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Drexel's Matt Azevedo claims Social Media Head Coach of the Year honors

July 03, 2013, 10:03 a.m. (ET)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- In a solid all-around performance, Drexel's Matt Azevedo has been named the Social Media Head Coach of the Year by Elite Level Sport Marketing (ELSM) and the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).

"Coach Azevedo has done an outstanding job building the Drexel brand throughout the year" said ELSM CEO Coyte Cooper. "Their staff has done an amazing job creating a unique culture on social media and he is very deserving of this award."

Azevedo outlasted eight other coaches in the first ever competition for Social MediaHead Coach of the Year, an extension of the Best of Brand Awards. Azevedo's nearest competitor earned more than 1,000 fewer votes than did Azevedo.

"This award is very meaningful to me, because our team puts a lot of effort into social media and promoting Drexel Wrestling" said Azevedo. "Its nice to know our hard work is getting noticed-All credit goes to the Drexel Wrestling Team!"

Azevedo earned the unique award after beating out his fellow assistant coaches in two key elements: a panel of judges assessing performance (60%) and an online voting competition (40%).

Drexel wrestling was branded this past season through two social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter.

"For the sport wrestling, social media is crucial," said Azevedo. "Our sport is not as mainstream as others, so we need to get to public by all means necessary. And I believe social media is one of the best ways to keep people engaged."

The Drexel University Wrestling Facebook page boasts 1,903 likes since its creation on September 2, 2009. From the home page, visitors can see all-things Drexel wrestling, including snapshots of the team supporting other Drexel Dragons and live updates from wrestling meets. From the Facebook page, visitors also have the ability to see Drexel wrestling events, link directly to the Drexel wrestling twitter account and shop for team gear.

Drexel Wrestling, the Twitter account for Drexel complete with Twitter handle @DrexelWrestling, has 1,755 followers and has tweeted over 1,900 times since the account was created. The account not only tweets out live, minute-by-minute match updates for Drexel and other wrestling competitions, but retweets information from the likes of the NWCA, ELSM and other members of the wrestling community.

"We encourage all of our guys to get on Twitter and Facebook in the effort to promote our program" said Azevedo. "We have own hash tag #DRAGSWAG, that is unique to our team. We continually post content that our fans will be interested in, while also trying to give our fans an inside look into our team by posting non-wrestling activities."

From the Drexel Wrestling official website, visitors can access directly the Facebook page for the wrestling team only in addition to the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and YouTube, covering all things Drexel athletics.

Over the past year Azevedo credited three things with contributing to the social media success of Drexel wrestling: "consistently posting unique and relevant content, creating a culture that encourages team promotion, specifically, getting the guys on our team to be very active in social media and #DRAGSWAG."

Azevedo joined the Drexel family in April 2011 as only the eighth head coach in the history of the program. Azevedo accepted the position at Drexel after coaching at both Cornell and Cal Poly.

In his first season coaching at Drexel, Azevedo had three wrestlers qualify for the NCAA championships and pioneered the effort to have Drexel host the 2012 Flo Nationals and the accompanying 750 high school wrestlers.

Azevedo wrestled collegiately for both Arizona State and Iowa State, advancing to the NCAA championships three times. However, Azevedo had great success post college.

Following college and prior to beginning his career as a coach, Azevedo wrestled his way to becoming a seven-time U.S. National place winner, two-time U.S. National Team member and 2008 U.S. Open national Champion.

For winning the award, Azevedo will receive a custom framed awards poster and will be recognized at the NWCA Convention in August.

For more information on the "Social Media of the Year" awards, visit the ELSM site.

About Elite Level Sports Marketing (ELSM)  Elite Level Sports Marketing is a firm which specializes in the development and implementation of innovative marketing plans for sport organizations, businesses, and programs. Functioning around five core values: innovation, integrity, connection, adding value, and making a difference, ELSM provides coaches and fans with marketing resources to help grow sport organizations.

About National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling. The three core competencies of the NWCA are: coaching development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.
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