Marcie Van Dusen named USA Wrestling Woman of the Year

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | June 20, 2014, 9:14 a.m. (ET)
Marcie Van Dusen receives the USA Wrestling Woman of the Year award from USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender in Madison, Wis. Jason Bryant photo.

Marcie Van Dusen of Los Angeles, Calif. has been named Woman of the Year by USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States. This award recognizes an outstanding woman for her contributions to the sport of wrestling.

Van Dusen, a 2008 Olympian in women’s freestyle wrestling, has been a successful coach and leader within women’s wrestling since her competitive career ended after the Beijing Olympics.

“I feel honored and thankful. I am looking forward to giving back when I can. I am thankful for all the people who helped me when I was an athlete. It feels good to give back to the next generation and help build women’s wrestling,” said Van Dusen.

Van Dusen is a member of the Women’s Sports Committee and has served on USA Wrestling’s Board of Directors and the USA Wrestling Executive Committee and Athlete Advisory Committee.

She has also coached a number of U.S. women’s teams in international competition, including the 2013 Women’s FILA Junior World Team. 2012 Cadet Pan Am

Van Dusen is the women’s coach for the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club, based out of San Marino, Calif., which is one of the nation’s top clubs for women wrestlers on both the Senior and age-group levels.
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Van Dusen has been a coach for Team California at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals for many years, and is a former Women’s Director for California USA Wrestling. California has won numerous national titles as a state on the Junior and Cadet level.

She was the first women to coach a women’s college varsity wrestling team when she led Menlo College from 2010-2012. She is also a popular clinician, and served many years giving free clinics at major girls wrestling events on behalf of national sponsor Body Bar and its founder Arno Niemand. She is now in the second year of running her own MVD Altitude Wrestling Camps, in her hometown of Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

She currently serves as a program coordinator and coach for Beat the Streets Los Angeles, working with youth wrestlers in the urban area.

As an athlete, Van Dusen was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, a 2004 University World champion and a 1998 Cadet World bronze medalist. She placed ninth in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China and was also a member of the 1987 U.S. World Team, placing 10th at the World Championships.

In the 1988 Women’s World Cup, Van Dusen went 3-0, including becoming the first wrestler to beat multiple World and Olympic champion Saori Yoshida of Japan in a Senior-level international match. Among her other top international honors were a silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games, a gold medal in the 2006 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia and a bronze medal at the 2005 World University Games.

Van Dusen was a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athletes from 2002-2008, winning U.S. Open national titles in 2007 and 2008 and placing second in 2005.

Van Dusen graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a B.S. degree in Geography and Environmental Sciences. She is originally from Lake Arrowhead, Calif., where she wrestled in high school for Rim of the World High School.

“I am very encouraged about women in wrestling. The opportunities are endless for women in all aspects of this sport, athletes, coaches, trainers and leaders. It continues to grow. Women’s wrestling is being viewed as equal to men’s wrestling. A lot of things have come a long way, not just here in the United States but also internationally,” said Van Dusen.

The first USA Wrestling Woman of the Year was Tricia Saunders for 1997. The most recent Woman of the Year was Christina “Kiki” Kelley for 2012.

2013 – Marcie Van Dusen
2012 – Christina “Kiki” Kelley
2011 – Dr. Kristen Kells
2010 – Patricia Fox
2009 – Ginger Lile
2008 - Sue Hesser
2007 - Dr. Lin Miller
2006 - Sharon Dowden
2005 - Kim Martori-Wickey
2004 - Patricia Miranda
2003 - Kristie Marano
2002 - Pat Short
2001 - Paula McGahee
2000 - Sandy Stevens
1999 - Sue Siar
1998 - Nancy Schultz
1997 - Tricia Saunders