Contributors

Daryl WeberDaryl Weber

three time All-American, Big Ten titlist, and NCAA Champion, competing internationally Coach Weber took second at the U.S. Open, won the Sunkist Open, and wrestled in over a dozen international freestyle tournaments.  After his competitive career ended, Daryl moved to Christiansburg where he became a coach and took the high school wrestling team to multiple titles!  Click here to read more.

Dan Gable

During his prep and college Wrestling careers, Dan Gable compiled an unbelievable record of 181-1. He was undefeated in 64 prep matches, and was 117-1 at Iowa State University. His only defeat came in the NCAA finals his senior year. Gable was a two time NCAA National Wrestling Champion and three-time all-American and three-time Big Eight champion. He set NCAA records in winning and pin streaks.

After college, Gable added titles at the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali Columbia and World Championships in Sofia Bulgaria and in 1972 the Soviet Union’s famed Tbilisi Tournament in Tblisi Georgia. He won an unprecedented six Midlands Open championships and was that meet’s outstanding wrestler five times. Gable won a Gold Medal at famed 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich Germany without surrendering a single point. The Soviets came to the Olympics with only one goal in mind: to defeat Gable. They were unsuccessful.

In Gable’s final 21 Olympic qualification and Olympic matches, he scored 12 falls and outscored his nine other opponents, 130-1.

Gable joined the Iowa coaching staff in 1972, assisting head coach and Hall of Famer Gary Kurdelmeier until taking over the program in 1976.

As the University of Iowa’s all-time winningest coach from 1976 to 1997, Gable won 15 NCAA National Wrestling Team Titles while compiling a career record of 355-21-5, He coached 152 All-Americans, 45 National Champions, 106 Big Ten Champions and 12 Olympians, including four gold, one silver and three bronze medalists. The Hawkeyes won 25 consecutive Big Ten championships, 21 under Gable as head coach and four while he was an assistant coach and administrator. He had a winning percentage of .932 and captured nine consecutive (1978-86) NCAA Championships. At the time that equaled the longest streak of national titles won by any school in any sport, and is also held by Yale golf (1905-13) and Southern Cal track (1935-43).

Gable has coached many United States teams in International Freestyle competition. He is a three-time Olympic head coach (1980, 1984 and 2000). The 1984 Olympic team, which featured four Hawkeyes, won seven gold medals. He was an assistant freestyle coach at the 1976 and 1988 Olympics. Gable also served as head coach of the World Team in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1994 and 1999, as well as 10 World Cup teams winning three team golds in the World Cup competition. Gable also coached the U.S. team to a bronze medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games, and has led several all-star teams to Europe and the Soviet Union.

Gable has been named to several Halls of Fame including but not limited to the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame, the US Olympic Hall of Fame, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Stillwater, OK and is the name sake of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, IA. He selected the nation’s outstanding wrestler by the AAU in 1970, and the US Wrestling Federation in 1971. Gable was the Amateur Wrestling News “Man of the Year” in 1970.

Some of his most recent accolades include being named the top wrestler of the 20th Century by Gannett News Service; listed as one of the top coaches in the 20th Century by ESPN and named Iowa’s top “sports figure” in the past 100 years. In 1996, Gable was named one of the “100 Golden Olympians”, an honor bestowed to the top 100 U.S. Olympians of all time. During the 2012 Olympics Gable was inducted into the FILA Hall of Fame Legends of the Sport category. Only the 3rd person in the World to have this honor bestowed upon them.

Matt LindlandMatt Lindland

Matt also known as The Lawis an American retired mixed martial artistOlympic wrestler, speaker, actor, coach, entrepreneur and politician. He won the Oregon Republican Party‘s nomination for the Oregon House of Representatives, District 52 seat on May 20, 2008. He also started an apparel company named Dirty Boxer. In mixed martial arts, Lindland has competed primarily in the Middleweight division for the UFCStrikeforceAffliction, the IFLCage Rage, the WFA, and BodogFIGHT.

Devin BiscahaDevin Biscaha

Devin is an assistant coach for Christiansburg High School and club teams.  He comes from Jackson, New Jersey where he attended Jackson Memorial High School.  He then continued his career at Springfield College.  In 2013, Devin was a NCAA Division 3 wrestling national champ.  He is starting his coaching career with the Blue Demons.  Contact Coach Biscaha at dbiscaha@yahoo.com

Sonny Close

Sonny began wrestling at Woodberry Forest School where he was a team captain, state placewinner and awarded First Team All Central Virginia honors. After wrestling at Trinity College, Sonny transferred to the University of Virginia where he earned his B.A. in English and M.A. in Secondary English Education. As a Coach Sonny was an assistant under Colin Gay for five years at Woodberry Forest, under Daryl Weber at Christiansburg High School for four years. Additionally Sonny served as Head Coach for Christiansburg and led them to two state championships. He has also served VAWA as the Junior Director and Head National Teams Coach.  Email: sonnyclose@gmail.com

Ben Askren

Co-Founder and highly decorated 2008 U.S. Olympic Freestyle team member, Ben Askren, is one of the most well known wrestlers in the United States. After being a four-year starter at 174 pounds for Missouri (2004 -07) and a four year college coach, Askren moved back to Wisconsin to train at Roufusport MMA and help coach at AWA.

