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Thread: Antonelli, Estrella, Lewis, Seras, Sheldon named finalists for U.S. Olympic Team Grec

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    Default Antonelli, Estrella, Lewis, Seras, Sheldon named finalists for U.S. Olympic Team Grec

    Gary Abbott USA Wrestling

    USA Wrestling has chosen five finalist candidates to serve as coaches for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team in Greco-Roman wrestling.

    Named as finalists for the volunteer Greco-Roman coaching positions for the U.S. team that will compete at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China are:
    ? Jay Antonelli of Chesapeake, Va.
    ? Rich Estrella of Colorado Springs, Colo.
    ? Shon Lewis of Colorado Springs, Colo.
    ? Andy Seras of Sandy Hook, Conn.
    ? Shawn Sheldon of West Palm Beach, Fla.

    The five finalists were selected by USA Wrestling?s Greco-Roman Coach Selection Committee.

    Two of these five volunteer coaches will be selected to serve on the coaching staff at the Beijing Games, along with USA Wrestling?s National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser.

    Lewis and Seras were 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Coaches in Greco-Roman at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

    All five of the finalists have served as official Greco-Roman World Team Coaches at recent World Championships: Antonelli (2003, 2005, 2007), Estrella (2005, 2007), Lewis (2003), Seras (2001, 2002, 2006), Sheldon (2007).

    Two of the coach finalists were members of past U.S. Olympic teams as athletes: Seras (1988) and Sheldon (1988, 1992).

    Lewis is the head coach of the U.S. Army wrestling team, stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. Estrella is the head coach of the U.S. Air Force wrestling team, stationed at Peterson AFB, Colo. Seras is an assistant wrestling coach at Binghamton Univ. Sheldon is the head coach at Jupiter Christian High School in Florida. Antonelli was the head coach for the U.S. Marines wrestling team for seven years.

    Complete biographies of each of the finalists are below.

    All five finalists will be given a formal telephone interview with the Greco-Roman Coach Selection Committee. After the interview process, the Greco-Roman Coach Selection Committee will select the two coaches which the committee recommends for the Olympic coaching positions.

    USA Wrestling?s Executive Committee will then meet to approve the selections of the Greco-Roman Coach Selection Committee. The decision of the Executive Committee will be forwarded to the U.S. Olympic Committee for final approval as USA Wrestling?s nominees for the Olympic Coach positions.

    USA Wrestling expects its Olympic Coach selection process to be completed by mid-November.

    Jay Antonelli, Chesapeake, Va.

    Antonelli served as a World Team Coach for the historic 2007 U.S. World Team that won the World Team Title in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was the first U.S. Greco-Roman team to win a Senior World Team title, and featured three individual medalists.

    He also served as a World Team Coach for the 2005 U.S. World Team that competed in Budapest, Hungary, which earned one medal and placed 17th in the team standings.

    Antonelli served as the Assistant Coach of the 2003 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team that competed in Cretiel, France. The U.S. team placed 13th in the standings, led by three athletes in the top 10 of their divisions.

    He was a member of the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Team coaching staffs. Antonelli has also been a member of three other U.S. World Team coaching staffs. He was the head coach for four CISM World Military Championship teams.

    Antonelli was named USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year in 1998.

    He was the head coach of the 2002 U.S. World Cup team. Antonelli has coached a number of other U.S. teams on international tours. He has been active in coaching youth Greco-Roman teams in the past, including working with the New Jersey Junior National team.

    Antonelli worked seven years as the head coach of the U.S. Marines Corps team, through the end of the 2004 season. Numerous members of the U.S. Marines team have made U.S. World Team, or qualified for Greco-Roman Team USA during Antonelli?s tenure. The Marine Corps was the overall champion at the 2001 Armed Forces Championships, and claimed the Greco-Roman team title in 1998. Antonelli has coached dozens of individual Armed Forces champions in both styles.

    He is a major in the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed at JPASE in Suffolk, Va. Antonelli recently served in Baghdad, Iraq, where he was Media Chief for Multinational Forces in Iraq.

    As an athlete, Antonelli was a nationally-ranked Greco-Roman wrestler for the U.S. Marines team. He placed eighth in the 1995 U.S. Nationals, and was fifth in the 1994 World Team Trials. He competed in college for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Antonelli also received a masters degree in Exercise and Health Fitness Promotion from George Mason Univ. He competed for the Pingry School in New Jersey in high school.

