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AZ State Adds Baskren, Snyder & Jordan to Coaching Staff

August 3rd, 2009 by Tom

TEMPE - Former collegiate standouts Bryan Snyder, Ben Askren and Raymond Jordan have joined the coaching staff of the Arizona State University wrestling program, Head Coach Shawn Charles announced Tuesday. All three individuals, who will join current assistant coach Brian Stith on the staff, were multiple All-Americans and conference champions in their time on the mats and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the mats in Tempe.

"I am very excited to have all three of these men on my staff, "Charles said. "I have worked with them all in the past and I believe they bring a lot to the table as we push to become a very successful program once again. I really feel our coaching staff is second-to-none and I know each of these men are ready to work hard to help our program succeed both on the mats and off. I look forward to watching this program continue to grow with their help."

A four-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up for Nebraska, Snyder will serve as the head assistant coach on Charles' staff while both Askren and Jordan will serve as volunteer assistant coaches. Askren, a 2008 U.S. Olympian and two-time NCAA Champion at Missouri, and Jordan, a two-time All-American at Missouri, will also continue their training as members of the Sunkist Kids organization while assisting with the Sun Devil program. All three have worked with Charles in the past as well: Charles was a coach during Snyder's senior season and both were on the staff together for two seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05); Charles was an assistant coach at MU for the past two years where Askren was a volunteer coach and Jordan was a competitor for the Tigers.

Snyder was one of the top wrestlers at 157 pounds from 1999-02 as he collected four All-America honors after placing fourth, fifth, second and second in his NCAA appearances. One of the few four-time champions in the history of the Big XII Conference, Snyder compiled a career record of 136-11 with his .925 winning percentage standing as the best in Husker history. Snyder was equally as successful in the classroom during his time in Lincoln as he was selected as the school's 2002 Student-Athlete of the Year. He graduated from NU with a pair of degrees (Sociology and Communication Studies) in 2002 before coaching at Harvard for one season. After his stint with the Crimson, Snyder returned to NU where he served as a graduate assistant coach while working toward his Masters in Sociology, which he earned in 2005. Recently, he has spent the past three years at the University of Colorado where he studied as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology.

"I am really excited to work alongside Shawn Charles and the rest of the staff to bring Arizona State back to national prominence, "Snyder said. I am confident that we can do big things at Arizona State and I am anxious to get on campus and get to work by helping our student-athletes excel on the mat and in the classroom as well."

"Bryan is going to help me bring together all the pieces that we need to make our program very successful, "Charles said. "He coached at Harvard as well and academics is big on his list. I know he is going to help make sure that our wrestlers are doing the things academically that we need to do to be among the top programs in our sport and across the board. We are going to go after wrestlers that can get the job done in the classroom as well as on the mat and he will be a big part of that. He also is from one of the more prestigious high schools in the country (Easton High School in Pennsylvania) and I feel he will be able to help us attract some of the East Coast talent that will continue to help the Sun Devil program rise to the top once again."

Askren was one of the elite collegiate competitors in the nation during his time at Missouri (2003-07) where his exciting style of wrestling led him to the finals of the 174-pound weight class at the NCAA Championships four times. A three-time Big XII champion, Askren won the national title in each of his last two seasons by winning 87 matches in a row and pinning numerous foes. For his dominance, he was named the Dan Hodge Winner twice while also collecting the Schalles Award (Best Pinner) twice. Askren built a career record of 153-7 in Columbia with 93 wins by fall (fourth-best in NCAA history) while also posting a national record of 18-consecutive wins by fall in the first period. A four-time NWCA All-Academic and four-time Academic All-Big XII honoree, Askren spent the past two years as a volunteer assistant coach with the Tigers while training for and competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the member of Team USA went 1-1 in the 74kg freestyle competition.

"I am very excited to help Coach Charles take the Sun Devils back to the top, "Askren said. "Coach Charles helped me tremendously in my Olympic run in 2008. I feel like Arizona State is a great school to recruit at and has the potential to challenge for a national title year after year. I am very motivated to seeing that become reality and look forward to doing all I can to help the Sun Devils reach that goal."

"With all his accolades, Ben certainly brings a lot of wrestling credentials to the table, "Charles said. "He is going to be the guy that will work with our 165, 174 and 184-pound wrestlers and help prepare them to compete at a high level and to become national champions. He is a great guy and has a unique style of wrestling, which many call "funk". He will be able to teach our guys a different style of wrestling that I feel will help them understand the sport better and give them more tools to become better wrestlers and win more matches."

Jordan is the most recent graduate on the staff as he graduated in December with his degree in personal finance planning from MU. A four-time NCAA qualifier, Jordan was a two-time All-American for the Tigers and just the fourth MU wrestler to earn the national honor in multiple weight classes as he finished fifth at 184 pounds as a junior and then was third at 174 pounds as a senior. The 2007 Big XII champion at 184, Jordan compiled a career record of 123-29 and was the 15th wrestler in the program's history to record 100 or more victories in a career. His win total also stands as the fourth-most in program history. A three-time high school state champion from North Carolina and a high school All-American, Jordan was involved with the MU program off the mats as well as he served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) on campus during his senior year.

