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Sacred Heart University to host Making A Difference Clinic with Greg Strobel and J.P. O'Connor on Sept. 23



USA Wrestling will be hosting a coaches and wrestlers clinic at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.

Leading the clinic will be former Lehigh University head wrestling coach Greg Strobel and 2010 NCAA Division I Champion J.P. O’Connor.

Strobel served as a U.S. freestyle Olympic Team Coach in 1996 and 2000 and coached Lehigh to 189 dual meet wins in his 14 years at the helm in Bethlehem. As a wrestler at Oregon State, Strobel was a two-time NCAA Champion and a three-time Pac-8 Conference champion. He was voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the 1973 NCAA Division I Championships.

O’Connor was a three-time All-American at Harvard for coach Jay Weiss and as a high school wrestler, he was a four-time New York state champion. He is currently an assistant coach at Harvard.

Proceeds from this clinic will directly benefit the Division I program at Sacred Heart, Division III programs at Wesleyan University, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Trinity College.

"My hope is that this event is really going to be a ribbon cutting for the new era of Sacred Heart wrestling," said Sacred Heart head coach Andy Lausier. "I saw a couple of opportunities to really build a unique and successful program. By having Greg Strobel and J.P. O'Connor on campus, it's a great opportunity for coaches and wrestlers in Connecticut to rub shoulders with some of the greatest in our sport.

"I want to create an open channel with the youth and scholastic channels in Connecticut," he said. "Thinking big picture, not just your specific team, but how do you grow wrestling? I think that falls on the shoulders of wrestling coaches around the country."

Sacred Heart is the lone Division I wrestling program in Connecticut and the only Catholic college with a Division I wrestling program, but Lausier wants to extend the benefits of the Making A Difference clinic to more than just his program.

"I'm a Division III guy, having wrestled at Lycoming College and coming through the Division III ranks," said Lausier. "I see tremendous value in all levels of college wrestling. By working collaboratively, we can do great things to benefit each other. This isn't just for Sacred Heart, but to help create a buzz for all of the college wrestling programs in this state."

Cost for the clinic is $10 and interested participants can register here. Late registration will be available the day of the clinic, starting at 9 a.m.

All wrestlers will receive posters featuring the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in all three styles. There is no requirement to be a USA Wrestling member. USA Wrestling will provide a free membership for the day for all participants.

For more information on the event, click here for the event brochure or contact Sacred Heart head wrestling coach Andy Lausier at lausiera@sacredheart.edu or by phone at (203) 615-3827.

USA Wrestling is looking to expand the Making A Difference program into other states. Those interested should contact USA Wrestling Director of Program Development Les Gutches at lgutches@usawrestling.org or Derek Sikora, Coordinator of State Services at dsikora@usawrestling.org
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