff era, USA won eight Junior World medals, five University World medals and four Cadet World medals.

Jones came to USA Wrestling after coaching at the University of Pennsylvania from 2005-07, where he amassed a record of 33-17-1. Following the 2006 campaign that saw an NCAA Champion, two All-Americans, two Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) champions, and a third-place finish at the EIWA Championships, Amateur Wrestling News named Jones the Rookie Head Coach of the Year.

Prior to coaching at Penn he served on the coaching staffs at West Virginia, Arizona State, and Bloomsburg University. Jones coached teams that have finished in the NCAA Final Four twice, in the top-10 four times and won six conference team championships. Individually his wrestlers have won six NCAA titles, eight NCAA finalists, 36 individual conference champions, 29 All Americans, 74 NCAA Qualifiers, and 11 wrestlers have competed in the NWCA All Star Meet. 

Originally from Ann Arbor, Mich., Jones is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, member of the Arizona State University Hall of Fame, and Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Jones and his wife, Renee, have four children, Jessica, David, Rebecca, and Jacob.

Coaching Accomplishments

  • 2017, 2018, 2020 Pac-12 Coach of the Year
  • Head Coach, United States Freestyle Wrestling Team
  • Head Coach, 2004 US Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team
  • Head Coach, 2003 Pan-American Games Team
  • 2001 National Freestyle Coach of the Year, USA Wrestling
  • Head Coach, 2001 World Championship Team
  • Head Coach, 2000 World Cup Team
  • Assistant Coach, 2001 World Cup Team
  • Coaching Staff, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games
  • Coach, 2000 Pan-American Championships
  • Head Coach, 2000 NCAA International All-Star Team
  • Assistant Coach, 1999 NCAA International All-Star Team
  • Head Coach, 1998 World Cup Team Champions

Wrestling and Leadership Accomplishments

  • Winner of FILA’s “World’s Most Technical Wrestler” – 1 of 3 American’s to win the award (also: John Smith and Chris Campbell)
  • 1991 World Champion
  • 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist
  • Four-time World Cup Champion
  • Six-time National Champion
  • Pan-American Games Gold Medalist
  • Goodwill Games Gold Medalist
  • 1995 World Bronze Medalist
  • NCAA Division I National Team Champions member, 1988
  • NCAA Division I National Team Runner-Up member, 1989, 1990
  • World Championships Team Champions member, 1993, 1995
  • Eight-time World and Olympic Team member
  • Espoir National Champion and Outstanding Wrestler
  • Espoir World Silver Medalist
  • NCAA Finalist and three-time NCAA All-American
  • Three-time Pac-10 champion
  • Midlands Champion
  • Pac-10 Tournament Grand Marshall
  • Distinguished Member, National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Arizona State University Hall of Fame
  • Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Runner-up, Man of the Year, Amateur Wrestling News
  • USOC Board of Directors
  • USA Wrestling Board of Directors
  • Chairman, Athlete Advisory Council, USA Wrestling”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COACH SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA’S COLEMAN SCOTT

As found on University of North Carolina’s website, below is Coleman Scott’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

Coleman Scott, a four-time All-America performer at Oklahoma State and the 2008 NCAA champion at 133 pounds, was named head coach of the North Carolina wrestling program on August 13, 2015. Scott, who came to UNC as an assistant in 2014, is the sixth head coach in the history of the program.

In 2019, Scott led the Tar Heels to their best showing at nationals in nearly a quarter century. Led by All-American performances from senior Chip Ness and redshirt freshman Austin O’Connor, UNC finished the competition 19th, the team’s best finish since 1995. In 2020, before the cancellation of the NCAA Championships, Scott’s Tar Heels went 14-3, good for an .823 winning percentage, the team’s best since 1997.

 A native of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Scott capped an incredible career at OSU by winning the 2008 NCAA title at 133 pounds. In addition to his success at the collegiate level, Scott has also excelled at the international level as a four-time member of the United States National Team. His crowning achievement came at the 2012 London Olympics, where he won a bronze medal in freestyle wrestling at 60 kg.

Scott has recently served as the U.S. Women’s Freestyle National Team coach. 

Prior to starring at Oklahoma State, Scott was a three-time Pennsylvania state champion at Waynesburg Central High School. Scott and his wife Jessica have three children: daughter Leighton Ann and sons Stetson Lewis and Cash Allen.”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COACH SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF IOWA’S TOM BRANDS

As reported on the University of Iowa website, the Hawkeyes’ head wrestling coach Tom Brands’s bio (learn about this man’s background below)!

