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|U.S. Nationals champion Nate Gallick hired as assistant coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Nate Gallick has proven his mettle as a wrestler.
He's won an NCAA title, a World University championship and the U.S. Nationals title.
In a few weeks, Gallick will face 2006 World silver medalist Mike Zadick in a Special Wrestle-Off for a spot on the 2007 U.S. World Team in freestyle wrestling.
Chris Bono thinks Gallick's success as a wrestler can translate into success for his athletes at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Bono, the head coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga, announced Thursday that Gallick has been hired as his full-time assistant coach at UTC. Gallick will join Bono prior to the start of the 2007-08 season.
Gallick has been training and working with athletes in the Iowa State program in Ames. He said he will continue to train in Ames until after the World Championships.
"Nate's a real good person and a real likable guy - I've never heard anybody say a bad word about him," Bono said. "He's done a great job working with the athletes at Iowa State. He's still competing and has a chance to make the World and Olympic Team - that's great for our program to bring in someone of his caliber.
"I coached Nate at Iowa State and we come from the same system. Nate's an excellent instructor, an excellent technician and a real student of the game. He gets along real well with the athletes. It's a real good fit for us."
Gallick is excited about the chance to join Bono at UTC. Bono also is still competing. He placed second at last weekend's U.S. World Team Trials in Las Vegas.
"It's a real good opportunity for me to coach and still have the opportunity to train," Gallick said. "I always got along real well with Bono. He's done a lot for my career as a wrestler and we've maintained a real good relationship. We'll coach together and we'll be able to train together as well."
For now, Gallick's focus is squarely on making the 2007 U.S. World Team at 60 kg/132 lbs. He requested and received an extension to compete for that spot at a later date since he was injured and not ready to compete last weekend.
Gallick and Zadick will meet at a date and location that will be determined soon by USA Wrestling. Gallick suffered a stress fracture in the first metatarsal in his left foot during April's U.S. Nationals. He said he just started wrestling full speed again this week.
Gallick said he requested that the Special Wrestle-Off take place sometime between July 9 and Aug. 10. He said July 9 is the soonest he would be ready to compete. He would like it done by Aug. 10 so, if he beats Zadick, he would have enough time to train for the World Championships in late September in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The dates Gallick requested could be an issue since Zadick is scheduled to compete at the Pan American Games late next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
If the two sides can't agree on a date and place, USA Wrestling's Freestyle Sport Committee will make the decision on where and when the matches will be held.
Gallick was in attendance at the World Team Trials last weekend in Las Vegas.
"It was hard, having to wait and sit out," he said. "Realistically, I need time to prepare and I need to be 100 percent. I want to make sure I'm ready. If I'm 100 percent, I think I can beat anybody in the country."
Gallick said he would like to see the match take place in Iowa since he and Zadick both train there. Zadick trains in Iowa City and is looking to make his second straight U.S. World Team.