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Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in New York adds USA Wrestling Weekly and Takedown Wrestling

January 14th, 2013 by Tom

time warner sports Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, which reaches millions of viewers across upstate New York, has reached an agreement to air USA Wrestling Weekly, the weekly television show which covers USA Wrestling, its athletes and its activities.

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will also air Takedown Wrestling, another outstanding weekly wrestling show, which is a distribution partner with USA Wrestling Weekly.

The two shows will begin airing on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel beginning the week of January 14th throughout Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and the Capital Region/Hudson Valley.

"USA Wrestling is excited that Time Warner SportsChannel has chosen to air our weekly television show. We are confident that the residents of New York who have access to this system will enjoy our show. This is an exciting way to promote our sport and our organization in a major wrestling hotbed," said Gary Abbott, Director of Communications of USA Wrestling.

"All of us at Takedown Wrestling Media are excited to grow our partnership with Time Warner Cable SportsChannel to keep sports fans up to date on the world of wrestling. College and International styles alike will benefit from the distribution on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in the upstate New York markets, "said Scott Casber, Founder of Takedown Wrestling Media.

"We believe that the time is right to expand our wrestling coverage. We see the sport of wrestling as being under-served locally, and feel that by teaming with Takedown Media and USA Wrestling Weekly we can give Time Warner Cable SportsChannel grappling fans access to the finest worldwide wrestling coverage available," said Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Sr. Director and General Manager Steve Arvan.

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel joins a growing number of television outlets which have joined the USA Wrestling Weekly Television Network. Currently, there are 11 media companies across the nation who carry USA Wrestling Weekly, reaching millions of homes.

A complete schedule of broadcast times for the USA Wrestling Television Network is being developed and will be posted soon.

USA Wrestling Weekly can also be seen online, on TheMat.com and TheMat.TV, on USA Wrestling's YouTube Channel and on a variety of partner websites.

Les Gutches Takes New Position at USA Wrestling

January 18th, 2010 by Tom

Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
Les Gutches of Corvallis, Ore. has been named to the new position of Director of Program Development for USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States.

Gutches, who has a strong business background and a lifetime in wrestling as an athlete and coach, will be responsible for developing new or expanded programs, events and activities for USA Wrestling. He will work closely with state associations to increase membership and programs in underdeveloped markets in all styles of the sport. He will also expand strategic partnerships with other organizations, and assist in promotion and marketing activities.

He will also oversee the State Services staff of the organization, and work with a talented team which includes Manager of State Services Tony Black, Membership Services Assistant Shonna Vest, Manager of Coaches Education Cody Bickley and State Services Assistant Marge Civil.

"Les Gutches has an incredible reputation for integrity and performance, "said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director. "He is a tremendous motivator, a wonderful father, a respected coach and one of our greatest champion athletes. His presence, leadership and work ethic will take USA Wrestling membership to new heights. We are excited to welcome Les Gutches to our team and are confident that his efforts will impact the entire wrestling community."

Gutches will begin at his new job at the USA Wrestling corporate headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. on February 1.

"I have been involved with USA Wrestling from my time as a PeeWee wrestler through the Senior level. I also went into coaching and remained active in the organization, "said Gutches. "To come back with the opportunity to help grow USA Wrestling and the sport in general is an exciting prospect to me. I have been in the business world for a number of years and am very excited to return to wrestling. I'm going to have the opportunity to combine my passion for the sport with an ability to apply my professional and academic experience. This is the perfect place for me."

Gutches comes to USA Wrestling after serving as four years as a commercial lender and credit analyst for Citizens Bank, Inc. in Corvallis. Among his duties was to generate and develop new business relationships for the company, as well as assisting business clients in measuring performance and strategic decision making.

He received a Masters of Business Administration from the Oregon State University's College of Business in 2006, where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. His undergraduate degree at Oregon State was in Anthropology with a minor in German Language and Literature. He was a three-time NCAA First-Team Academic All-American as an undergraduate.

He served eight years as an assistant wrestling coach at Oregon State, helping build the Beavers into one of the nation's top programs. Gutches helped coach five athletes to NCAA All-American honors. In addition to athlete instruction, he had responsibilities that included business and alumni relations activities for the program.

He was also a club coach with the Orange Crush Wrestling Club, working with athletes from the university as well as the Corvallis community. Gutches has also been an active clinician for many years, teaching young athletes on many levels.

"Membership is the lifeblood of USA Wrestling. Our membership allows USA Wrestling to invest in and grow the sport at all levels. It is exciting to me that I can make an impact in an area that is so important to the organization. I see this as a position where I can make a difference in the sport on a daily basis, "said Gutches.

