USA Wrestling Tom Brands, Mark Man...

Tom Brands, Mark Manning, Lou Rosselli named as freestyle coaches for 2016 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | July 27, 2016, 11:08 a.m. (ET)

Tom Brands of Iowa City, Iowa, Mark Manning of Lincoln, Neb. and Lou Rosselli of Columbus, Ohio have been named as the volunteer freestyle coaches for the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The freestyle wrestling competition will be held August 19-21 at the Carioca 2 Arena in Rio.

They will work with National Freestyle Coach Bruce Burnett and Assistant National Freestyle Coaches Bill Zadick and Brandon Slay in the preparation of the team and the coaching of the athletes at the Olympic Games. These assignments are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

Brands was a 2004 Olympic coach in Athens, Greece, where the USA won three medals including a gold medal. He also coached the 2015 U.S. World Team which had three medalists, including two champions, and the 2014 U.S. World Team, which had two medalists. He has been on the coaching staff of numerous other U.S. World Teams. He is a coach with the Hawkeye WC, and was named 2002 Freestyle Coach of the Year. He is personal coach for 2016 Olympian Daniel Dennis. Brands is head coach at the University of Iowa, where he has coached the Hawkeyes to three NCAA team titles and has mentored nine NCAA individual champions. He was a 1996 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling at 62 kg, and won a gold medal at the 1993 World Championships. He also won three NCAA titles as a student-athlete at Iowa.

“When you have a responsibility like this, you keep your ears open. You want your athletes to be open minded and that’s the way I am. We have a Team Leader named Andy Barth, who reminded the coaches that there is still a lot of work to do. That was pretty profound. I listened because it is hard-hitting. There is a lot of work to do and a short time to get there. We have six guys who are looking for the same thing. They are looking for the same thing that 19 to 20 others in their weight class are looking at. The time is short. Zero hour is upon us. We want to get in that mode of staying sharp. Coaches Burnett, Zadick and Slay are doing a good job conveying that to these guys. It’s up to the individual coaches and the volunteer coaches to march with that message loud and clear,” said Brands.

Manning was a 2012 Olympic coach in London, England, where the USA won three medals including two gold medals. He coached with the 2011 U.S. World Team, which was third in the World Championships, as well as the 2009 World Team. He has been on the coaching staff for two other U.S. Olympic Teams. He is a coach for the Nebraska Wrestling Training Center and with the Sunkist Kids, and was 2011 and 2015 USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year. He is head coach at the University of Nebraska, where he has coached 42 All-Americans and led the Huskers to six top-eight finishes at the NCAA Championships.

“It is a great opportunity. I am honored because I am representing Team USA. We are putting our effort and energy into these guys, doing everything they can do to reach their goal as Olympic champion. We have six guys who are very driven. Their preparation is with a purpose. I am excited that I am a part of that and I will do everything I can for these guys,” said Manning.

Rosselli was a a 2012 Olympic coach in London, England, where the USA won three medals including two gold medals. He has coached numerous U.S. World Teams, including most recently at the 2015 World Championships, where the USA won three medals, including two champions. He is a personal coach for 2016 U.S. Olympians Kyle Snyder and Tervel Dlagnev. Snyder became the youngest U.S. World champion in 2015 at age 19. Rosselli serves as Associate Head Coach at the Ohio State University, where he has worked 10 years and helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2015 NCAA team title. He was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team which competed in Atlanta, Ga., and was a two-time NCAA All-American as a student-athlete at Edinboro.

“I am always excited to help the Olympic team. I was fortunate enough in 2012 to help out. Being selected by Coach Burnett is a great honor. I am pleased to be helping. I believe we have a good team and it will go really well,” said Rosselli.

The three Olympic coaches believe the U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers are capable of great things in Rio.

“We have the potential and we have the talent. It is a matter of going out there and doing it. I always feel good about the United States of America. A lot of people like to say college wrestling and folkstyle hurts our international effort. Not me. I believe in being American. I believe in American ingenuity, American know-how and American independence. It’s an edge that these other countries don’t have, and they don’t even know what it’s like. I believe that. Add the individuals we have, those six wrestlers, to the American independence. Now you have American know-how and some pretty talented guys that can get the job done,” said Brands.

“I think we should have every guy on the podium. We would love to have six gold medals but the reality is to just get them on the podium. Getting them a medal is huge for our country. We are not only capable of doing it, but I think these guys believe they belong there. That is exciting. I don’t think we have had that mentality for awhile. They are a tight team, too. Their unity and the spirit about them really separates this team. Hopefully, from August 19-21 they are shining and are at their best,” said Manning.

“Our goal should always be the same, to win six medals and hopefully, they would be gold. We know the world is tough. We have to do everything in our power to give them their best chance, from training them correctly to their recovery to tapering them down right, to scouting their opponents. Our chances are good. I think every guy in every weight class has a chance to be successful. As we come down the stretch, we have to make sure we flip every rock and we do our part to give them the best chance to win,” said Rosselli.

