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Thread: Kevin Jackson stepping down

  1. #1

    Default Kevin Jackson stepping down

    <table valign="top" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" leftmargin="0" topmargin="0" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="3" border="0" valign="top">U.S. National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson stepping down to take position with Sunkist Kids

    </td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" border="0" valign="top" width="430"> Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
    </td> <td align="right" valign="top" width="320">
    </td></tr> <tr><td colspan="3" border="0" valign="top"> COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ? USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson resigned his position on Friday to become head coach with the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club.

    Jackson, 43, has served as National Freestyle Coach for USA Wrestling since January 2001. He led the U.S. to a second-place team finish at the 2003 World Championships and a third-place finish at the 2006 World Championships.

    ?I?m looking forward to pursuing the Sunkist situation,? Jackson said, ?and I?m planning to continue helping the U.S. in our quest to win at the World level.?

    During Jackson?s tenure as U.S. National Coach, the U.S. had Olympic freestyle gold medalists in Cael Sanderson in 2004 and Henry Cejudo in 2008, and a World champion in Bill Zadick in 2006.

    Jackson was Freestyle Resident Coach for USA Wrestling from 1998-2001. An athlete he coached was 2000 Olympic champion Brandon Slay.

    ?We?ve had an Olympic champion in the last three Olympics, in addition to a World champion, and I?m proud of their efforts,? Jackson said. ?We never met my goal of being the best team in the World, but we accomplished some good things here.?

    Art Martori, founder of the Sunkist Kids, offered Jackson the position with his Phoenix-based club.

    ?Kevin Jackson will run our elite program, and he will be responsible for preparing our elite athletes to become World and Olympic champions,? Martori said. ?Our program is going to be very aggressive in our approach and we?re excited about the future. We?re very excited about having Kevin involved with our program. He?s going to make this program as good as it can be.?

    Jackson is considered one of the greatest wrestlers in U.S. history, winning a gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. He also won a pair of World Championships, in 1991 and 1995. He is one of only five U.S. wrestlers to claim three career World-level titles.

    Jackson is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame.</td></tr></tbody></table>

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    What is your feeling on this?

    Are you glad to get someone new in there who can potentially do more with the team?

    Do you think it reflects poorly on USAWrestling that their coach appears (to the public) to have upgraded to Sunkist?

    Will Brands replace him? Is it the right fit?
    Last edited by Schlottke; 09-27-2008 at 12:02 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    I saw the US team in Bejing as an embarrassment. While I did not expect a major medal count, having wrestlers hospitalized for improper weight cutting, and unable to perform up to their abilities because of weight cutting, is a coaching failure.
    As far as reflecting poorly on USAWrestling, my opinion of that organization is already low enough.

    R.I.P. Cyrano and Roxanne.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    Just a note, Jackson was not given authority to remove Cormier from the team if he didn't follow his weight plan. (He did have one for Cormier)

    Read Andy Hrovat's interview on, and read between the lines where he talks about guys not wanting to wrestle internationally.

    Think about it...

    Cejudo - Wrestled a bunch of international matches

    Zadick - No internationals (except the qualifiers, and we all know how that turned out)

    Schwab - No internationals

    Askren - I believe only three international tourneys (Canada, World Cup, and I think another)

    Hrovat - Has wrestled a BUNCH of international matches, and other than a ridiculous folkstyle hiccup is at least in the semis of the Olympics

    Cormier - He still has not apologized for HIS mistake, and utter refusal to diet. NOT KJ's fault

    Mocco - wrestled a bunch of international matches, and was really close to defeating the Olympic Silver Medalist

    All in all, The US performance was not indicative of the talent we have the country, but what it sounds like, is, with so many powerful egos in the sport, guys are not on a system, other than where their club is at (once again a reason the Russians kick our ass) and guys are not working together.

    KJ is the easy scapegoat, and hey, they made the change. (the new coach will be announced today) Think about it, you're not going to get rid of the executives or the wrestlers, so who's on the chopping block?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    rumor has it it will be zeke jones, who i think could be a really good fit, but i agree more guys have to wrestle in tournaments other than just the olympics and worlds

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    Quote Originally Posted by rshear13 View Post
    rumor has it it will be zeke jones, who i think could be a really good fit, but i agree more guys have to wrestle in tournaments other than just the olympics and worlds
    nice call.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    Zeke is in - now the question is will that spark some college coaching changes at the end of the year.
    Champions are made while no one is watching.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    i am personally glad to see Kevin Jackson leave. I have not liked him since the Olympic Trails of 1996. I was fortunate enough to have been working the event as a high school wrestler and was unfortunately selected to be the drug test monitor for Mr. KJ. After the finals match (which Les Gutches won), KJ just sat in the stands for the entire 2 hour time frame he had to report to the testing center. Now that is not why i dislike him-HERE GOES. As I sat there with Kevin, the National Anthem played and he refused to stand for it, my step father (military man) asked him to stand and take off his hat-He told him he did not have to because he is not representing the USA anymore. Now I understand that he just lost a match that was one of the most important matchces in his career, but to disgrace the country that he represented-don't know?
    I know the story is long and I do understand the aspects that go into dreams and compete at that level, but as a high school wrestler that looked up to the guy, I lost all respect for him. I also know that I am probably more patriotic than most, so i do take it into account. I have talked to KJ several times since that day, but never in the same way and never about the incident (Now that he is not in the leading position of the US Team) I think I will remind him of that day back in 1996.

    By the way-That was a great tournament! Cross beat Brands in great matches, Monday threw Pat Smith off the podium-just to name a few fun matches...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kevin Jackson stepping down

    I don't think it's a step down or up, to go to Sunkist. In most sports, the national coach stays for a period of time, then leaves, for college, pro, etc. Besides Sunkist,with this recent national team coach, and Hawkeye, (with Brands?), do any other clubs that "place" as a team at national events, have coaches with any notoriety? The other teams seem to simply sponsor athletes for big tournaments, but not really train them(like NYAC?). Maybe that, too, is something that is lacking, as far as a "system".

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