As an athlete, Gutches grew up within the USA Wrestling system, competing on the local, state and national level for many years in Oregon. In fact, he was the first athlete to win USA Wrestling national titles in all five existing age group levels at the time "Cadet, Junior, Espoir, University and Senior. He competed in the World Championships on four age-group levels, as well. He won a Cadet World silver medal in 1989 and an Espoir World bronze medal in 1993. Gutches won three state high school titles at South Medford High School

Gutches had a remarkable career at Oregon State Univ., winning NCAA titles in 1995 and 1996, and placing fifth in the 1994 NCAA Championships. He received the Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation's top college wrestler in 1996.

He became one of the best U.S. freestyle athletes of his era. His top achievement was winning the gold medal at the 1997 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Krasnoyarsk, Russia at 85 kg/187.25 pounds. He added a World bronze medal in 1999.

After his senior year in college, Gutches won both the U.S. Nationals and Olympic Team Trials to make the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. He placed seventh in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga.

Gutches won all of the major events on the international circuit, including 1999 World Cup, the 1999 Pan American Games and the 1998 Goodwill Games. He also captured five straight U.S. Nationals titles.

Gutches was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009, and was a James E. Sullivan Award finalist in 1997. He was the 1997 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year, as well as Freestyle Wrestler of the Year for USA Wrestling and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

He and his wife Jennifer have two young children, Lexi (5) and Logan (2).

"I have been involved in wrestling clubs as a competitor and coach on the local, state and national levels, "said Gutches. "I have seen firsthand what makes a great club. It all comes down to one thing "investment. For coaches, the most important resources they have to invest are their time and expertise. They invest in each of their wrestlers, to help them become the best athletes and individuals that they can. USA Wrestling is committed to investing in the success of its state organizations. We will look at everything, from how we market our programs to the product itself, and how to best serve all of our members. "

USA Wrestling Statement RE Arrest of Employee Mark Scott

October 4th, 2009 by Tom

Back on July 6, USA Wrestling was notified by the Jefferson County District Attorney's office that one of its employees, Mark A. Scott, had been arrested on suspicion of attempting to lure a child for sexual purposes over the internet and was in custody.

Mr. Scott, who is employed as the Director of State Services, has been relieved of all duties with USA Wrestling. All state service matters should be referred to the Manager of State Services.

USA Wrestling was shocked and disturbed about this situation. USA Wrestling has zero tolerance for this type of conduct. The organization will fully cooperate with the appropriate authorities. USA Wrestling will monitor the criminal proceedings and take appropriate action as necessary.

USA Wrestling has no further comment on this matter at this time.

Bill Zadick Takes Position with USA Wrestling

January 19th, 2009 by Tom

From USA Wrestling:

Bill Zadick of Colorado Springs, Colo. has been hired by USA Wrestling for the new position of Resident Coordinator and Assistant National Coach. He begins his duties in January.

Zadick, a 2006 World freestyle wrestling champion, will serve as the liaison between USA Wrestling and the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) concerning USA Wrestling's resident athlete programs. He will also coordinate educational and professional development opportunities for the wrestling resident athletes. He will also assist with coaching at resident and National Team practices.

"I am really looking forward to the opportunity to stay involved on the international level and assisting USA Wrestling in becoming the dominant nation in international wrestling," said Zadick. "I have had experience at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Hopefully, I can bring some positive things to the sport and to the organization."

There are USOTC resident programs in Colorado Springs, Colo. in the Olympic styles of men's freestyle, women's freestyle and Greco-Roman.

"We are very excited that Bill Zadick will be joining our national staff," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. "We are pleased that Bill has chosen to begin his professional career as part of our management team. As a World champion athlete and a USOTC resident athlete, he brings tremendous assets to this new position. He will be a key leader in helping USA Wrestling to succeed on the international level."

Zadick reached the top of the freestyle wrestling world in 2006, when he won a World gold medal at 66 kg/145.5 pounds in Guangzhou, China. His younger brother Mike won a silver medal at 60 kg/132 pounds at the 2006 World Championships, making them the first U.S. brothers to reach the World finals on the same year since Tom and Terry Brands in 1993.

Zadick also competed in the 2001 World Championships, placing seventh. He was a runner-up at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2000 and 2008. He was a three-time U.S. Nationals runner-up (2003, 2006, 2008) and a two-time World Team Trials runner-up (1999, 2002).

