Historic agreement reached between USA Wrestling NWCA Hall of Fame

By Gary Abbott | Jan. 21, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)

The three most prestigious organizations in the sport of wrestling have reached a historic agreement to combine certain operations and work together on many important projects to strengthen the sport for the future.

An agreement has been reached between USA Wrestling, the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame to develop a new combined operational entity, known now as the Amateur Wrestling Alliance.

USA Wrestling is the national governing body for amateur wrestling in the United States, and is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the international wrestling federation. The National Wrestling Coaches Association is the professional organization for wrestling coaches in the United States. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum preserves the sport's history and recognizes outstanding achievement within wrestling.

Although the individual identity of each organization will remain intact, the new alliance will provide a stronger and more efficient working relationship between the three organizations. Each organization will retain its Board of Directors and staff structure, but an advisory committee will be formed to manage their combined activities.

The joint effort will help maximize the growth opportunities before the sport by leveraging the assets and infrastructure of the organizations, to create unity, synergy and budgetary savings for the combined operations.

"We are very pleased to create a strategic alliance with these two organizations, which will have far-reaching benefits for the sport of wrestling," said Jim Scherr, USA Wrestling Executive Director. "Each of these organizations bring specific assets and strengths to the table that will be maximized by working together. We believe, by doing so, we will ensure the future success and long term viability of wrestling as a sport worldwide."

"It is very exciting to develop and become part of a more unified wrestling community," said Roger Reina, President of the National Wrestling Coaches Association. "The opportunity to streamline our administration and provide more programming to the wrestling community is tremendous. With this agreement, we will be able to articulate a strong and clear vision for amateur wrestling in the United States, and for our joint capital campaign. Amateur wrestling needs a unified effort if are to accomplish our goals."

"I have been involved with wrestling for 45 years and have never been more excited than about our new alliance, the AWA," said Myron Roderick, President of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. "Through this joint effort, we can combine our assets for the development of amateur wrestling, and at the same time, keep our own identity. On behalf of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, we look forward to working with USA Wrestling and the National Wrestling Coaches Association for the benefit of the great sport of wrestling."

The three organizations have been working on a combined capital campaign entitled "Wrestling for the Next Millennium," which has set a goal to raise $10 million for the sport by the end of 2000. This campaign will continue to move forward, with a renewed emphasis under the new agreement.

"The capital campaign is off to a great start," said Scott Beck, Chairman of the "Wrestling for the Next Millennium" campaign. "The campaign helped bring these three organizations together, and the new joint operations agreement will offer even more benefits to the sport of wrestling. The strength of the three organizations working together with their operations will provide the fuel necessary for us to accomplish our campaign goals."

An exciting new project of the new alliance will be a unified internet presence, which will bring the most comprehensive content on all aspects of the sport to the general public.

Other areas of planned cooperative efforts will include publications, public relations, conventions, membership programs, events, coaches education, merchandising and marketing.

According to the agreement, the purpose of the Amateur Wrestling Alliance will be to:

A. Promote and protect the sport of amateur wrestling;

B. Increase the number of high school, collegiate and international wrestlers in the United States; increase the number of high school, collegiate and international teams;

C. Maximize revenues to wrestling, including revenues from the intellectual property;

D. Combine and share the assets, human resources, and infrastructure of the organizations to create unity, synergy and budgetary savings for the combined operations;

E. Work toward the creation of a single recognizable consumer brand to create public awareness of amateur wrestling with the general public;

F. Maintain the distinctive identity, unique functions, Board selection and perpetuation, location, current commitments and growth potential of each organization;

G. Educate coaches at all levels in order to increase professionalism and sportsmanship in amateur wrestling.