“Five-time Big Ten and three-time NWCA Coach of the Year Tom Brands completed his 15th season as head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa in 2021. A 1996 Olympic gold medalist and member of wrestling’s Hall of Fame, Brands is only the eighth wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. The former Hawkeye wrestler was a four-time All-American and three-time national champion (1989-92) at Iowa. He has a 236-23-1 (.909) overall and 113-10 (.917) Big Ten coaching record at Iowa. He has a 253-43-1 (.852) career mark.

In 15 seasons as Iowa’s head coach, Brands has led the Hawkeyes to four NCAA and six Big Ten team titles, crowning 13 NCAA champions, 24 Big Ten champions and 89 All-Americans. Iowa has had 142 Academic All-Big Ten recipients, including a school-record 17 in 2019-20. The Hawkeyes have qualified 138 wrestlers for the NCAA Championships in the last 15 years, sending the entire 10-man lineup in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2020 and 2021. Iowa has won or shared the Big Ten regular season title 12 times in Brands’ 15 seasons.

Iowa set the national collegiate dual meet attendance record of 42,287 when Iowa defeated top-ranked Oklahoma State, 18-16, on Nov. 14, 2015 at the Grapple on the Gridiron at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa has led the nation in attendance every year since Brands was named head coach. The Hawkeyes set an NCAA all-time attendance average of 12,568 in 2019-20.

Brands has been named NWCA National Coach of the Year three times. He was first honored in 2008 after leading the Hawkeyes to their first NCAA team title since 2000. He was recognized in 2020 when the top-ranked Hawkeyes won Big Ten regular season and tournament championships and entered the NCAA Championships as the favorite to win the team title. The tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He most recently won the award in 2021 when Iowa won Big Ten and NCAA team titles.

Brands was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2020 and 2021. He is the only coach in program history to earn the award five times.

Brands served as head coach at Virginia Tech University for two seasons (2005-06), recording a 17-20 dual mark. In his first season with the Hokies, Brands led the team to the 2005 regular season Atlantic Coast Conference title, set a school record for dual meet wins (16) and had a school-record five wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships. During his tenure, Virginia Tech crowned five ACC champions and had two All-Americans. Senior heavyweight Mike Faust was named 2006 ACC Wrestler of the Year.

Prior to taking the helm at Virginia Tech, Brands was an assistant coach at Iowa for 12 seasons (1993-2004). He helped the Hawkeyes to a 177-27 dual record, seven NCAA and eight Big Ten team titles, while crowning 23 NCAA champions, 73 All-Americans and 36 Big Ten champions. He was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.

In 2004, he was one of three coaches for the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, participating in Athens, and in 2016 he was named a volunteer coach of the United States Olympic team in Rio. Brands also served as assistant coach for the U.S. Freestyle World Teams in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2014, and 2015. He was named Freestyle Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling in 2002 and 2003. He has coached a number of other U.S. teams in international competition.

As a competitor, Brands won the 1996 Olympic freestyle gold medal at 136.5 pounds in Atlanta, Georgia. He also won a gold medal at the 1993 World Championships in Toronto, two World Cup gold medals (1994, 1995) and was the 1995 Pan American Games champion. He won four U.S. National titles (1993-96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993-96). Along with his twin brother, Terry, Tom was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, the 1993 John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler, and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. He was inducted into wrestling’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

Brands was a four-time All-American at Iowa (1989-92). During his Hawkeye career, he won three NCAA titles and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the 1992 NCAA Championships. Also a three-time Big Ten champion, Brands won 95 percent of his matches at Iowa. His career mark of 158-7-2 includes an undefeated season in 1991 (45-0).

The Sheldon, Iowa, native was born April 9, 1968. He earned his B.S. degree in physical education from Iowa in 1992. He and his wife, Jeni, have three adult children, Madigan, Kinsee and Tommy.”

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

A WINNING TEAM AT FLORIDA’S CREEKSIDE HIGH SCHOOL, HEADED BY COACH RICK MARABELL

By ROCCO ARTESIAN

In a presciently and thoughtfully drafted letter, Creekside High School head coach Rick Marabell wrote:

“I have been involved with the sport of wrestling for over 40 years now. My favorite quote is from the great wrestler and legendary coach Dan Gable, ‘Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.’ I can say in my life that quote has rang true over and over again. I believe that wrestling offers certain life lessons that may take years to develop or experience.

My high school and college wrestling coaches had a huge impact on my life. They not only taught the skills and techniques required to be successful on the mat, but they also understood that, as coaches, they had an opportunity to instill character traits that would last a lifetime. As a coach and mentor, I feel it’s my responsibility to pass on those same core character traits. I have listed only five of the many core character traits that wrestling has to offer. It is these five traits our wrestling program chooses to focus on because of their lasting impact.

