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PSU Wrestling Coach to partake in national focus group

The National Wrestling Coaches Association is excited to announce it has secured a $30,000 grant that can be utilized to fund "up-and-coming" college coaches who have been nominated by their peers to participate in a "one of a kind" Coaches Leadership Academy "focus group" in conjunction with this year's NWCA Convention in Ft. Lauderdale.  To a large extent, the future success of college wrestling lies in the hands of these aspiring young coaches.

Tommy Prairie Plymouth State University's third-year head coach Tommy Prairie (right) is one of the coaches who will be participating.

"The NWCA is extremely grateful for the generosity of our Academy benefactors John Harmon, Irv Naylor, and Greg Hatcher who have collectively established the $30,000 scholarship grant.  Further, NWCA benefactors Dave Bunning and Mark Mestemacher should be acknowledged for their roles in underwriting the entire development of the College Coaches Leadership Academy," said NWCA President Jim Beichner.

"It is clear that these individuals are determined to make sure our young, aspiring college coaches have the necessary skills and resources to navigate through these very challenging economic times."

The purpose of this focus group is to utilize "peer group discussion" among college coaches, athletic administrators, and CEOs to develop ‘best practices" for protecting and strengthening intercollegiate wrestling programs through this challenging economy.   Specifically, we want to help coaches strengthen their CEO skills and better align their programs with educational values.  

Nationally renowned coaching development expert, Dr. Dan Gould from Michigan State University, will be facilitating these discussions.  In addition, he will be collaborating with some of our nation's top athletic administrators, coaches, and CEOs (with wrestling backgrounds) to begin the develop of faculty who will serve as facilitators at regional "Coaching Leadership" workshops around the nation once the training program is fully functional.

The 2009 Leadership Academy consists of the following coaches: John Mark Bentley, Ben Berogen, Jason Borrelli, Mark Branch, Brandon Brissette, Shawn Charles, Dax Charles, Heath Eslinger, John Garriques, Trent Goodale, Scott Hawes, Scott Hinkle, Tim Homan, Greg Ilaria, Tony Islas, RC LaHaye, Tom Layte, Clint Manny, Risto Marttinen, Joe, Pollard, Tommy Prairie, Todd Roberts, Ryan Smith, Ben Stehura, Casey Stouffer, Beau Vest and Jason York.

Mentors for the 2009 Leadership Academy are as follows: Ron Beaschler, Jim Beichner, Tom Bold, Tom Borrelli, Jim Fallis, Mark Gumble, Dan Harris, Todd Hibbs, Dave Icenhower, Paul Kendle, Rob Koll, Jim Makovsky, Joe McFarland, Darrell Randall, Rande Stottlemyer, Greg Strobel, Jeff Swenson, Alan Utter, and Colonel Billy Walker.

On behalf the NWCA Board of Directors, we would like to encourage all college coaches (head and assistants) to attend the 2009 NWCA Convention scheduled for August 6-9.  Wrestling's challenges must be solved by wrestling people.  There has never been a more important time for the wrestling community to work together.  We hope that we will see a record attendance this year!

The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a professional organization dedicated to serve and provide leadership for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on scholastic and collegiate programs. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.

The NWCA, through its organizational structure, promotes communication, recognizes achievement, recommends rules and regulations, sponsors events, and serves as an educational and informational source. Additionally, the NWCA strives to foster the sportsmanship and integrity that are the cornerstones of athletic competition.