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Two-time World medalist James Green named USA Wrestling National Freestyle Developmental Coach

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Competition portrait of James Green from the 2017 World Championships. UWW photo by Tony Rotundo.

Two-time World medalist James Green of Christianburg, Va. has been named National Freestyle Developmental Coach for USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States.

He will work within USA Wrestling’s National Teams Department, and on the staff of USA Wrestling’s National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick and alongside Manager of Freestyle Programs Joe Russell. Green will be working with USA Wrestling’s elite age-group freestyle wrestlers including managing the Elite Accelerated Program at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“I am extremely excited to add James Green to the USA Wrestling Men’s Freestyle staff as our National Developmental Coach,” said USA Wrestling’s National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick. “I’m confident James will bring his exceptional wrestling expertise and experience in continuing to elevate our Team USA elite age groups to new heights. James’ strong character will be a tremendous asset and will no doubt aide him in helping each of our developmental athletes reach their highest human and athletic potential. I feel blessed to welcome James, Chandell and their children to the USA Wrestling family!”

“USA Wrestling is overjoyed with the hiring of James Green as our National Freestyle Development Coach,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. “James brings a wealth of wrestling knowledge and experience to Team USA. We are fired up to welcome James and his family to Colorado Springs, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center and USA Wrestling. We are certain that James will have an immediate impact on the Development Program and be a magnet for America’s best and brightest young wrestlers. Good things are ahead for the program under James’ leadership.”

Green won a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships in Paris, France, as part of the U.S. team which won the Senior World Team title. He also won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. Green competed on six U.S. Senior World Teams.

Green has most recently been an athlete with the Southeast Regional Training Center, affiliated with Virginia Tech University, and has competed for the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club. He previously spent many years with the Nebraska Wrestling Training Center, which is affiliated with the University of Nebraska.

“The opportunity presented itself, and I was looking at college coaching and my career path. It is a great opportunity to be on board with Team USA. I will be working with the next generation, getting them ready to bring home medals for our country. We are at the tip of the iceberg with these young athletes, I believe I have a lot to offer on the coaching side. It is something I feel that I have been called to do.”

Green won Pan American Championships titles in 2017 and 2018. He claimed U.S. Senior National titles in 2017 and 2021. Green competed on three U.S. World Cup teams. During his career, he won medals in major international tournaments in Turkey, Poland, France, Russia, Bulgaria, Spain and Ukraine. He also won a silver medal at the 2014 University World Championships.

He was a four-time NCAA All-American for the University of Nebraska, placing third in the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Championships, and seventh at the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Championships, competing for coach Mark Manning. Green was a 2014 Big Ten champion and 2013 Big Ten runner-up.

A native of Willingboro High School, Green was a 2011 New Jersey state champion for Willingboro High School, the first state champion in his school’s history. He was also a 2010 New Jersey state runner-up.

While pursuing his international goals, Green trained with and mentored many talented college and age-group athletes as a volunteer coach at his Regional Training Centers. Among the top college athletes he impacted while at Virginia Tech were Bryce Andonian and Mekhi Lewis, both age-group World medalists, and while at Nebraska, Peyton Robb and Tyler Berger, who have also competed for the USA at the international level. Green believes that this experience will help him as he works with our nation’s best young freestyle wrestlers and prepares future U.S. age-group World Teams.

“A lot of these kids have been wrestling their whole lives. It is hard to coach them about everything. But when you can pass on one detail, two details, that is what I have had success with as a wrestler and a coach. It is when I pay attention to details, the little things. I have had that ability throughout my career. Now I have the chance to help young wrestlers, whether it is to reach college titles or World titles. It will be fun and I am excited. It is a great time to put my efforts into coaching and giving back. Life has a funny way of working out. I love freestyle and I love being a part of Team USA.”