Road to the NHSCA National Wrestling Championships... Star Studded Clinics!
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Posted by: Mattie Potter
The NHSCA, National High School Coaches Association, is pleased to announce the 27th Annual National Wrestling Championships will be held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The event will take place Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3, 2016. The 27th Annual NHSCA National Wrestling Championships feature five divisions of competition: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior and Middle School on 36 mats.
The 27th Annual National Wrestling Championships will showcase many elite wrestlers from around the nation. At the 2015 National Championships a record breaking 3,498 wrestlers participated in the momentous event.
All clinics are FREE to coaches, wrestlers, parents, and spectators! The clinics will be held on the featured mat in front of the head table. We hope you take full advantage of this year’s fantastic clinics!
The current clinic lineup includes three of the top six teams. Kevin Dresser will once again conduct a clinic at this year’s event. In the past four seasons, Virginia Tech’s stock has risen on the national scene as the Hokies are currently ranked 3rd in the nation according to the lastest USA Today rankings. Last season, Dresser led the Hokie’s to the an ACC’s dual meet title and finished 10th with the team’s best performance at the 2015 NCAA Championships with 4 All Americans. In his tenure at VT, Dresser has coached 10 wrestlers to 14 All American accolades. He has been named ACC Coach of the Year the past three years as well as the state’s Coach of the Year by Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) the past five years. Dresser took over the program in 1996. As a competitor, Dresser was a NCAA Champion in 1986 for the Iowa Hawkeyes and a 2x NCAA All American.
The leader of the Missouri Tigers, Brian Smith, will hold the next clinic. Smith has quite the resume after 17 seasons at Mizzou. Smith has coached a total of 25 All Americans and 5 NCAA Championships. Smith was named the MAC Coach of the Year the past three seasons and the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2012. He led his team to 14 consecutive seasons with a .500 winning percentage. He has over 200 career victories during his tenure. This season is nothing different with a 14-2 record with their only losses coming from Oklahoma State and North Carolina State. The Tigers are currently ranked 6th in the nation.
The next featured clinician is North Carolina State’s own Pat Popolizio. North Carolina State is currently ranked #2 in the nation. Popolizio took over the NC State position in 2012 after a successful run at Binghamton University (NY). He has turned the program into a national powerhouse. The Wolfpack has had 3 All Americans over the past 2 season, which is the most in over a twenty year span (in 1992-1993 seasons). In the team race at the NCAA's, he led the Pack to two top 20 finishes, which again hasn’t happened since the 1992-93 season. Popolizio coached heavyweight NCAA Champion Nick Gwiazdowski to both of his titles in 2014 and 2015. Gwiazdowski was also the 2011 NHSCA Senior National Champion. Popolizio is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.
Virginia Beach local and standout Steve Martin, Head Coach at Old Dominion University will showcase his talents. Martin took over the helm at ODU in 2004 after a long and prosperous career at Great Bridge High School where he lead them to 13 state championships titles in 14 years. At ODU, Martin has coached 51 Monarch wrestlers to the big show with 7 becoming All Americans. Martin himself was a Virginia standout at Kempsville High School where he was a 3x State Champ and went on to also compete for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He was also a NCAA All American in 1989.
Saturday’s clinics kick off with the legend, ‘Mean’ Gene Mills. Mills is the coach of the Pin 2 Win Wrestling Club located in Phoenix, New York. Mills was a New Jersey State Champ as well as a HS National Champ. He went on to compete at Syracuse University where he was the first 4x All American. He was also a 2x NCAA National Champion and the Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Championships. He had a NCAA career pin record of 107 falls. After college, he went on to compete on the international level and was a 3x World Cup Champion, the 1980 World Super Champion as well as the Tbilsi (USSR) Champion. He was the OW at both events. He was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team and was voted the “Athlete of the Year” by the US Olympic Committee.
Additional clinics will be announced once confirmed on the NHSCA’s website. For all pertinent event information and to register, please go to www.NHSCA.com. Registration will close Tuesday, March 29th at midnight EST.