Lindland resigns as National Greco-Roman Coach; Abdelfatah no longer on National Greco-Roman staff
by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
Matt Lindland at the Greco-Roman press conference at the 2016 Olympic Games. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors
National Greco-Roman Coach Matt Lindland has resigned after eight years on the professional coaching staff at USA Wrestling.
Lindland, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist and 2001 World silver medalist, served as National Greco-Roman Coach with the organization since May of 2014.
“Coaching the athletes on the U.S. National Team for Greco-Roman has been an honor of a lifetime, and it remains work that I am immensely proud. I wish the program the best during the forthcoming transition. We have a great group of coaches and wrestlers working hard to get ready for the upcoming World Championships. I am excited to see the big things that they are capable of achieving,” said Lindland.
Lindland not only coached the elite U.S. Senior Greco-Roman wrestlers, but also oversaw the development of the sport on the age-group levels.
“I am especially proud of the progress made together in rebuilding the U.S. Greco-Roman program into an expanded grassroots youth network that integrates seamlessly with the various Senior-level World medals our athletes have earned,” said Lindland.
During his tenure as National Coach, Lindland led the program to four World medals: two bronze medals by Andy Bisek (2014, 2015), a silver medal by Adam Coon (2018) and a bronze by G’Angelo Hancock (2021). The USA had three Pan American Games champions under Lindland, Andy Bisek and Jon Anderson in 2015 and Pat Smith in 2019. The United States qualified four athletes for the 2016 Olympics (Jesse Thielke, Andy Bisek, Ben Provisor, Robby Smith) and four athletes for the 2020 Olympics (Ildar Hafizov, Alejandro Sancho, John Stefanowicz, G’Angelo Hancock).
“What makes Greco-Roman so special is the community of athletes, parents, coaches, alumni and administrative support staff that comprise our family, from across the grassroots to the Senior level. I have treasured those relationships and cherished the moments of medal triumphs. In the future, I remain committed to growing the Greco-Roman network as a priority for me to serve all of our athletes, parents and families in reaching their dreams of World and Olympic Championships,” said Lindland.
Lindland was the fourth Greco-Roman National Coach in USA Wrestling, joining two-time Olympic medalist Dennis Koslowski, World champion Mike Houck and Olympic champion Steve Fraser in the position.
In another change for the program, Mohammed Abdelfatah, the Assistant National Greco-Roman Coach is no longer a staff member with USA Wrestling. Abdelfatah, a World champion for Egypt, has served in a coaching role with USA Wrestling for many years.
Ivan Ivanov will lead the U.S. Senior World Greco-Roman Team in Belgrade, Serbia in September. Ivanov, who was named to the new position of General Manager, Greco-Roman Programs in April 2022, directs all aspects of the USA Wrestling Greco-Roman program. He is responsible for the coaching of U.S. Greco-Roman athletes, working with the assistance of key volunteer coaches within the organization.
Ivanov and USA Wrestling’s High Performance staff will evaluate the coaching needs of the National Greco-Roman program leading up to the World Championships and beyond.