National Freestyle Coach Bruce Burnett is pleased to work with these Olympic coaches, who have made a big difference in the preparation for Rio.

“I couldn’t be happier having the coaches that we have. I had the opportunity to coach and work with Tom Brands when he was an athlete and also as a coach. I worked with Mark Manning when we were both on staff at USA Wrestling. I got to coach Lou Rosselli at the 1996 Olympic Games. They have been to all of our training camps. This is a crew that has been involved and made the commitment to help get their athletes better and help the USA get better. It is hard for them to get to all the camps and events and still take care of business at home. These guys have made the commitment to make the USA great, and I couldn’t be more proud of the coaches we have,” said Burnett.

TOM BRANDS BIOGRAPHY

Brands previously served as a 2004 Olympic Team coach in Athens, Greece, helping lead the USA team to a three-medal performance, which included gold medalist Cael Sanderson and silver medalists Stephen Abas and Jamill Kelly.

He was a coach with the 2015 U.S. World Team which won three medals, including two champions, in Las Vegas, Nev. Brands was one of the Freestyle World Team Coaches for the 2014 World Wrestling Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where the USA had a pair of bronze medalists, and placed ninth in the standings.

Brands served as the Assistant Coach of the 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which placed a strong second at the World Championships in New York City, led by two silver medalists. He was also the Assistant Coach of the 2002 U.S. Freestyle World Team that was scheduled to compete in Tehran, Iran, but did not compete due to a threat to the team’s safety. Brands was a member of the U.S. coaching staff at the 2001 World Championships, and has coached a number of other U.S. teams in international competition.

He was named 2002 Freestyle Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling. He serves as a coach for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, one of the nation’s elite Regional Training Centers. Brands is also a personal coach for 2016 U.S. Olympian Daniel Dennis.

Brands works as the head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. Brands has led the Hawkeyes to three NCAA and four Big Ten team titles. Brands was named 2008 NWCA Coach of the Year after leading the Hawkeyes to their first NCAA team title since 2000 and their first Big Ten team title since 2004. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010, becoming the first coach in conference history to earn the honor in three consecutive seasons. He has coached nine NCAA champions, 13 Big Ten champions and 56 All-Americans. Iowa has also won or shared eight of the last nine Big Ten regular season titles.

Brands also served as head coach at Virginia Tech University for two seasons (2005-06). Brands led the team to the 2005 regular season Atlantic Coast Conference title. He was an assistant coach at Iowa for 12 seasons (1993-2004) and was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.

Brands was one of the greatest U.S. freestyle wrestlers of all time, claiming a gold medal at 136.5 pounds at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. He also won a World gold medal at the 1993 World Championships in Toronto, Canada. Between 1993 and 1996, Brands was the top U.S. wrestler at his weight class and represented the United States in numerous major international events. He won two World Cup gold medals (1994 and 1995) and was the 1995 Pan American Games champion. He also claimed four U.S. Nationals titles (1993-96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993-96).

Along with brother, Terry, he was named 1993 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, the 1993 John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler, and 1993 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. He has been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member.

He was a three-time NCAA Div. I champion at the Univ. of Iowa (1990-92) a four-time All-American and three-time Big Ten champion with a career mark of 158-7-2.

MARK MANNING BIOGRAPHY

Mark Manning was an Olympic coach in men’s freestyle wrestling for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. The United States won two gold medals, by Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner, and a bronze medal by Coleman Scott.

Manning served as a member of the 2011 U.S. World Team coaching staff, and the team placed third in the World Championships final standings with two medalists, including World champion Jordan Burroughs and bronze medalist Jake Varner. Manning was a 2009 U.S. World Team Coach which competed at the World Championships in Herning, Denmark, placing seventh as a team with two medalists.

He is the personal coach of 2012 Olympic champion and 2016 Olympian Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and 2015 World bronze medalist James Green at 70 kg. Burroughs has now won an Olympic gold medal, three World gold medals and a World bronze medal with Manning as his personal coach.

Manning also coached Burroughs and Green at the Univ. of Nebraska. Burroughs won two NCAA Div. I titles (2009, 2011) and was named the 2011 Dan Hodge Trophy winner as the nation’s best college wrestler. Green was a four-time All-American for the Huskers.

Manning was the Head Coach for the 2001 U.S. Freestyle World Team and trained the team for the event. After the attack of September 11, the World Championships were moved from New York to Bulgaria and Manning could not attend the 2001 World Championships due to college coaching responsibilities.

He was also a coach with the 2000 Pan American Championships team, which claimed the team title. Manning was head coach of the 1994 and 1996 Junior World teams, and also coached the 1992 Cadet World team. He was an assistant coach for the 2008 U.S. Junior World Team. He also coached at two U.S. Olympic Festivals.

He served on the coaching staff of the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic teams. He served as the assistant coach of the 1997 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which placed sixth in the team standings in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The team featured one gold and one silver medalist. Manning was also on the coaching staffs of numerous other U.S. World teams.

