Anthony Flatt of Lawrenceville, Ga. was named USA Wrestling State Chairperson of the Year. This award honors a USA Wrestling State Chairperson for service and leadership within the organization.
The announcement was made during USA Wrestling's annual State Leaders Conference, held at the Cheyenne Moutain Conference Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. last week.
Flatt has served three years as the State Chairperson in Georgia, and was Kids Director for the three previous years.
"This is fantastic. It is a great honor" said Flatt. "I am not sure I personally deserve it. Team Georgia is a group of dedicated individuals. It is the effort of many people in the state that has led to growth within Georgia. It is their efforts that make things happen."
During his tenure, Georgia has hosted the Southeast Regional Championships the last three years. The event has grown to the largest Junior Regional in the nation, and combined with the Kids divisions, is one of the most successful in the nation. Georgia is also very active in helping present the Georgia Grind, one of the Folkstyle Tour of America events.
Under Flatt's leadership, Georgia has developed a strong and active state association, utilizing a number of innovative programs that has led to growth in many areas.
"My background is in technology. I have been in computer sales my whole life. I had dabbled with web-based technologies. I believed online registration would work well here. We took what was working with our events and improved on it. We can start tournaments faster, get the brackets posted faster and run better events. We have the wrestlers' contact information and are able to communicate with them. We get information out quickly to our members. I serve as a catalyst, but our wrestling community has embraced the concept that wrestling is for everybody" said Flatt.
Prior to his involvement with Team Georgia, Flatt was the president of the AAU wrestling in the region. He ran a major national youth tournament in Georgia, the first of its kind in the state. The leaders of Team Georgia asked Flatt to get more involved.
"Shawn Fields, the chairman at the time, reached out to me. He asked what it would take to get me on their Board. I said that they needed to give me the room to do what I can do. It has worked out very well" he said.
Flatt has served as club director for the Collins Hill Youth Wrestling program. Collins Hill has the top 5A high school program in Georgia and has been nationally ranked. He has also been a coach on the club level in his community. Flatt also serves as a member of the board for FCA Wrestling in Georgia.
He was a high school wrestler for Boys Town High School in Nebraska. Flatt returned to the sport when his children started to get involved in youth wrestling programs. He has three children who participate in wrestling, Adam (13), Amanda (11) and Allison (9).
He believes that wrestling is a great way to reach young people and help them in their personal development.
"Our perspective is that the Georgia Amateur Wrestling Association, which is known as Team Georgia USA, is a non-profit organization that teaches life skills. We look at this as primarily as a non-profit service organization. We are growing our girls program, our developmental program, and many other activities. We are much more than just a state-level club" said Flatt.State Chairperson of the Year
1978 - Leroy Evans, California
1979 - Dave Dozeman, Michigan
1980 - Frank Rader, North Carolina
1981 - Ted DeRousse, Illinois
1982 - Dave and Bobby Schneller, Connecticut
1983 - Mick Pickford, Iowa
1984 - Bill Crum, New Jersey
1985 - Tom Canavan, Pennsylvania
1986 - Kay Lacher, Minnesota
1987 - Jack Harcourt, Virginia
1988 - Mark Scott, Wyoming
1989 - Leroy Evans, California and Charlie White, Colorado
1990 - John Welch, New Jersey
1991 - Dave Mellon, North Dakota
1992 - Bob Labat, Minnesota
1993 - Al Kastl, Michigan
1994 - Chuck Elvin, Kansas
1995 - Haswell Franklin, Sr., Maryland
1996 - Archie Randall, Oklahoma
1997 - Fred Lehrke, Wisconsin
1998 - Bob Walker, Florida
1999 - Mike Dowden, Indiana
2000 - Paula McGahee, Georgia
2001 - Tom Shaw, Washington
2002 - Dave Black, Wisconsin
2003 - Jim Considine, Illinois
2004 - Mike Juby, Kansas
2005 - Tom Knupp, Ohio
2006 - Craig Ewing, Missouri
2007 - Bill Grant, Florida
2008 - Shawn Fields, Georgia
2009 - Chuck Bullard, Washington
2010 - Anthony Flatt, Georgia