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National Wrestling Coaches Association Picks Balance Bar as its Official Energy Bar

October 1st, 2012 by Tom

 VALHALLA, N.Y. (Daniel Johnson, MSM Sports Media) "Balance Bar, one of America's original nutrition/energy bar leaders, has been selected as the Official Energy Bar of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and strengthening amateur wrestling. The collaboration reinforces the value of maintaining a balanced diet to optimize performance for wrestlers and for athletes in all other sports.

"The NWCA is thrilled to recognize Balance Bar as our 'official energy bar,'" said Rob Koll, NWCA president and head wrestling coach at Cornell University. "Wrestlers must adhere to a strict diet and Balance Bar is a perfect food for our athletes prior to or following their competitions."

"A partnership with Balance Bar is a natural fit for wrestling," said Mike Moyer, NWCA executive director. "Wrestling represents the gold standard in physical fitness and sport nutrition as evidenced by the fact that our wrestlers must undergo a body composition and hydration assessment as a condition to compete. That said, we are forever grateful that we can now provide our wrestlers with a product (Balance Bar) that represents the gold standard in the energy bar industry."

In addition to its "official nutrition bar" ranking, the Balance Bar Company will be primary sponsor of the NWCA Optimal Performance Calculator (OPC), a peer-reviewed, web-based weight management and sport nutrition program designed to assist wrestlers (and athletes in other sports) with optimizing performance.

The OPC is currently licensed for wrestling weight certification purposes by 38 state high school athletic associations and all-collegiate governing bodies including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, National Junior College Athletic Association and California Community Colleges, which collectively represent 220,000 student-wrestlers, 8,500 coaches, and 8,000 athletic trainers.

As a matter of background, the NWCA collaborated with renowned sport scientists in 1997 to develop a nationally-mandated weight management program designed to help wrestlers maximize their performance based on a pre-season body fat, hydration, and weight analysis. The raw data from these assessments was entered into the OPC so that an ideal competition weight and safe weight loss/gain plan could be established. In addition, the athletes were assigned daily nutrient goals (fats, carbohydrates, protein, calories) based on their weight loss/gain plan. Then they could access an integrated menu of food options to create a customized diet.

Over the years, the OPC functions much the same way. It has been modified to accommodate the unique weight management/nutrition needs of athletes in all sports and most recently updated for use in the physical education and adult diet/fitness communities. This represents the potential to reach tens of millions of athletes and active adults in the U.S.

Balance Bar, which is rooted in a winning 40/30/30 balanced nutritional model (40% of calories come from healthy carbohydrates, 30% from quality protein and 30% from dietary fat), will be posting content on the OPC to keep healthy weight management and nutrition top of mind. And Balance Bar also will be a primary sponsor of key NWCA events throughout its 2012/13 season starting with the NWCA All Star Classic (November 3, 2012; Washington DC), and the NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals (January 11-12, 2013; Springfield, Illinois).

"Balance Bar is honored to be the NWCA's official energy bar and to help them spread the message that athletics and a healthy nutrition lifestyle are a winning combination," said Peter B. Wilson, Jr., Balance Bar's president and CEO. "We welcome millions of wrestlers, athletes and active folks to join us on our journey for balance."

Ryan Lang Becomes Ohio Bobcat Volunteer Assistant

October 3rd, 2009 by Tom

ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Wrestling welcomes Ryan Lang, who will become a volunteer assistant coach for the Bobcats.

Over five stellar competition years at Northwestern University, Lang compiled a 104-27 career record, going 39-9 in dual meets. A native of North Royalton, Ohio, Lang was a four-time Ohio state champion in high school.

In his first year he wrestled unattached, going 7-1 overall, including competing at the Michigan State Open. He won his first three career matches and posted an undefeated 4-0 record at the Cleveland State Open.

His freshman year was marked by a 28-10 overall record, including a 4-2 mark in the Big Ten. He only missed All-American status by one win this season. Being one of only three freshmen to crack the 20-wins barrier, he was a perfect 7-0 in nonconference dual meets. He also recorded eight major decision victories this year, with eight pins and two technical falls.

In his sophomore season, he posted a 22-7 overall record en route to earning his first career All-America honor. He finished fourth at the NCAA Championships this season and placed second at the Big Ten Championships. His sophomore campaign began with eleven straight wins. In November he was crowned Themat.com's Wrestler of the Week and Big Ten Wrestler of the Week. He was ranked top-ten by all four major wrestling polls this season.

In his junior season he posted an unbelievable 29-1 record en route to earning his second-career All-America honor. He finished in second at the NCAA Championships, scoring two pins in five matches. He won the Big Ten Championship in the 141 lb class. At the Eastern Michigan Open he went 5-0, racking up two major decisions and not allowing a single point scored against him. He also won the 2006 Midlands Championships and the NWCA All-Star Classic.

In his senior year at Northwestern, Lang earned his fourth trip to the NCAA Championships, posting an 18-8 record. He moved up to the 149 lb class for his senior season, going 5-4 in Big Ten duals. He started the year with a 6-0 record and went 4-0 at the Missouri Open. At the National Duals meet he posted a 4-1 record. He also contributed major decision victories over Wisconsin and Illinois.

