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USA Wrestling’s Greco-Roman Education Program to remain at Northern Michigan University
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Two-time World medalist Justin Lester celebrates a victory at 66 kg at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Larry Slater photo

USA Wrestling has announced that its Greco-Roman Education Program will remain at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich. as part of the U.S. Olympic Education Center (USOEC) program.

The USOEC Greco-Roman program was founded in August 1999, and has been a key reason for the success of the United States in Olympic-level Greco-Roman wrestling since it was founded.

“The program has been an invaluable part of the development of our international Greco-Roman effort since it was created. We look forward to continue providing Greco-Roman athletes with the opportunity to earn a university degree while pursuing their Olympic dream,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. “With the loss of the Stupak Grant program, it took a tremendous effort by USA Wrestling and Northern Michigan University to maintain the program at its current level of excellence. We appreciate the efforts of Brian Gaudreau and the commitment of NMU President Les Wong to this valuable program.”

“We are pleased that USA Wrestling will have one of its elite teams on the campus of Northern Michigan University," said Wong. "The recent Olympic Team Trials demonstrate that wrestlers training here are well-prepared both athletically and academically, as six of the seven who won the Olympic Trials are former USOEC wrestlers and four of those athletes have completed their bachelor's degrees at NMU. It is a collaborative effort that is providing student-athletes with outstanding opportunities.”

Rob Hermann will continue to serve as head coach for the USOEC program with Agazi Manukyan as the assistant coach. There are currently 29 student-athletes who are part of the USOEC Greco-Roman program.

Coach Hermann is continuing to recruit talented student-athletes to participate in the program, and currently has several top athletes who are committed to attend next season.

The success of the USOEC Greco-Roman program is proven by the performance of athletes who have participated in the past. 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Adam Wheeler was a part of the program, as well as two-time World bronze medalist Justin Lester. Six of the seven champions at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Greco-Roman wrestling have been athletes with the USOEC Greco-Roman program.

The program has also dominated the results of USA Wrestling age-group national competitions on the University and FILA Junior levels in Greco-Roman. This is a key developmental area for USA Wrestling, where future international stars are identified and progress on to the Senior level.

Earlier this year, USA Wrestling announced that its Women’s Education Program, which had been part of the USOEC program at Northern Michigan University since 2004, will transition to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the 2012-13 academic year.
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