Top News Stories...
This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....
Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....
The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....
Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....
|Russ Cozart named USA Wrestling Developmental Coach of the Year|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Russ Cozart of Brandon, Fla. has been named Developmental Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling in the United States. The award honors the top coach in the nation working with age-group wrestlers and programs.
For 23 years, he has been the coach of the Brandon Wrestling Club, for athletes ages 5-19 years old. He organizes the team's lessons and practices and coaches the athletes at USA Wrestling local, state, regional and national competitions. The club provides year-round teaching in all three styles of wrestling.
Athletes from the Brandon Wrestling Club have won 80 individual national titles in freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle, and over 130 All-American honors. The performance of the Brandon Wrestling Club at the 2005 ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals was record-setting. There were eight athletes from his club and high school in the Junior National finals (five in Greco-Roman and three in freestyle), with six individual champions (three in each style).
For many years, Cozart has served as a Junior and Cadet Nationals coach for Florida, and has also coached Florida athletes and teams at the Schoolboy Duals and the Kids National Championships. Cozart is a NCEP bronze certified coach, and has been a member of the USA Wrestling National Coaching Pool.
Cozart is one of most active and successful high school and youth wrestling coaches in the nation. He has served 26 years as the head wrestling coach at Brandon High School in Florida, which has set the record for the longest dual meet winning streak in wrestling history. When Cozart joined the Brandon High School program, the school had not lost a dual meet for seven years. That streak continues today, with the school record at 423 straight dual meets, and 348 meets without a loss under Cozart.
Brandon High School has won 17 state team titles under Cozart, with 56 individual champions and 135 state placewinners. He has received National Coach of the Year honors twice, Florida Coach of the Year honors seven times and the National Federation South Regional Coach of the Year award. His team has been ranked among the top three in the nation, and is annually considered one of the best in the country. He is a member of the Florida chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and was the Florida Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1996.
Among the athletes he has coached include 2006 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winner David Craig, along with athletes including Josh Lambrecht, Franklin Gomez, Rocky Cozart, Cesar Grajales, Franklin Gomez, Bret Gustafson, Ryan Joyce, Rashard Goff and others who have advanced to major college programs.
He has served in a number of leadership capacities with Florida USA Wrestling over the years. He created Florida's first state club championship event in 1985 and the first Kids Folkstyle State Championships in the state. He hosts numerous USA Wrestling sanctioned events in Brandon throughout the wrestling season.
Cozart has continued to compete as an athlete in Veterans competitions, and has been the most accomplished American athlete in international Veterans events. He has won seven Veterans World Championship titles and three Veterans World silver medals. In addition, he has a total of 10 Veterans nationals titles, with seven in freestyle, two in Greco-Roman and one in folkstyle
Prior to taking the coaching position at Brandon High School, he coached at Upland and Chamberlain High Schools in Florida. Cozart wrestled for the Univ. of Alabama, and was a high school wrestler in Upland, Calif.
Developmental Coach of the Year
1989 - Al Kastl, Michigan
1990 - Kevin McCleary, Pennsylvania
1991 - J. D. Robbins, California
1992 - Tony Jones, Oregon
1993 - Morrie Geselter, Illinois
1994 - Jerry Kuntz, Oklahoma
1995 - Mike Hagerty, Missouri
1996 - Bob Kopnisky, Indiana
1997 - John Leone, New York
1998 - Mike Rial, Iowa
1999 - Greg Strobel, Pennsylvania
2000 - John Hohman, Pennsylvania
2001 - Randy Baker, Minnesota
2002 - Archie Randall, Oklahoma
2003 - John Matthews, Arizona
2004 - Sean Bormet, Illinois
2005 - Joe DeMeo, New York
2006 - Russ Cozart, Florida