Ryan was an Arts and Sciences major while at Northwestern. He was born on June 6, 1984.

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

NWCA August Convention to Feature Gable as Speaker

July 27th, 2009 by Tom

The National Wrestling Coaches Association is pleased to announce their 2009 Annual Convention, to be held at the Bahia Mar Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 6-9th.

This year's convention features many informative sessions that will be beneficial to both the scholastic and collegiate coaching communities.

The NWCA Convention is the time for coaches to interact with one another outside of the wrestling season, paired with informational sessions on how to take a more proactive approach to being the coach and "CEO "of your team. This year's focus for the collegiate divisions is, "To Protect and Promote Your College Program. " Scholastic Coaches will focus on: Leadership, coaching development, technique and networking.

For the Scholastic Coach:

"¢ Creating and sustaining a positive team culture
"¢ Coaching Development (risk management, recruitment and retention of wrestlers)
"¢ Systematic teaching for success on the mat
"¢ NFHS rules review
"¢ Being a leader in "off the mat " areas

For the Collegiate Coach:

"¢ Best Practices for improving retention and graduation rates of student-athletes
"¢ Creating and sustaining a positive team culture
"¢ Division I "Mock NCAA Selection Process"
"¢ Protecting your intercollegiate wrestling team
"¢ Change of Season Discussion

Highlighting the event will be legendary Coach Dan Gable as this year's guest speaker for the NWCA Conventions opening luncheon on Friday, August 7th. Coach Gable is the University of Iowa's all-time winningest wrestling coach from 1977-1997. His career coaching record totals 355-21-5, leading the Hawkeyes to 15 NCAA Team Championships including nine consecutive championships (1978-1986). In the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, he won a gold medal without surrendering a point to any of his opponents.

He has been appointed to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Gable has also been named the top wrestler of the 20th century by Gannett News Service. He was listed as one of the top coaches in the 20th century by ESPN. Along with being named Iowa's top "sports figure "in the past 100 years.

The convention luncheon featuring Coach Gable will take place August 7, 2009, at noon in the Grandview Ballroom of the Bahia Mar Hotel. Extra tickets for the luncheon can be purchased by calling the NWCA Office.

Also addressing the convention attendees will be Dan Gould the Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the Michigan State University. Gould is a professor with a specialty in applied sport psychology. He has co-authored two books, Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology (with Bob Weinberg) and Understanding Psychological Preparation for Sport: Theory and Practice of Elite Performers (with Lew Hardy and Graham Jones).

Gould partnered with the NWCA in 2008 to aid in the development of the Coaching Education Programs and the NWCA Leadership Academy that is being unveiled prior to the convention.

The featured clinicians are Tom Borrelli of Central Michigan University and Brian Smith of the University of Missouri, both coaches who have produced many talented college wrestlers along with promoting their teams to the community.

Coach Borrelli has been the head coach at Central Michigan for 17 years. In that time he has also been named the NWCA Bobb Bubb Coaching Excellence Award Winner and the NWCA and WIN Magazine National Coach of the Year.

Coach Smith has been with the Missouri Tigers for the past 10 years. Smith has local roots growing up in Fort Lauderdale and starting his coaching career at Western High School. Smith has also been honored as an NWCA National Coach of the Year.

There will be an additional technique session specifically for the scholastic coaches hosted by Dave Crowell, Head Coach at Nazareth High School (Pennsylvania). Crowell has been honored five times as the Pennsylvania State Coach of the Year and has also been named an NWCA National Coach of the Year.

Space is still available for coaches wishing to attend, registration can be completed online. The full convention registration is $225; there is a $50 discount for multiple coaches from the same school with the purchase of one full registration. For more information on the NWCA Convention you can contact the NWCA Office at 717-653-8009 or by going to our website at www.nwcaonline.com.

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NWCA Announces Top 30 Academic Wrestling Teams

June 9th, 2009 by Tom

The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) has announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams for the 2008-2009 season.

For the second straight year, American University pinned down top team honors. The Eagles, coached by Mark Cody, led the NCAA Division I wrestling teams with grade point average (GPA) of 3.283. The other teams in the top ten in terms of GPA:

2. Harvard University (with a 3.2585 GPA)

3. Stanford University (3.2574 GPA)

4. Duke University (3.2331 GPA)

5. Davidson College (3.1727 GPA)

6. Utah Valley State (3.1623 GPA)

7. Northwestern (3.1613 GPA)

8. Brown University (3.1466 GPA)

9. Princeton University (3.1099 GPA)

10. Cornell University (3.0978 GPA)

All eleven conferences were represented in the top 30 teams"¦ with the EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) leading the way with six teams.

Among the teams to place in the top ten at the 2009 NCAA Division I championships, only the Iowa State Cyclones earned a place on the NWCA All-Academic Top 30 Teams, placing 27th on that academic list.

For teams to be eligible for consideration, the team GPA is comprised of 12 student athletes, including the 10 wrestlers that were the entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they may fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.