    Rich Estrella, Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Estrella served as a World Team Coach for the historic 2007 U.S. World Team that won the World Team Title in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was the first U.S. Greco-Roman team to win a Senior World Team title, and featured three individual medalists.

    He also served as a World Team Coach for the 2005 U.S. World Team that competed in Budapest, Hungary, which earned one medal and placed 17th in the team standings.

    Estrella served as head coach of the 1996 U.S. World Cup team, which won a record five gold medals in the competition. Team USA I placed third and Team USA II was fifth in the standings. He has been a coach on five U.S. World Cup teams.

    He was also the coach of the 2006 U.S. University World Team, which competed in Mongolia and featured World champion Spenser Mango.

    He was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic coaching staff. Three times, Estrella has been coach of the U.S. CISM World Military Team. He has also coached at three Pan American Championships, including the 1994 Pan American team that was the first U.S. Greco-Roman team to win the team title since 1978.

    Estrella was assistant coach of the 2003 Pan American Games team that competed in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The U.S. team placed second in the standings and featured six medalists.

    He served as head coach of the 1991 and 1996 Junior World Teams, and was an assistant on the 1993 Espoir World Team. In 1993, he was one of the winners of the USA Wrestling FILA Junior/University Person of the Year award.

    He has served 20 years as head coach of the U.S. Air Force team, leading the program since 1987. Estrella has coached many National Team members and nationally-ranked athletes. The U.S. Air Force won the U.S. National Div. II team titles in 2003 and 2004 and was the runner-up in Div. II in 2001 and 2002. The All-Air Force team is based at Peterson AFB in Colorado.

    Estrella has been one of the coaches working with the Greco-Roman resident-athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs since the program was created in 1993. He works for Home Depot and is an Olympic Job Opportunities Program member.

    Shon Lewis, Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Lewis was an Olympic Coach for the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team, which competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The United States team was led by Olympic bronze-medalist Rulon Gardner, who claimed his second career Olympic medal.

    Lewis served as head coach of the 2003 U.S. Greco-Roman World team that competed in Cretiel, France. The U.S. team placed 13th in the standings, led by three athletes in the top 10 of their divisions.

    He was the assistant coach of the 2002 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team, which placed fifth in the World Championships held in Moscow, Russia. The team was led by World Champion Dremiel Byers.

    Lewis was a member of the coaching staff for a number of other U.S. World Teams, including the 2007 U.S. World team which won the team title and the 2006 U.S. World Team which placed third in the standings.

    He coached the 2006 U.S. Pan American Championships team, which competed in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and placed second in the team standings. The U.S. team won a medal in all seven weight classes.

    Lewis has been named Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling three times (2002, 2003, 2006).

    Lewis works as the head coach of the U.S. Army team, stationed in Fort Carson, Colo. He is responsible for training the athletes in the Army?s World Class Athlete Program. In 2007, the U.S. Army won the U.S. Nationals team title in Div. I. The Army was also the champion at the 2007 Armed Forces Championships. The U.S. Army has won the Armed Forces title numerous times since Lewis became head coach. He has coached many U.S. National Team members and All-Americans during his tenure in all three Olympic wrestling styles.

    He is the club coach for Dremiel Byers, who was a World champion in 2002, one of only five Americans to win a Greco-Roman World title. Byers also won a World bronze medal this year.

    Lewis has also served as a coach for the U.S. World Military team, which competes at the CISM World Military Championships.

    As an athlete, Lewis competed on the 1993 and 1999 U.S. World Championships teams. He also qualified for the 1998 U.S. World Team, but was unable to participate in the World Championships that year. He was a four-time U.S. Nationals Greco-Roman champion (1993-94, 1996, 1998), and was a medalist in three U.S. Olympic Team Trials (1992, 1996, 2000). Lewis was a member of the U.S. Army team as an athlete, winning six Armed Forces Greco-Roman titles and competing in the World Military Championships. He was the 1993 U.S. Army Athlete of the Year, an award including all sports in the Army?s program.

    Prior to joining the Army, he attended the Univ. of Oregon, as well as competing for Placer High School in Auburn, Calif.

    Andy Seras, Sandy Hook, Conn.

    Seras was an Olympic Coach for the U.S. Greco-Roman Olympic team, which competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The United States team was led by Olympic bronze-medalist Rulon Gardner, who claimed his second career Olympic medal.

    He served as a World Team Coach for the 2006 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team which placed third in the team standings in Guangzhou, China. The team was led by three individual medalists, including World champion Joe Warren.

