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Executive Director Jim Scherr to leave USA Wrestling to become Senior Managing Director, Sport Resou



The U.S. Olympic Committee has announced that James E. Scherr of Colorado Springs, Colo., the current Executive Director of USA Wrestling, has accepted the position of Senior Managing Director, Sport Resources with the USOC. Scherr is expected to begin his duties with the USOC full-time on December 11, and will work part-time with the USOC in the interim period. Scherr has served as Executive Director of USA Wrestling since December 1990. During his 10 years as Executive Director, USA Wrestling has emerged as one of the top nations in the world in international wrestling and one of the most successful national governing bodies in the Olympic family. "Jim Scherr's service to USA Wrestling speaks for itself," said Bruce Baumgartner, the president of USA Wrestling. "Every aspect of wrestling has grown since he has been here. That includes membership, budget, success on the national and international level, kids programs, the internet and much more. He took an organization under stress, and has built it into one of the premier National Governing Bodies in the nation. We are going to miss him. We hope that his talents will help the U.S. Olympic Committee in this time of need." "Ever since I took the position with USA Wrestling, I have been committed to making a long-term difference for the sport," said Scherr. "As an organization, we have been fortunate to reach many of the goals we have set for wrestling. It is not without mixed emotions that I leave USA Wrestling. A better part of my life has been spent in pursuit of the Olympic ideal, first as an athlete, then as an Executive Director and a volunteer leader with the USOC. To be able to make a contribution on a daily basis in helping athletes and national governing bodies in their pursuit of excellence is a tremendous honor and opportunity. I'm excited about working to further the Olympic ideal as part of a great organization." According to Baumgartner, USA Wrestling is expecting to name an interim Executive Director sometime early this week. As USA Wrestling's top executive, Scherr carried out the policies and directives of the Board of Directors, managed the day-to-day affairs of the organization and provided leadership and direction to staff and volunteers. USA Wrestling has experienced unprecedented success during Scherr's tenure as Executive Director. Membership has skyrocketed to over 125,000 athletes, and the number of coaches, officials and clubs has also increased, creating a total membership of 135,000-plus. The landmark National Team Program has contributed to impressive athletic success, including the 1993 and 1995 Men's Freestyle World team titles and the 1999 Women's Freestyle World team title. Scherr, a member of the 1988 Olympic freestyle wrestling team, has a vast background in the sport as both an athlete and administrator. He was elected as Treasurer of the organization in 1990, and served as a member of the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors. He was active as a leader on the Board of Directors and with the Athlete's Advisory Council for many years. He earned an MBA degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, one of the premier schools in the country. Scherr was elected to the USOC Executive Committee in 1999, representing the NGB Council. He is currently a member of the USOC Board of Directors, and serves on the audit committee and the NGB Council. He is a former member of the USOC Athlete's Advisory Committee, the International Games Prep Committee and the U.S. Olympic Foundation. He is also the Secretary of the Television & Marketing Commission and the Women's Wrestling Commission of FILA, the international federation. He previously served on the FILA Athletes Commission. He was named USA Wrestling Man of the Year in 1994 and received the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Order of Merit in 1997. The Order of Merit is awarded annually to an individual who has contributed to the sport other than as a coach or athlete. The award is selected by the Distinguished Members of the Hall of Fame. He is the former President of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, after serving a term as the vice-president. As an athlete, he was fifth in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, competing in freestyle wrestling at 198 pounds. Scherr twice won a silver medal at the World Championships (1987, 1989) and won a bronze medal in the 1986 World Championships. He boasts three U.S. Nationals titles and two World Cup gold medals. Scherr was the Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler at the 1989 U.S. Nationals. Originally from Mobridge, S.D., Scherr attended the Univ. of Nebraska, where he was an NCAA Div. I wrestling champion in 1984 at 177 pounds. He and his wife, April, have a son named Evan and reside in Colorado Springs, Colo. USA WRESTLING ACHIEVEMENTS UNDER JIM SCHERR'S LEADERSHIP * 1993 and 1995 Men's World Freestyle Team Championship and the 1999 Women's Freestyle World Team Championship, the only Senior World titles in U.S. history. * Strong performances by U.S. athletes at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The USA won eight medals at both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, and captured seven medals at the 2000 Olympic Games. * USA Wrestling hosted the 1995 World Freestyle Championships in Atlanta, Ga., one of the most successful World Championships ever hosted. * USA Wrestling purchased a national headquarters building. * Financial stability for the organization. USA Wrestling made its final payment on its commercial loan in 1996. * Membership has increased in all of USA Wrestling's catagories, including athletes, coaches and officials. * Strong athlete support has been established through improved national teams programs. * Significant increase in training and competitive opportunities for athletes have been realized. * More fans attended major USA Wrestling events than ever before. Over 115,000 fans witnessed the outstanding wrestling competition at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The 1996 Freestyle Olympic Team Trials drew a record 23,000 spectators, including over 9,000 spectators for the finals. That record was almost doubled at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which sold a total of 50,170 tickets, including a final session attendance of over 10,000 fans. * More people are competing in USA Wrestling national events than ever before. Event participation records continue to increase annually. New events and programs are continuing to be developed to meet the needs of the membership. * The largest wrestling tournament in history of the world was held in Fargo, N.D., as 3,515 young athletes competed in the combined Cadet Nationals and Junior Nationals. * U.S. wrestlers have received more media coverage and attention than ever before, including considerable attention at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. * Improved and expanded programs have been provided to USA Wrestling's state organizations. * Created USA Sports Broadcast Productions, a broadcast division for USA Wrestling, in 1997. * Played a leadership role in the creation of the "Wrestling for the Next Millennium" capital campaign for the sport in 1998. * Served as catalyst for the creation of the Amateur Wrestling Alliance, the new joint operations agreement between USA Wrestling, the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in 1999. * Developed TheMat.com in 2000, the new internet presence for the Amateur Wrestling Alliance, which is known as "the ultimate source for real wrestling."
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