He won a NCAA Div. I title for the Univ. of Iowa in 1996 and was a two-time All-American, competing for the legendary Dan Gable. Originally from Great Falls, Montana, Zadick won four high school state titles for Great Falls High School (1988-91).

Zadick was a U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident athlete from 2004-2008, where his freestyle career flourished on the mat.

"We are very excited to have a World Champion to assist our athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center," said Mitch Hull, National Teams Director. "Having Bill work and coach at the USOTC provides a great asset for our organization and our sport."

USA Wrestling looks to fuel Olympic dream for wrestlers’ families

May 28th, 2008 by Tom

Newark, NJ
By Jason Bryant
[email protected]

The Prudential Center in northern New Jersey is the brand-spanking new gleaming home of the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils.

On Tuesday, USA Wrestling made "The Rock" the backdrop for an announcement of a new fundraising initiative aimed at helping not only the athletes who will represent the United States at the 2008 Games in Beijing, but their families as well.

"Fuel the Dream" will help the families of the 2008 Olympians with travel, lodging and overall accommodations in Beijing, something costly to the athletes since the dawn of the Olympiad.

"One of the starters for this program was back when John Smith was on the team," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. "Seagram's sponsored a program that helped with those costs. It doesn't exist today, so we saw this as an opportunity to really make a difference for the athletes beyond getting them the best coaches, training schedules and facilities."

"I was on two Olympic teams and I was fortunate enough to win two gold medals there," said current Oklahoma State head wrestling coach John Smith. "It was nice to have family there."

"At Oklahoma State, we've had an Olympian on the team since 1924," said Smith. "We have a chance today to help them.

Moderator's Note: Does John Smith mean there's been an Olympic wrestler on the Oklahoma State team since 1924? If so, I find that impossible to believe...

... on the other hand, if he means there's always been an OK State Cowboy on the US Olympic team since 1924, I COULD believe that.

"It's not just their journey, it's their family's journey," said Smith of an Olympian's quest. "It's important we help get the families (to the games)."

Bender agreed.

"It's really recognizing the importance of having family there," he said. "(Fuel the Dream) will encourage every athlete to have their families there and I think it really helps move the needle of performance.

The send-off for the U.S. Olympic Team will be hosted in a celebration at The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, N.J., in cooperation with the New Jersey Night of Champions, headed up by Jeff Hanson. This event will serve as the primary fundraiser for the campaign.

According to the invitations handed out to the media on Tuesday: "Fuel the Dream benefits directly men and women of Olympic Wrestling Teams. When you contribute to the Fuel the Dream campaign, 50 percent of your donation will be equally allocated to the individuals which will qualify for the 2008 Olympic Team at the Olympic Trials on June 13-15 in Las Vegas as the Thomas & Mack Center. The other 50 percent of your contribution will help train athletes for future Olympic teams."

"June 21 is a landmark event," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.
"Beijing will not be unlike a lot of other places, it's cost prohibitive for some families.

"As a governing body, we have an obligation that's something they (the wrestlers) don't need to worry about," said Bender in regards to wrestlers trying to get loved ones overseas.

According to the newly-launched FueltheDream.org web site, the three focal points of the program are to 1) assist athletes in bringing family members to Beijing; 2) allow the athletes to focus their attention on the training necessary to defeat their opponents in Beijing instead of worrying about end's meet; and 3) to provide inspiration to the athletes by showing them the depth of support you have for them.

Two New Jersey natives and Olympic hopefuls, Nik Fekete and Steve Mocco, were on hand at the announcement.

The initiative could affect Mocco more than Fekete, as Steve and wife of over two years Kathryn have 15-month old son Michael to potentially bring along should Mocco make the team.

Sister Katie is also an Olympic thread in judo, which financially would put a strain on any family to send, as what one reporter said "100 Moccos" to Beijing.

"It would really mean the world to me if my family was there," said Mocco. "I'm sure all the other athletes feel the same way. We really love this sport and if this can help the sport with Fuel the Dream, we can see results from it."

While he couldn't put any specific dollar figure on the overall price of the average trip, USA Wrestling Director of Development Larry Nugent explained the average airfare and accommodations would approach at least $6,500.

The athletes also like the idea.

"The fact we have two athletes in the most significant time and training for the two most important events of their lives to come out here and support these efforts, I think in large, it's been positive," said Bender.

"The athletes are recognizing there are people trying to help them. In a pure and perfect world, it wouldn't be anything they have to worry about," explained Bender.

"The feedback from the athletes has been pretty popular."

More information on the June 21 celebration can be found at www.fuelthedream.org