"I am excited to come to Arizona State and work alongside a talented group of coaches, "Jordan said. "The program has a strong tradition of being very successful and I am looking forward to helping restore that reputation. ASU is only one of a handful of programs that has tasted what it is like to win a National Championship and I hope to help them reach their goals of achieving that title again. I am really appreciative of this opportunity to join the Sun Devil staff and look forward to many great years ahead."

"Raymond is a hard worker and earned many accolades at Missouri, "Charles said. "He will work with our wrestlers at 184, 197 and heavyweight and I know he will work hard to make sure those student-athletes are physically ready to compete and be well prepared to challenge for All-America honors and national titles. I am very happy to have someone like Raymond in our program because he is an all-around good guy with great character and determination to succeed. I was very excited when he told me he would be coming out to train with Sunkist and to help our program as well."

The Sun Devil coaching staff is currently preparing for the 2009-10 season and will look to build upon the program's 20th-place showing at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships. ASU will be led by a pair of returning All-Americans in Anthony Robles (fourth place at 125) and Chris Drouin (sixth place at 141).

The Snyder File
"¢ Four-time All-American for Nebraska at 157 pounds (1999-02)
"¢ Two-time NCAA finalist (2001, 2002)
"¢ Four-time Big XII Conference champion
"¢ Three-time NWCA All-Star participant
"¢ Career 136-11 overall and 69-4 dual records (#2 on NU wins lists)
"¢ Career winning percentage leader at NU (.925)
"¢ Four-time NWCA All-Academic
"¢ Four-time Academic All-Big XII selection
"¢ Graduated from NU in 2002 (two degrees: Sociology, Communication Studies) and in 2005 (Master's in Sociology)
"¢ Working toward Ph.D. in Sociology at Colorado

The Askren File
"¢ 2008 U.S. Champion and U.S. Olympian (74kg freestyle)
"¢ Two-time NCAA Champion for Missouri at 174 pounds (2006, 2007)
"¢ Four-time NCAA finalist and All-American (2004-07)
"¢ Three-time Big XII Conference champion
"¢ Two-time Dan Hodge Award winner
"¢ Two-time Schalles Award winner
"¢ Career 153-7 record at MU
"¢ Won 93 matches by fall (fourth-most in NCAA history)
"¢ Won 18-consecutive matches by fall in the first period (NCAA record)
"¢ Undefeated over his last two years of competition at MU
"¢ Won his last 87 matches in a row (Top 10 in NCAA history)
"¢ Four-time NWCA All-Academic selection
"¢ Four-time Academic All-Big XII selection
"¢ Graduated from Missouri in 2007

The Jordan File
"¢ Two-time All-American for Missouri at 174 (2009) and 184 (2008)
"¢ Only the fourth Tiger to earn All-America honors at two different weights
"¢ Four-time NCAA qualifier (three times at 184 and once at 174)
"¢ 2007 Big XII Champion at 184 pounds
"¢ Career record of 123-29 made him the 15th Tiger to win 100 or more matches in a career
"¢ His 123 career wins ranks as the fourth-most in MU history
"¢ Graduated from MU in December 2008 with a degree in Personal Finance Planning

Shawn Charles Named Head Coach at Arizona State

May 15th, 2009 by Tom

Wrestling names Shawn Charles to head coaching position

Shawn Charles, a four-time All-American and two-time national runner-up at Arizona State University, has been named the head coach of the Sun Devil wrestling program, Senior Associate Athletic Director Don Bocchi announced Friday. Charles, an Arizona native and one of the more successful Sun Devils in the program's history, will become only the sixth head coach in the program's 47-year history.

"We are very excited to announce Shawn Charles as our head wrestling coach and feel that his drive to succeed and his determination to bring Arizona State wrestling back to the top of the standings is exactly what we are looking for," Bocchi said. "His passion for this great sport is very evident and we believe he is going to put everything he has into helping our program return to the success he and his teammates enjoyed when they competed. We also found his commitment to the total student-athlete concept on pace with our desires to help these young men succeed in the classroom and in the community both now and in the future. We are encouraged by the experiences he has had elsewhere and we are looking forward to seeing what Coach Charles and his Sun Devils achieve in the years to come."

"I am excited to be back at my Alma mater and to be the guy to put it all together and make Arizona State successful once again," Charles said. "It is a great opportunity to come back to Tempe and strengthen this program as a coach and I am looking forward to goals I have set for this team in the coming years. One of my goals is to get the community involved with our program. I really believe that wrestling is a viable form of entertainment and I would really like to see the communities around Arizona get involved in supporting this form of entertainment.

"I also think it is important for our student-athletes to be recognized not only for their achievements on the mats, but in the classrooms as well," Charles said. "I want to win championships, but I also want to make sure our young men are succeeding academically and setting their sites on the future by graduating from college. For me, I know the environment, I know the community, I know the boosters, I know the alumni and I know the task that is front of me and I know that makes me the best person to help drive this program forward and do the things I need to do to ensure that Arizona State wrestling stays a Division I program and wins championships."

