Bruce Burnett named 1999 Pan American Wrestling Coach of the Year

By Gary Abbott | June 02, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)

USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Bruce Burnett of Colorado Springs, Colo. was named 1999 Pan American Wrestling Coach of the Year by CPLA, the Pan American Wrestling Association. The award was presented to USA Wrestling during the 2000 Pan American Wrestling Championships in Cali, Colombia in May.

Burnett has led the U.S. freestyle wrestling program since October 1992 as its full-time professional coach based at USA Wrestling's National Headquarters. He is responsible for the U.S. national freestyle effort, and works directly with America's best Olympic-caliber freestyle athletes.

Under Burnett's leadership, the United States won World Team titles in 1993 and 1995 and claimed the most Olympic freestyle medals at the 1996 Olympic Games. The U.S. freestyle team placed second at the 1999 World Championships and third at the 1998 World Championships.

In addition, the U.S. won the freestyle team titles at the 1998 Goodwill Games and the 1999 Pan American Games. During Burnett's tenure, the United States has claimed six World Cup team titles (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000)

Burnett has won a number of major coaching awards since joining the national staff. He was named 1995 and 1996 USA Wrestling Coach of the Year and was the 1996 U.S. Olympic Committee Wrestling Coach of the Year.

He worked as USA Wrestling's National Developmental Coach from 1989-1992, working with the nation's best age-group youth athletes. He was the assistant wrestling coach at Oklahoma State Univ. from 1987-1990, helping lead the Cowboys to two NCAA Div. I team titles. He also coached at Meridian High School in Idaho from 1974-87, leading his team to four state team titles. Burnett competed at Bakersfield College and Idaho State University, and is originally from Bakersfield, Calif.