Wrestling names six official Team USA coaches for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
by Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling
Photo: Women's freestyle coaches Clarissa Chun and Terry Steiner. Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
USA Wrestling is sending six talented people to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as the official coaches for Team USA, including five USA Wrestling National Coaches as well as an outstanding volunteer coach. There will be 11 other personal coaches traveling with the delegation to the Games.
Get to know them below:
Matt Lindland – National Greco-Roman Head Coach
Matt Lindland has been head of the nation’s elite Greco-Roman athletes since May 2014. Shortly after taking over, he coached Andy Bisek to a World bronze medal in 2014, giving U.S. Greco its first World or Olympic medal since 2009. A year later, Bisek repeated his bronze-winning performance. In 2018, Lindland coached another Senior athlete to the podium, helping Adam Coon to a silver medal after an incredible run to the finals.
Lindland has also played a crucial part in helping U.S. athletes to medal performances at the age-group level, including 2017 Cadet World champion Cohlton Schultz, who was the first American since 1997 to achieve the feat.
Prior to being named the U.S. National Greco-Roman Coach, Lindland served as a World Team Coach for the 2013 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. He also served as assistant coach for Clackamas CC and the University of Nebraska.
As a competitor, Lindland won silver at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and followed with a World silver medal in 2001 at a new weight class. He also won gold at the 1999 Pan American Games as well as the 1996 World Cup.
Herb House – assigned coach
Herb House, who was named the 2017 USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year, is the assigned Greco-Roman coach For Tokyo.
One of the most respected and active Greco coaches on the scene, House served as an official U.S. World Team Coach for the 2017 World Championships in Paris. He has also served on the staff for Team USA as a volunteer coach at other major events, including the 2015 and 2016 World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games.
In addition to being a coach for the New York Athletic Club and volunteering his time at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, House is the personal coach to rising Greco talents G’Angelo Hancock, a 2016 Junior World bronze medalist and 2020 Olympian; Kamal Bey, a 2017 Junior World champion; and Cohlton Schultz, a Cadet World champion and two-time Junior World medalist.
As an athlete, House was a successful Greco-Roman wrestler, winning a Junior World bronze medal in 1992 and a bronze at the 1993 Senior Pan American Championships. In 1997, he took fourth at the CISM Military World Championships, competing for the U.S. Army WCAP program. Domestically, House won four University National titles, two Armed Forces titles and one U.S. Open.
There are two other Greco-Roman coaches heading to Tokyo as personal coaches, all of which were former Army WCAP athletes.
- Jason Loukides – personal coach for John Stefanowicz; head coach for U.S. Marines
- Spenser Mango – personal coach for Ildar Hafizov and Alejandro Sancho; assistant coach for Army WCAP; two-time Olympian
Terry Steiner – National Women’s Freestyle Head Coach
Entering his fifth Olympic Games, Terry Steiner was named USA Wrestling’s National Women’s Coach in 2002, becoming the first and only to hold the position. In 2004, Steiner led the first U.S. Women’s Freestyle Olympic Team in history to one silver and one bronze medal. Steiner and the U.S. added bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games. He coached Helen Maroulis to the first Olympic gold medal in U.S. women’s freestyle history in 2016.
In 2003, all seven women’s freestylers won World medals at the World Championships in New York City and took home a second-place team finish on tiebreaker after tying powerhouse Japan for first.
Under his guidance, U.S. women boasts 48 World medals, including 13 golds, 11 silvers and 23 bronzes. In this quad, Steiner and team have collected 10 World medals with five golds. In 2019, the USA went 3-for-3 in its medal matches with Jacarra Winchester, Tamyra Mensah Stock and Adeline Gray each winning a gold medal. For Gray, it was her fifth World title, making her the first athlete in USA Wrestling history, male or female, to win five World championships.
Previously, Steiner had worked as an assistant coach at Wisconsin and Oregon State.
As an athlete, Steiner was a 1993 NCAA champion for the Iowa and helped the Hawkeyes to three team titles in ’91, ’92 and ’93. He was also a multiple-time National Team member and 1996 Pan American champion.
Clarissa Chun – National Women’s Freestyle Assistant Coach
Clarissa Chun joined the USA Wrestling coaching staff as the National Women’s Freestyle Assistant Coach in April of 2017 and has made a big impact right away. Serving alongside Steiner, Chun has helped the USA to 10 World medals, including five gold, two silver and three bronzes.