Charles will have a wealth of knowledge at his disposal as he works to bring the program back to the top of the national and conference standings after being there himself as a Sun Devil. In his years in Tempe (1990-93), Charles helped the Sun Devils to three Pac-10 Championships (1990, 1991 and 1993) while also helping the team place among the Top 6 nationally in each of the those three seasons, including a national runner-up finish in 1990 and a fourth-place showing in 1993. He earned All-America honors in all four of his years on the mat at 126 pounds, placing fifth as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore before taking national runner-up honors in his final two campaigns.

A two-time Pac-10 individual champion (1992 and 1993), Charles collected 103 victories in his collegiate career, ranking him tied for 19th on the program's all-time wins list. He also ranks 19th in career dual-match victories after he posted a 44-15-5 record in those matches. Charles also was a two-time competitor in the East-West All-Star Dual and captured the Las Vegas Invitational twice while also finishing second at the prestigious Midlands Championships once during his Sun Devil career.

Upon earning his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from ASU in 1993, the native of Tucson, Ariz., began his coaching career that has taken him all over the nation in the collegiate ranks and around the world as a representative of USA Wrestling. Charles, who has worked with programs in the Big XII Conference, the Mid-America Conference (MAC), the Ivy League and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), began his coaching career at Iowa State (1993-95) where he served as an assistant coach before he returned to the Valley of the Sun to serve as the head assistant coach at Phoenix College (1995-96).

From there, he returned to the Big XII where he worked as the assistant freestyle wrestling coach at Oklahoma (1996-97) before Central Michigan brought him as its head assistant coach (1997-01). While at CMU, eleven wrestlers earned All-America status and one was crowned national champion in 1999. Overall, the team recorded a pair of Top 10 national finishes as well.

Charles was then named the head assistant coach at Nebraska (2001-05) and helped the Corn huskers to two Top 10 finishes with 11 All-Americans and one national champion. With 22 All-Americans, two national champions and four Top 10 team finishes on his resume, Fresno State brought Charles back to the West by naming him the head coach. Despite qualifying four wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, including future Sun Devil Greg Gifford, the program was discontinued after his only year, sending Charles across the nation to Brown (2006-07) for a one-year stint as it's assistant coach.

Over the past two seasons, Charles worked with a Big XII program, this time helping Missouri's program to a seventh-place finish in 2009 and five individual All-America honors. All told in his brief stint in Columbia, Mo., the Tigers earned eight All-America honors and had one individual champion. All told in his 18 years of coaching, Charles has worked with 39 NCAA All-Americans and three individual NCAA champions while also helping teams to Top 10 finishes as the NCAA Championships on seven occasions.

But his dedication to excellence was not only felt on the mats, it was recognized in the classroom as well. Three of his wrestlers were selected for scholar-athlete of the year honors while each of his coaching stops has seen him work with at least one national all-academic honoree. He also has participated in countless community activities at each of his coaching stops while also working to create and/or improve club wrestling programs in those areas.

Away from the collegiate coaching scene, Charles also has coached internationally, which includes him being named to the 2009 University World Team coaching staff after serving on the U.S. Olympic staff in both 2004 and 2008. A coach with Sunkist Kids, Charles also has served as a coach for two World Cups (2003, 2007) and has helped lead the U.S. at two international tournaments in the Ukraine. Most recently, Charles worked with MU wrestler Ben Askren, who represented the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics.

As an international competitor, Charles claimed 14 titles, including victories at tournaments in Iran, Manitoba (Canada), Slovakia, Bulgaria and Turkey while also winning the U.S. Open, the NYAC International and the Pan-American Championships. Along with several U.S. national titles, Charles twice placed second at the World Team Trials and was an alternate on the 1996 U.S. Olympic freestyle team.

Charles began his wrestling career in Tucson and competed for Santa Rita High School. While at SRHS, he captured three state titles over the course of his final three years and also won the division championship all three years.

Charles and his wife, the former Jill Hansen, are the parents of two boys, Shawn Charles, Jr. (seven) and Titus "Tyty" Charles (five).

The Charles File
"¢ ASU's first four-time wrestling All-American (5th in 1990, 4th in 1991, 2nd in 1992, 2nd in 1992)
"¢ Two-time Pac-10 Conference champion at 126 pounds
"¢ Graduated from Arizona State in 1993 with B.S. in Computer Information Systems
"¢ Ranks 19th (tie) on the ASU all-time victories list (103)
"¢ Native of Tucson, Ariz., where he won three state titles at Santa Rita High School
"¢ Has coached in four Division I conferences, including the Big XII, Ivy, Western Athletic and Mid-American
"¢ Has worked with 39 NCAA Division I All-Americans and three individual NCAA Champions
"¢ Helped teams place among the Top 10 nationally in the NCAA Division I Championships seven times

Charles' Coaching Resume
2007-09 - Missouri (assistant coach)
2006-07 - Brown (assistant coach)
2005-06 - Fresno State (head coach)
2001-05 - Nebraska (head assistant coach)
1997-01 - Central Michigan (head assistant coach)
1996-97 - Oklahoma (assistant freestyle coach)
1995-96 - Phoenix College (head coach)
1993-95 - Iowa State (assistant coach)