Humility: There is no bigger test than competing in a physical one on one completive match. In wrestling, an athlete can’t hide behind or place blame on teammates for a loss. As an individual sport, wrestling will subject a competitor to the thrills of victory, as well, the humbling of defeat. This could be very challenging to many young athletes. This experience forces an individual to make a choice on how to proceed. Either give up or grow from the experience and move forward.

Work Ethic: Success in wrestling is directly related to how hard you work, period. Talent can make a difference, but the best wrestlers are typically separated by those who have put the extra time and effort into their preparation. This carries over into life because there is no substitute for hard work.

Discipline: Wrestling requires an uncommon sacrifice, dedication and most important discipline. Nothing will push you more mentally and physically than the sport of wrestling. Demanding one to be self-motivation and self-reliance to achieve one’s goals, which is all intertwined with discipline. It is you alone that stands in that circle on the wrestling mat. Yes, you’ll get help from coaches, mentors and your parents to prepare, but in a wrestling match it’s all on you.

Mental Toughness: Mental toughness is even more vital than physical toughness, as your mind will almost always give up before your body. Wrestling does develop physical toughness, but most importantly the aspect of mental toughness. In all sports, mental toughness plays a key component, but in wrestling, it’s more prevalent because of the one on one combative nature of the sport.

Confidence: Once you realize that the worst thing that can happen in wrestling is getting pinned, which can be upsetting, you have only one direction to go and that is forward. You may not be successful at first, but this can be achieved through work ethic, self-discipline and continual determination to improve one’s self. Once you put it all together then success will follow.

All five of these character traits are symbiotic because they rely on each other. Through one’s work ethic and self-discipline develops mental toughness and in the end one’s self-confidence, but it all starts with humility. I know wrestling isn’t for everyone, but if an athlete chooses to participate in wrestling then they will be rewarded with qualities that will remain with them throughout their lives.”

Rick Marabell has served as the head coach for the Creekside High School wrestling team since 2008, when he initiated the program; since then, he has been the only head coach for the team. Creekside High School, located in St. Johns, Florida is a Class 3A school for wrestling, meaning it has a very large student population and competes in the toughest division in the state against other giant high schools. This past season, Marabell headed a team that had three wrestlers – Hunter Brown (region champ), Bryan Fortay (2nd in regions), and Diego Rivera (4th in regions) – punch their tickets for the state tournament. In addition to these three state qualifiers, Creekside High School had three district champs (Brown, Fortay, and Vincent Approbato) and four other wrestlers who placed in the districts (Rivera, Hunter England, Andrew Feeks, Conner Wright, Cathan Simpson, Keanan Sexton, Lee Leavell, and Michael Little).

Marabell wrestled at both Keystone College and Millersville University. At Keystone, he was a two-time national qualifier in his college’s division. During his sophomore year, he was ranked number two in the nation for his division. Marabell furthered his wrestling accomplishments while serving as a starter on the U.S. Air Force Team. He was a member of the All-Air Force Team that was present at the Olympic training camp in the early 1990s. In total, Marabell wrestled hundreds of matches during his collegiate and Air Force careers, with the vast majority of those matches resulting in Marabell victories. When he graduated from Tunkhannock High School (Pennsylvania), he was only the second person in school history to record over 100 wins.

Creekside High School which, overall, has outstanding athletic programs as overseen and developed by its statewide-respected athletic director, Luke Marabell (brother of Rick), is also an academic powerhouse. The school ranks, academically, at the very top in Florida; the St. Johns County School District is ranked in the top 10 nationally. Smart schools employ smart wrestling coaches and athletic directors.

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

Highlight Corner: Wrestling Hall of Famer Ken DeStefanis a Rock Star

By CANDY STALLWORTH

USA Wrestling Hall of Famer Ken DeStefanis, known to his friends and colleagues as “Kenny D”, has led one of the most eclectic careers in American wrestling. Following are some key highlights, making him a wrestling rock star.

As a Division 1 head coach, Kenny D compiled a 72% winning percentage, during a career that spanned 12 years for Central Connecticut State University; this winning percentage put him in the top 20 in the nation for active coaches.

Kenny D also racked up a tremendous record as a collegiate wrestler, going 66 – 9 during his own career on the mat for Central Connecticut.

He has coached thousands of wrestlers, from youth through high school through college – not only as a college and high school coach, but also through voluminous camps that he led under his Competitive Edge banner.

In addition to being in the national Wrestling Hall of Fame, Kenny D is in the Connecticut Wrestling Hall of Fame, where a powerful tribute video was produced as part of his induction. Numerous wrestling standouts spoke of not only Kenny D’s outstanding accomplishments in wrestling, but also of his great character as a human being.

Heading up Competitive Edge, a company that is one of the leading names in U.S. wrestling, Ken DeStefanis is not just a rock star, but a perennial wrestling star.

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.