Prior to being hired at USA Wrestling, Chun had just wrapped up her athletic career, which propelled her to becoming one of the biggest stars in the sport. She was also coached by Steiner.
A two-time Olympian, she took fifth at the 2008 Beijing Games before battling her way onto the podium at the 2012 London Games for a bronze medal, competing at 48 kg. Chun wrestled at five Senior World Championships, which included a gold-medal performance at the 2008 Worlds in Tokyo. She also competed at the 2000, 2009, 2011 and 2012 World Championships.
During her career, Chun won five U.S. Open titles. She was a 2011 Pan American Games silver medalist and won four gold medals at the Pan American Championships. She was a runner-up at four U.S. World Team Trials and three U.S. Opens, in a career which spanned 18 years competing at the Senior level.
There are five personal coaches heading to Tokyo for women’s freestyle.
- Brad Harper – personal coach for Sarah Hildebrandt for the last 15 years
- Vlad (Izzy) Izboinikov – personal coach for Jacarra Winchester and Tamyra Mensah Stock; former USA Wrestling development coach
- Cody Sanderson – personal coach for Helen Maroulis; assistant coach at Penn State
- Mark Perry – personal coach for Maroulis and Kayla Miracle; assistant coach at Arizona State
- Nate Engel – personal coach for Adeline Gray; assistant coach at Oregon State
Bill Zadick – National Men’s Freestyle Head Coach
Bill Zadick has been at the helm of the U.S. Men’s Freestyle program for five years, taking over for Bruce Burnett after the 2016 Olympics. In that short time, he has coached six different athletes to eight World titles and led the U.S. team to a Men’s Freestyle World Team title in 2017, the first team title for the USA since 1995. Additionally, he has collected 10 other World medals, including three silvers and seven bronzes.
Zadick has been a part of the U.S. coaching staff since 2009, when he started as Resident Coordinator and Assistant National Coach. He has since worked his way up the coaching ranks and is now head coach of some of the best freestyle athletes in the world. Tokyo will mark his third Olympic Games as a coach. In Rio as the Assistant National Coach, Zadick helped coach Kyle Snyder to an Olympic gold and J’den Cox to an Olympic bronze, and at the London games in 2012, he helped coach Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner to gold medals as well as Coleman Scott and Tervel Dlagnev to bronze medals.
As an athlete, Zadick competed on the 2001 and 2006 World Teams, winning a World title in 2006. He is the last American to win a World title at the weight. He was also an NCAA Division I champion for Iowa in 1996.
Earlier this year, Zadick was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member, the highest honor.
Joe Russell – National Manager of Freestyle Programs
Joe Russell was brought on as USA Wrestling’s Manager of Freestyle Programs in May 2017, after previously serving as the head coach at George Mason University. One of the most beloved coaches in the country, Russell, alongside Zadick, has helped the USA to 17 Senior World medals, including seven golds, and a World Team title.
Also working with younger age-groups, Russell played a major role in the U.S.’s international success, highlighted by U23 World titles from Richie Lewis and Bo Nickal, the only two Americans to accomplish the feat.
Prior to joining USA Wrestling, Russell had an extensive coaching background. In addition to his head coaching job at GMU, Russell was a long-time assistant coach at his alma mater, Minnesota. He was heavily involved with USA Wrestling throughout his career, earning coaching bids for the 1999 and 2013 Cadet Greco-Roman World Teams as well as the 2002, 2004 and 2014 Junior Pan American teams.
As a competitor, Russell wrestled collegiately for the University of Minnesota from 1988 to 1992. He was named team captain during his senior year, on top of acquiring Academic All-Big Ten honors.
In 2007, Russell was awarded the Medal of courage by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, which is given to a wrestler or former wrestler has overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges, providing inspiration to others. In 1985, Russell was partially paralyzed after suffering a motorcycle accident. He recovered from the injuries suffered in the accident to lead an inspiring life on and off the mat.
There are five personal coaches traveling to Tokyo with the men’s freestyle squad.
- Cody Sanderson – personal coach for Thomas Gilman; assistant coach at Penn State
- Mike Grey – personal coach for Kyle Dake; head coach at Cornell
- Casey Cunningham – personal coach for David Taylor; assistant coach at Penn State
- Cael Sanderson – personal coach for Gilman, Taylor and Kyle Snyder; head coach at Penn State; 2004 Olympic champion
- Brandon Eggum – personal coach for Gable Steveson; head coach at Minnesota