"We are finding that year in and year out, coaches strive to have their team's listed as an All-Academic Team. This is another measure of success for these programs," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "There is so much more to wrestling than what is done on the mat and we see just one part of that here with the All-Academic Team."

As Delaware State axes wrestling, NWCA takes action

May 12th, 2009 by Tom

In the past few weeks, the college wrestling world has been abuzz about head coaching changes at major programs such Iowa State, Penn State, Arizona State and University of Illinois... to the point where many wrestlers, coaches and fans may not realize that at least three college wrestling programs have been axed in April alone.

Earlier last month, Carson-Newman and MIT reported that they were cutting their intercollegiate wrestling programs. Just this week, Delaware State announced it was eliminating wrestling, reducing its roster of intercollegiate sports from 18 down to 17.

"Dropping the wrestling program was a very difficult decision influenced by several factors, "said acting DSU President Claibourne D. Smith. "Like a number of programs around the nation being discontinued in these economic times, it is with regret that the University can no longer field a wrestling program adequate to University and NCAA expectations."

During the 2008-2009 season, other college wrestling programs getting the ax have included Lawrence College, Norwich University, Portland State, Rose-Hulman, and Wagner College.

In light of these cuts, the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) has announced an action plan, working directly with these programs and affiliated groups to see what might be done at each individual school"¦ with an ultimate goal of reinstating programs.

Among the steps that the NWCA is taking is to educate college boards of trustees on the important role that wrestling can serve in helping smaller, private schools with concerns about maintaining enrollment levels that wrestling is a way to maintain and grow overall enrollments, even in today's challenging economic environment. As the NWCA points out, there are more than 260,000 high school wrestlers in the U.S., but only 260 wrestling programs at four-year colleges"¦ so there is tremendous opportunity for colleges that establish or reinstate a wrestling program to attract students from this sizeable pool.

The NWCA also notes that a number of discontinued programs can be traced back to poor retention and graduation rates among athletes. To address this challenge, the NWCA has retained the consulting services of Mark Gumble, a member of the National Association of Athletic Academic Advisors, a group that is funded by the NCAA to oversee APR improvement strategies.

As a group that serves wrestling coaches, the NWCA is providing direct assistance to coaches in a number of ways, including collaborating directly with the head coach and alumni groups at each of the eight schools that are eliminating wrestling"¦ the establishment of a College Coaching Academy to help coaches enhance their leadership and business skills to protect their programs"¦ and offering mentors to coaches of existing programs that the NWCA has identified as being in danger of elimination.


Take The NWCA College Wrestling Survey

February 7th, 2009 by Tom

Hello Wrestling Fans,

I am currently working with the NWCA to improve the sustainability of college wrestling and its programs. We are in the process of assessing the college wrestling schedule and we would love to get your opinion on a variety of related issues. In order to do this, we hope that you will take 5 minutes of your time to fill out our online survey (link below). Thanks so much for your time!

Coyte Cooper


NWCA releases Web-based skin infection seminar

October 19th, 2008 by Tom

Mike Moyer/NWCA

The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) has collaborated with Fresh Health Innovations LLC and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to produce a 23-minute web-based seminar, Preventing Skin Infections, for athletes, coaches and parents. The seminar includes an additional seven-minute "stand alone "component addressing the unique skin infection challenges in wrestling.

The focus of the seminar is on the identification, prevention, and treatment of skin infections in sports. The seminar is free to everyone in the sports community and can be viewed at www.nwcaskinprevention.com. Preventing Skin Infections is also available on DVD for classroom viewing for a modest cost to cover duplication and shipping/handling.

The seven-minute wrestling "stand-alone "component features wrestling legend Dan Gable and NCAA Champion and current Ohio State assistant coach Joe Heskett.

One of the primary architects of the webinar, Dr. Dave Joyner, is a former All American wrestler and football player at Penn State University and has a long history of service to the US Olympic Committee. Dave Joyner said, "I am extremely gratified that this project is now being launched. Countless athletes in all sports will benefit from what they learn in this video."

"With the emergence of widespread outbreaks of herpes and the potentially deadly antibiotic resistant strains of staph infection in sport specific populations, the prevention and treatment of skin infections has become as important as technical and tactical aspects of training. This video will help coaches and athletes recognize early signs and symptoms of skin infection so transmission to other athletes can be kept to a minimum, "said NWCA President Jim Beichner.

Mike Moyer, the Executive Director of the NWCA added, "Common sense and due diligence are still the most effective ways to battle skin infection. However, the prevention of skin infection is often the most overlooked aspect of training. We hope that this seminar will convey the important message to coaches and athletes that preventing skin infection is a responsibility that should never be taken lightly."

"We wanted to produce a web site and corresponding video that were both engaging and informative, "explains Fresh Health Innovations creative director, Fred Miles. "We used extensive animation, special effects, studio and on-location shooting to create a seminar that is not only fun to watch, but has a ton of practical information."
The mission of Fresh Health Innovations, LLC. is to provide information to athletes, coaches and parents about injury prevention, conditioning, nutrition and other topics relating to health and fitness. Preventing Skin Infections was made possible by a grant from a leading Pennsylvania health insurance company.