Manning won the Terry McCann Freestyle Coach of the Year from USA Wrestling two times, in 2011 and 2015. He was also named UWW’s International Freestyle Coach for 2011, the first U.S. recipient of the award in recent history.

Manning is a coach with the Nebraska Wrestling Training Center, the regional training affiliated with the University of Nebraska. He is also a coach with the nationally respected Sunkist Kids club.

He served as USA Wrestling's National Developmental Coach during early 1993, managing the organization's age-group national team programs.

Manning currently works as the head wrestling coach for Div. I wrestling powerhouse Nebraska. In his 16 years at the helm, he has coached 42 All-Americans and has led the Huskers to six top-eight finishes at the NCAA Championships. He became the winningest coach in school history on Feb. 21, 2015 when he picked up his 200th win at Nebraska. Manning holds a 212-80-3 record at NU, and a 235-105-5 mark overall. He won back-to-back Big 12 Coach-of-the-Year awards (2008 and 2009) after guiding Nebraska to a share of the conference crown in 2009 and a runner-up finish in 2008. He also guided Nebraska to its first Big 12 wrestling title ever in 2009.

Prior to taking over the Cornhusker program, Manning was the head coach at the Univ. of Northern Iowa, helping revive the program during his three seasons there. The Panthers were 11th at the 2000 NCAA Championships, and he coached individual NCAA champion Tony Davis. Manning also served assistant coaching stints at the Univ. of Oklahoma for four seasons and the Univ. of North Carolina for eight years.

As an athlete, Manning was an Olympic Trials finalist in 1988, and placed in the U.S. Nationals four times. He was a two-time NCAA Div. II national champion and three-time All-American for the Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha. Manning has been inducted into the NCAA Div. II Hall of Fame. He was a three-time South Dakota high school state champion from Vermillion, S.D.

LOU ROSSELLI BIOGRAPHY

Lou Rosselli was a 2012 Olympic coach and helped lead the USA to three individual medalists, champions Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner and bronze medalist Coleman Scott. The USA was third in the unofficial standings.

Rosselli has coached numerous U.S. Senior World Teams, including the 2015 U.S. World Team, which won three medals, including two champions in Las Vegas, Nev.. He was a 2013 U.S. World Team Coach, helping lead the USA to a fifth-place finish in Budapest, Hungary. Rosselli served as a 2011 U.S. World Team Coach in Istanbul, Turkey, which finished third in the team standings. Rosselli also served as a 2007 U.S. World Team Coach, helping lead the United States to a fourth place finish. He also served as a World Team Coach for the 2006 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which placed third as a team in Guangzhou, China.

He is the personal coach for 2016 Olympians Kyle Snyder at 96 kg and Tervel Dlagnev at 125 kg. Snyder was a Senior World champion in 2015, the youngest in U.S. history at age 19. In 2013, Rosselli coached an amazing five athletes on the U.S. World Team, Dlagnev plus Angel Escobedo at 55 kg, Reece Humphrey at 60 kg, Keith Gavin at 84 kg and J.D. Bergman at 96 kg. He also had three members on the 2015 U.S. World Team, Snyder, Dlagnev and Humphrey.

Rosselli is a coach with the nationally respected New York Athletic Club, and is the head coach at the Ohio Regional Training Center, which has won the RTC Cup as the nation’s most successful freestyle RTC.

He was the assistant coach of the 2005 U.S. World University Games Team, which placed third in the team standings with three individual gold medalists in Izmir, Turkey. He also coached the 2010 U.S. World University Championships team in Torino, Italy. He was also a coach for the U.S. team at the 2009 Pan American Championships. Rosselli has also coached a number of other U.S. teams on international tours.

He has received the Terry McCann Freestyle Coach of the Year from USA Wrestling two times, in 2007 and 2013.

Rosselli serves as the Associate Head Coach at The Ohio State University, working on the staff with head coach Tom Ryan and has been with the Buckeyes for 10 seasons. He was instrumental in helping the Buckeyes win its first NCAA Div. I national title in 2015, plus NCAA runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2009. Among the stars he has coached with the Buckeye program was four-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber and two-time NCAA champion J Jaggers.

Previously, he served 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Edinboro Univ., eight years as a full-time assistant and three years as a volunteer assistant. Rosselli has helped build the Scotsmen into a nationally competitive program on the Div. I level.

Rosselli competed at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., at 114.5 pounds. He was a 1997 World Cup champion, and won a silver medal at the 1998 Pan American Championships. He won U.S. National freestyle titles three times (1995, 1996, 1999) and was second in the 1998 U.S. Nationals. Rosselli was also a University Nationals freestyle champion in 1994.

Rosselli placed third at the 1993 NCAA Championships and was fourth in the 1991 NCAA Championships for Edinboro Univ. A native of Middleport, N.Y., Rosselli was a two-time New York state champion at Royalton-Hartland High School, in addition to finishing second once and third once.