Kevin Black becomes 43rd coach to reach coveted NCEP Gold Level Certification

By Meagan Templeton-Lynch USA Wrestling | Feb. 28, 2013, 5:02 p.m. (ET)
Kevin Black of River Falls, Wis. recently became the newest coach to receive the National Coaches Education Program Gold Level Certification, the highest level of certification available from NCEP.

Black received his Gold Certified Coaches Ring on Feb. 2, 2013 at the 2013 Dave Schultz Memorial International women's freestyle competition. He joins 42 other coaches from around the United States with Gold Certifications, going back to the inception of the program.

For Black, the path to Gold Certification was just a natural progression in his desire to be a top educator.

"I always knew I wanted to be a coach" Black said, who got his first copper level certification while he was still in high school and went on to receive his degree in education.

"As coaches we expect our athletes to grow and to improve and be educated as athletes. It's no different from the coaching perspective" he said. "We have to grow, we have to learn, we have to research, we have to be up on the latest science and techniques. So education is, for me, an important part of life, but for coaching it was important too. It was just natural that I would continue to take the steps."

Black has a hefty record of achievements as a coach, including being named Women's Coach of the Year in both 2009 and 2011, making him the only coach to win the award twice.

Black has coached at the Senior level for international tours, training camps and the U.S. World Team.

Now a women's coach for Sunkist Kids, Black was previously working with the New York Athletic Club, coaching stars such as 2011 World Team members Helen Maroulis and Adeline Gray. As the U.S. World Team coach in 2011, Black led Gray and fellow World Team member Ali Bernard to World bronze medals.

He has also coached at the Cadet, Junior and college level, including coaching the Cadet women's team, Junior National Women's Team and University World Women's Team.

Black also served one term as the commissioner of the Women's College Wrestling Association (WCWA), has served as the women's wrestling liaison and is a member of the Board of the Directors for the National Wrestling Coaches Association, currently serves as the Women's Director for the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation and represents the Northern Plains Region on USA Wrestling's Women's Age-Group Council.

Black has coached and operated the Victory School of Wrestling in River Falls, Wis. since 2005, where he works with young wrestlers of all levels. He served as an assistant coach for the Univ. of Wisconsin from 2003-05, working with the Div. I program there. He was a wrestling coach at Lodi High School from 2005-06.

He was the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation State Coach from 2004-06, and coached the state's Cadet Freestyle National Team from 2002-06. He conducted the Black Brothers Wrestling Camps from 2000-06.

Black was a NCAA Div. I All-American for the Univ. of Wisconsin, where he was a NCAA qualifier three times and served as the team captain three times. Black won four Wisconsin state titles for River Falls High School, with a 160-0 career record. He competed on the Senior level in freestyle, wrestling in a number of major international tournaments.

Even now, after reaching the top certification with the National Coaches Education Program, Black knows he could never stop learning.

"I think that once you think you can't learn anymore you're essentially ineffective as a coach" he said. "I have this spirit that I can always learn from somebody at any level, at any age. There are always new insights."

Bob Anderson, California
David Bennett, Idaho
Kevin Black, Wisconsin
Tyler Brandt, Iowa
John Carlson, Arizona
Daniel Chandler, Minnesota
Joseph Corso, Texas
David Curby, Illinois
Bobby Douglas, Iowa
Richard Fergola, Kansas
Larry Gibson, Washington
Billy Gosset, Missouri
Mike Hagerty, Missouri
Mark Halvorson, California
Jack Harcourt, Virginia
Tadaaki Hatta, Ohio
Rob Hermann, Florida
Randy Hinderliter, Kansas
Larry Holloway, Georgia
Ivan Ivanov, Idaho
Bob Jackson, North Carolina
Leroy Kemp, Illinois
Cliff Laughlin, Idaho
Joseph Lavallee, Nevada
Tony May, Oklahoma
Gary Mayabb, Missouri
John Mesenbrink, Wisconsin
Aldo Meza, Texas
Sam Minardi, Florida
Matthew Oney, Hawaii
Darren Petty, Indiana
Roy Pittman, Oregon
JD Robbins, Florida
Kenneth Ruml, South Dakota
John Schmidtke, Hawaii
Shawn Sheldon, Florida
Ben Stehura, Ohio
Danny Struck, Indiana
Hugh Suenaga, Indiana
Ron Tirpak, Pennsylvania
Bobo Umemoto, Oregon
Rob Vialpando, Colorado
Billy Wood, Idaho
Greg Zavala, California
Vern Zellner, New Jersey