Ben AskrenAskren put together an impressive collegiate career that saw him advance to the finals of the 174-pound weight class four times and capturing the national title in each of his last two seasons in Columbia (2006 and 2007). The four-time All-American and three-time Big XII champion was a dominant force in his final two seasons as he went undefeated and won 87 matches in a row, which ranks among the Top 10 all-time in NCAA history. Along with 93 career wins by fall, Askren also collected an NCAA record by pinning 18-consecutive opponents in the first period of their matches.

For his success on the mats as a junior and senior, Askren was honored by W.I.N. Magazine as its Dan Hodge Award winner, an award given annually to the top collegiate wrestler. In those same years, Askren won the Schalles award twice for the NCAA’s best pinner as well as the Outstanding Wrestler award at the 2006 NCAA Championships. He completed his career with a record of 153-7 and added four Academic All-Big XII honors to his mantle.

After earning his degree from MU in 2007, Askren remained in Columbia and served as a volunteer assistant coach, working along side coach Shawn Charles for two years before both went to Tempe, AZ to coach at Arizona St. Additionally, he and Max began their wrestling camps, allowing kids a glimpse of the highly stylized approach toward the sport of wrestling. Simultaneously, during his two years after graduating, Askren continued to hone his skills and went on to capture the 74kg freestyle championship at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. With the victory came a spot on the Team USA roster and trip to the Beijing Olympics where he posted a 1-1 record on the world’s largest stage.

A native of Hartland, Wis., Askren was a two-time Wisconsin state champion (2001, 2002) and also was a three-time high school All-American (2000-02). During his prep days, he won the 2002 Junior National tournament and was the runner-up at the High School Nationals while also taking fourth in the FILA Junior Freestyle Nationals. One year prior, he also took fourth in the FILA Cadet Freestyle Nationals and was fifth in the 2000 Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals.

Today, Ben is not only Bellator Welterweight World Champion, but also the assistant coach of the Askren Wrestling Academy. Ben is the camp director of the Askren Wrestling Academy (AWA) Camps. Ben teaches the unique Pillars of A.W.A. that includes a focus of long-term success through “total wrestling”, fundamentals, and experimentation.

Zach Even-Esh

Zach Even-EshOn the surface; Strength Coach, Founder / Owner of The Underground Strength Gym, D1 Strength & Conditioning Coach (Performance Coach), Author, Consultant to Coaches….

What I REALLY am, or better yet, WHO I REALLY am?

I have a passion for ALL things Strength, not just the type of Strength that measures what you can do in the gym or in training, but what you can do in LIFE.

I am a “Simple Kind of Man” living in a complicated world. If I had it my way I’d train ONLY the hardest charging MFers and spend time with the family. I FEAR comfort and want to spread my message of The STRONG Life to the entire world, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or your age.

Lee Weber

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Gene Zannetti

Gene ZannettiGene Zannetti is a former nationally ranked All-Ivy League wrestler with a passion for the sport of wrestling. Gene began working with wrestlers/athletes in 2008 as a Mindset Coach. After working with hundreds of wrestlers, teams, coaches and clubs Wrestling Mindset was officially formed in 2013. Gene and and his brother, Jeff, have been speakers at the National Wrestling Coaches Association convention for the last 3 years as featured Mindset Coaches. They have worked with several state championship teams and wrestlers, All Americans, as well as high schools and colleges (DI, DII, DIII) across the country.  Gene consults one on one with wrestlers over the phone and has created a one of a kind Mindset Training Program. Gene has developed a systematic approach to helping wrestlers overcome their fears, build confidence, relax under pressure, and focus on what it takes to be a champion on and off the mat. 

Steve Preston

Steve PrestonSteve Preston is the head Sports Performance Specialist at Youth Athlete Training. He has trained, taught and coached well over 10,000 athletes and students for over 20 years. His athletes have ranged from 6 year old rookies to the NFL. Steve has a Master of Science and Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education.  He is also a Youth Fitness Specialist. Steve is the author of ‘Ultimate Wrestling Strength’ and ‘Bodyweight Sports Training’.

Steve is your guide to developing your youth athletes in the safest, most-effective ways possible.

We are here to help parents and coaches discover the truth about training youth athletes for long-term athletic development… not just a quick fix.

Our programs are based on the need to build complete athletes, not just one-trick-ponies. We want our athletes to experience success at every stage of their growth and development and will carry-over to a life-time of athleticism, health and appreciation for fitness.

Jim Harshaw

Jim WarshawFailure, struggle and setbacks are not only an inevitable part of life but a necessary step on the path to success. Jim Harshaw has learned many life lessons on the wrestling mat. Having been a Division I All American and won three ACC Championships for the University of Virginia, trained at the Olympic Training Center and competed overseas for Team USA, he has experienced significant triumph and devastating defeat. He relates those powerful lessons of failure, struggle and setback to empower his audiences to overcome their own challenges and achieve success despite their inevitable failures.
Jim is a speaker, executive coach and host of the Success Through Failure podcast. You can find his TED Talk on failure and learn more about his work at:

Website: www.JimHarshawJr.com
TED Talk: www.JimHarshawJr.com/TED
Twitter (personal): http://Twitter.com/JimHarshaw
Twitter (podcast): http://Twitter.com/SxsThruFailure
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jimharshawjr/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jimharshawjr

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