Tony DeAnda hired as USOEC Assistant Women s Freestyle Wrestling Coach at Northern Michigan

By Gary Abbott | Aug. 30, 2005, 12 a.m. (ET)
USA Wrestling and Northern Michigan University are pleased to announce the hiring of Celso "Tony" DeAnda of Colorado Springs, Colo. to serve as the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) Assistant Women's Freestyle Wrestling Coach.

DeAnda will work with USOEC Head Women's Freestyle Wrestling Coach Shannyn Gillespie to coach the women freestyle wrestlers who participate in the USOEC Women's Wrestling Resident Program at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich.

This program provides wrestlers with the opportunity to train full-time in Olympic women's freestyle wrestling at an elite level, while receiving their college education.

In addition to working with the USOEC resident athletes and team, DeAnda will also become a valuable member of USA Wrestling's professional National Women's wrestling coaching staff, helping to build the United States women's team into the world's best program.

"He is a perfect fit for the USOEC Assistant Women's Coach job," said National Women's Coach Terry Steiner. "He is very technical, and does a great job breaking down technique. He has been a resident athlete, so he knows what that experience is like. His personality is perfect for dealing with women wrestlers. He will be a great asset to the Northern Michigan program and to the women's coaching staff."

DeAnda has been a nationally ranked freestyle wrestler for a number of years, and has participated in the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) freestyle resident athlete program in Colorado Springs, Colo.

DeAnda has been an All-American four times at the U.S. National Freestyle Championships, placing as high as fourth at the 2005 U.S. Nationals. He was fifth in the 2005 World Team Trials and sixth in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

He has competed in a number of major international events, winning a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan American Championships and placing fourth at the 2001 Pan American Championships. DeAnda was a silver medalist at the 2002 Dave Schultz Memorial International and a bronze medalist at the 2002 Sunkist Kids International Open.

DeAnda competed for the Univ. of Nebraska, where he was a two-time NCAA qualifier for the Cornhuskers. Previously, he attended Augustana College in South Dakota, where he placed fourth in the 1992 NCAA Div. II Championships.

Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, DeAnda attended Bishop Heelan Catholic High School, where he was a 1991 state high school champion.

"It is a new challenge for me," said DeAnda. "I think I have the skills and know-how to help the team. Our goals are to win World and Olympic medals for the United States. Shannyn Gillespie has done a great job with the program already. I would like to add to that success."

The USOEC Women's wrestling program had an exceptional year in 2004-05, its first year in existence. Coach Gillespie recruited a number of national-caliber athletes to campus, and the team competed at a high level on the national circuit. USOEC athlete Mary Kelly earned a No. 2 national ranking by placing second at the World Team Trials, then captured a bronze medal at the World University Games. USOEC wrestler Danyelle Hedin won a silver medal at the 2005 Junior World Championships. The incoming class of freshmen includes a number of Junior National champion athletes and others with major national age-group honors.

In February, 1989, the U.S. Olympic Committee named Northern Michigan as the nation's only United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC). The USOEC's main focus is the resident athlete training program, where athletes actively train for the Olympic Games. Generally, athletes in this program must be nationally ranked and also approved by their National Governing Body (NGB), the USOEC, and NMU. The USOEC also has resident athlete training programs in boxing, short track speedskating, Greco-Roman wrestling, and weightlifting.