Plamen Paskalev hired as coach for the Ohio Regional Training Center

By Kevin Schlosser | Sept. 30, 2010, 5:42 p.m. (ET)
Plamen Paskalev joins Ohio RTC coaching staff. Kevin Schlosser photo

Two-time Olympian hopes to make an immediate impact

"The Ohio Regional Training is proud to announce the hiring of two-time Olympian Plamen Paskalev as a developmental freestyle coach" stated Tommy Rowlands. "We are excited to learn from his experience and knowledge. We think he is someone that can really help every wrestler training with the Ohio RTC."

While his name may be unfamiliar to many in Ohio, Paskalev brings a wealth of international wrestling experience and a resume filled with success. A twelve-time Bulgarian national champion and a seven-time World Team Member, Plamen finished fourth in the 1996 Olympics and sixteenth at the 2000 Olympics. Paskalev also placed five other times at the World Championships finishing seventh in 1999; eleventh in 1994, 1995, and 1998; and twelfth in 1997.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to come to Columbus, Ohio and work with the Ohio Regional Training Center and the Ohio State wrestlers" responded Plamen Paskalev when asked about joining the Ohio RTC staff. "There are a lot of guys in the room that want to be the best in the US; they want to win and they want to get better. They want to win national titles and be world champions so I am excited to work with them and help them achieve their goals."

Paskalev not only has an international resume but also a track record of success in the United States. Moving here in 2003, Paskalev became a three-time All-American for Central Missouri. Quickly making the transition from almost two decades of freestyle wrestling to folkstyle he placed fourth at heavyweight at the 2003 NCAA Division II Championships weighing 188 pounds, took third at 197 pounds in 2005, and he won the 2006 197-pound national title.

With several degrees from the Bulgarian National Sports Academy, Plamen earned a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education and Corporate Fitness at UCM. He took his first American coaching job as an assistant coach for the Mules in 2007, worked extensively with Ben Askren in helping him make the transition from college wrestling to freestyle for the 2008 Olympic Trials, and he has spent the last two years as an assistant at The Citadel.

Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan was instrumental in getting Paskalev to move to Columbus and start working with the Ohio RTC.

"We are blessed to have Plamen at the RTC. His success as an athlete and a coach are quite impressive. He is a world class technician and we need a healthy dose of European skill" stated Ryan. "After watching him teach and discuss his wrestling philosophy I felt he would be a great asset to the Ohio Regional Training Center and the Ohio State wrestling program."

Working with the Ohio RTC wrestlers Plamen plans on taking a "hands on approach".

"So much of wrestling is the little things. When it comes to freestyle or folkstyle"¦ the moves are the same, the goals are the same"¦ putting someone on their back, the scoring is the difference" offered Paskalev.

"If I can see something that someone is doing or feel what they are doing when we wrestle; I can help them make some adjustments, try some different set ups, or defend something in a different way. When you see something someone does well, no matter the style, you want to help them do it better or teach them some things that will work with it" concluded Paskalev.

Plamen will work directly with head coach Lou Rosselli to develop individual training programs and competition schedules for each of the wrestlers working with the organization.

"The goal of the Ohio Regional Training Center is to create a world class training environment for each of our wrestlers. Adding Plamen to the staff will continue that mission" stated Tommy Rowlands. "As a wrestler he has competed around the globe against the best in the world and as a coach we think he has a great understanding of American wrestling and what our guys need to do to get to the next level. He truly has a unique perspective on wrestling and we are eager to learn from his experiences as we prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games