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SPIRE Institute and Academy announces new wrestling program to be coached by Olympic gold medalist Kenny Monday

by SPIRE Institute and Academy

GENEVA, Ohio,  -- SPIRE Institute and Academy (IA), an elite athletic boarding school in Ohio, recently announced Olympic gold medalist Kenny Monday as the coach for their new wrestling program.

Constructed on over 500 acres with 750,000 sq. ft. under roof, SPIRE is among the largest multi-sport, training, education and competition complexes in North America. In addition to the newly added wrestling program, SPIRE currently features basketball, track and field, swimming, esports and, more recently, lacrosse to their core training and developmental sports offerings.

Kenny Monday is the athletic academy's latest addition to the world-renowned coaching teams at SPIRE. "Kenny Monday is a legend in the world of wrestling. There's no one better equipped to help us build a world class, training and development wrestling environment at SPIRE," says SPIRE Co-Managing Director, Ted Meekma. "I have no doubt that SPIRE's wrestling academy, as well as the annual calendar of wrestling camps, clinics, club and competitive events that we will operate, will be second-to-none under the expert tutelage of Coach Monday."

A three-time Olympian, Monday is also a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He grew up wrestling in Oklahoma where he won four state titles and the 1977 Junior National Championships. His record from 7th - 12th grade was an astonishing 140-0-1. As an All-American collegiate wrestler at Oklahoma State, his record was 121-12-2, where he also captured the NCAA title in 1984.

Post-college, Kenny won Olympic gold in Seoul in 1988, Olympic silver in Barcelona in 1992 and finished 6th in 1996 in Atlanta. Kenny also won multiple gold and silver medals in World Cup, World Championships and Pan American events. After retiring from competition, Kenny became a highly respected wrestling coach. Most recently, he's served as the head coach of the University of North Carolina Tar Heel Wrestling Club since 2016.

Kenny is looking forward to his new position leading the wrestling program at SPIRE. "I'm extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead the new wrestling program at SPIRE. I've built my entire wrestling career on the SPIRE principles of strong mind, body and character. I'd like to thank Jonathan Ehrenfeld, Ted Meekma and the entire leadership team at SPIRE for believing in me and the vision of building a world class wrestling program. As the Director and Head Coach of Wrestling, I truly believe the possibilities are limitless and I can't wait to get started."

Wrestling makes perfect sense for inclusion in SPIRE's core sport offerings. "Northeast Ohio is one of the true hotbeds of wrestling in the U.S., which makes SPIRE the ideal location to add a comprehensive, year-round wrestling program to our existing complement of core sports," said Meekma.

While the official launch of SPIRE's formal Wrestling Academy is in the fall of 2022, dedicated student athlete wrestlers are so excited about Coach Monday's presence at SPIRE that some look ready to join him in an Academy program at SPIRE for the fall 2021 semester. This will kick off a full calendar of clinic, camp and event activity that will commence in August 2021 and run through August 2022 and beyond.


SPIRE Institute & Academy is a comprehensive academic, athletic, personal skills and career development experience located within a world class event and wellness complex. Constructed on nearly 500 acres with more than 750,000 sq. ft. under roof, SPIRE ( encompasses four divisions: SPIRE Academy, an accredited college preparatory international boarding school and multi-sport/specialty training and development academy for 9-12 graders and a post grad program; SPIRE Institute, the research and development arm studying performance improvement across multiple disciplines; SPIRE Events, a facility and team that hosts local, national and international tournaments and events with the NCAA, the Big East, Big Ten and Atlantic 10 conferences, Olympic trials and world championship qualifiers; and SPIRE Fit, a community membership-based fitness, swim and health center open to the public. Sports currently featured on campus include swimming, track and field, basketball, esports, drone racing, volleyball and soccer.