Dec. 1, 2003
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – USA Wrestling has made its choice for the Olympic Coaches for the 2004 U.S.Olympic Team in freestyle wrestling that will participate in the OlympicGames in Athens, Greece.
Selected to join USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson ofColorado Springs, Colo. as Olympic Coaches in freestyle wrestling are TomBrands of Iowa City, Iowa and Zeke Jones of Morgantown, W.Va. This selectionhas been forwarded for final approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Brands served as the Assistant Coach of the 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Team,which placed second in the World Championships. He was also the AssistantCoach of the 2002 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which did not compete in theWorld Championships in Iran due to a threat of violence. Brands works as theAssistant Wrestling Coach at the Univ. of Iowa
Jones was the Assistant Coach for the 2001 U.S. Freestyle World Team. Afterthe attack of September 11, the World Championships were moved from New Yorkto Bulgaria, and Jones assumed additional responsibility, serving as headcoach of the team, which placed fifth. Jones was head coach of the 2003 PanAmerican Games Team, which won the team title. He was also on the U.S.coaching staff for the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Jones works as theAssistant Wrestling Coach at West Virginia Univ.
Jackson has been National Freestyle Coach for USA Wrestling since January of2001, serving as the full-time professional coach working with the nationalfreestyle wrestling program. The United States placed second in the 2003World Championships and fifth in the 2001 World Championships underJackson’s leadership. Jackson previously worked as the Freestyle ResidentCoach for USA Wrestling from June 1998 through January 2001, coaching theathletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
All three Olympic Coaches were teammates on the only U.S. Men’s FreestyleWorld Teams to win the World Team Title, the champion 1993 U.S. World Teamin Toronto, Canada and the champion 1995 U.S. World Team in Atlanta, Ga.
The two volunteer coaches selected as Olympic Coaches came from a group offive finalists. Brands and Jones were selected by the USA WrestlingFreestyle Coach Selection Committee, then approved by the USA WrestlingExecutive Committee. All of the finalists were interviewed by the FreestyleCoach Selection Committee.
The other volunteer coaches who were finalists for the positions were BruceBurnett of Annapolis, Md.; Bobby Douglas of Ames, Iowa; and Mark Manning ofLincoln, Neb.
USA Wrestling will add one more official volunteer coach to the freestylecoaching staff at a later date.