    Seras was head coach of the 2002 U.S. World Team, which competed in Moscow, Russia. The team placed a strong fifth in the team standings, led by individual gold-medalist Dremiel Byers.

    Seras was the assistant coach for the 2001 U.S. World Team, and worked in that capacity during its training period. When the head coach was injured and could not attend the World Championships, Seras assumed additional responsibility on the coaching staff, serving as the head coach. The United States won the third-place trophy, led by three medalists including World champion Rulon Gardner.

    He was also the head coach of the 2001 U.S. Greco-Roman World Cup team, which competed in France and placed third in the standings, led by four individual medalists.

    Seras was selected USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year two times (2001, 2004).

    He is a club coach with the New York Athletic Club and the Atlas Wrestling Club. The New York AC placed second in the Div. I team standings and first in the Div. II team standings at the 2007 U.S. Nationals. The New York AC also placed four athletes on the 2007 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team.

    He has also served on the coaching staff of the Connecticut Junior National Team and the New Jersey Junior National Team. He has coached a number of U.S. teams on international tours.

    He serves as an assistant wrestling coach for Binghamton Univ. He previously worked as the head wrestling coach at Sacred Heart Univ. He was also an assistant coach at Sacred Heart and at SUNY-Albany.

    Seras was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team, which competed in Barcelona, Spain. He was a 1991 Pan American Games champion, and placed second in the 1995 Pan American Games. Seras claimed a gold medal at the 1994 World Cup. He competed on five U.S. World teams, placing sixth in the 1991 World Championships and ninth in the 1989 World Championships. Seras won five U.S. National titles and made the finals of the U.S. Greco-Roman National Championships for 12 straight years.

    He competed for SUNY-Albany, where he was a 1985 NCAA Div. III national champion. Seras was named Sportsman of the Year at SUNY-Albany in 1985. He is originally from Niskayuna, N.Y., where he was fourth in the New York state high school meet. Seras was a two-time placewinner at the Junior World Championships.

    Shawn Sheldon, West Palm Beach, Fla.

    Sheldon served as a World Team Coach for the 2006 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team which placed third in the team standings in Guangzhou, China. The team was led by three individual medalists, including World champion Joe Warren.

    He is a club coach with the New York Athletic Club, which placed second in the Div. I team standings and first in the Div. II team standings at the 2007 U.S. Nationals. The New York AC placed four athletes on the 2007 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team.

    Sheldon coached at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for a number of years, assisting with the resident program. He has also coached a number of U.S. teams on international tours. He has served as a coach for Florida USA Wrestling, working with their Cadet and Junior National teams.

    Sheldon was named 2005 Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling.

    Sheldon serves as the head wrestling coach at Jupiter Chrisitan School in Florida, one of the state?s top high school programs. Jupiter Christian won the 2006 state high school title in Class 1-A. In his three years with the program, Jupiter Christian has had six individual state champions.

    He worked for a number of years for the Palm Beach County Community Olympic Development Program, as its Wrestling Administrator and as a CODP Manager. Sheldon conducted wrestling training for local athletes of all ages in this Olympic-based community sports program.

    He was an assistant wrestling coach at his alma mater, SUNY-Albany from 1991-1993. Sheldon served a number of years as a coach of the Junior National teams for Florida, New York and Colorado.

    He was one of the most successful Greco-Roman wrestlers in American history, competing on the national and international levels for almost two decades.

    Sheldon placed fourth in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, and competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. He was also a silver medalist at the 1991 World Championships. Sheldon competed in eight World Championships for the United States.

    Sheldon also won the U.S. National Greco-Roman Championships nine times and was second in the U.S. Nationals eight times. He was a two-time World Cup champion, winning titles in 1989 and 1996. He was also third in the 1987 and 1991 Pan American Games. Sheldon won a U.S. record eight Greco-Roman World Cup medals during his career. He was a five-time Concord Cup gold medalist.

    Sheldon was a 1986 NCAA Div. III national champion, competing for SUNY-Albany and a three-time All-American. He was third in the New York high school state championships in 1983, competing for Columbia-Voorheesville High School.

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    Default Re: Antonelli, Estrella, Lewis, Seras, Sheldon named finalists for U.S. Olympic Team Grec

    Out of the four coaches who have colleges on their resumes, all four went to schools that have dropped (or are dropping) wrestling. Sheldon and Seras at SUNY-Albany, Lewis at Oregon, and Antonelli at George Mason (I assume he did not wrestle there since it was Grad School)

    I did not see any college experience listed for Estrella

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