The Olivet Wrestling Club (OWC) will welcome world renowned wrestling coach Rich Estrella to Cutler Event Center on Thursday, May 11 beginning at 5 p.m. to coach members of the Greco-Roman wrestling team who are preparing for the upcoming UWW Cadet and University Nationals. The event will start with a question/answer session, followed by a drill session at 5:30 p.m. USA Club or Card members are invited to attend.
In Greco-Roman wrestling, competitors use only their arms and upper bodies to attack.
Olivet College is in the process of being named a Greco-Roman Wrestling Regional Training Center (RTC) by USA Wrestling, and Estrella will serve as acting head coach the inaugural season and continue on as a guest and traveling coach. A regional training center provides athletes with a superior coaching staff and training and leaning opportunities. The intent of an RTC is to develop world-class athletes, including Olympians. Olivet College will be the only Division III school named a Greco-Roman Wrestling RTC. A grant from the U.S. Wrestling Foundation has paved the way for Olivet College to be named an RTC.
Estrella has been a respected and sought-after wrestling coach for more than 30 years. He was head coach of the 2008 Olympic Team in Beijing, China and the assistant coach of the 1996 Olympic Team in Atlanta. Estrella also helped prepare Team USA in four additional Olympics and has coached countless U.S. military teams at the national and world level. He has coached on multiple USA World, Pan-Am and World Cup teams. Most notably, he was head coach of the 2007 Greco-Roman World Team that won the World Team title. In 2015, he received a Legacy Award and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
“It is a privilege to have Coach Estrella help train our Greco-Roman club wrestlers for national competition. His commitment to the Olivet Wrestling Club is a testament to the talents of our athletes and the school’s storied wrestling tradition,” said Brandon Brissette, head coach of the Olivet College wrestling team. “Having the opportunity to work with Coach Estrella will enable our Greco-Roman wrestlers to achieve a higher level of mastery of advanced fundamentals, including technique, strategies and tactics.”
Presently, Greco-Roman wrestling is not an NCAA sponsored sport, but popular at the local, regional, national and international club levels. Once named a Greco-Roman wrestling RTC, Olivet College will be in the unique position to provide young men in the region the opportunity to fuel their Olympic dreams.
Folkstyle wrestling is an NCAA sponsored sport, and the Olivet College wrestling team finished third in the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional. Three Comets, Austin Kelley (149 pounds), Davon Jackson (165 pounds) and Jesse Judge (285 pounds) advanced to the NCAA DIII National Championships. The team also placed ninth in the top 15 of the National Academic Championship. It’s the 18th time in school history, and the sixth straight year, that Olivet College wrestling has earned academic honors.