Photo and graphic courtesy of Navy Athletics
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland - Two-time All-American and former U.S. National Team member B.J. Futrell has joined the Navy wrestling staff as an assistant coach it was announced by head coach Joel Sharratt on Monday. Futrell arrives in Annapolis after spending the last seven years training and competing on the Olympic ladder.
“I am very excited that we have been able to bring B.J. Futrell on board with the program with the support of Mr. Gladchuk and the NAAA,” said Sharratt “B.J. is one of the top young coaches who has competed at the highest levels of the NCAA and National Team competition, and will make an immediate impact with his on-the-mat skills and motivational style of coaching. Off the mat, he is a man of impeccable character who will serve as an outstanding mentor and role model for our midshipmen on living the championship lifestyle on the mat, in the classroom and as young men of character. He is laser focused on the relentless pursuit of team and individual goals. He has been on the podium multiple times at the largest NCAA DI events and understands our focus on winning the N-Star and producing All-Americans who will go on to serve our country with honor.”
“I first want to thank Navy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk and head coach Joel Sharratt for presenting me with this amazing opportunity to be a part of such an elite institution and program,” said Futrell. “I am excited to be able to serve these student-athletes after competing at the collegiate and Olympic level for the last 11 years. These are young men who will soon be the leaders of our nation and I am looking forward to being able to lead them with excellence on the mat and in life.”
A three-time All-Big Ten performer at the University of Illinois, Futrell twice earned All-America honors by placing eighth at the 2011 NCAA Championship and sixth in 2012. He was also a two-time selection for the NWCA All-Star Classic. His senior season, however, was cut short after sustaining an injury that would eliminate him from postseason competition. He was ranked No. 3 in the country by W.I.N. Magazine prior to the injury. He left his mark in the Illini record books as the program’s leader with 38 career pins. A member of the Illini Leadership Academy, Futrell served as team captain for three years where he led team meetings, mediated conversation between the team and coaching staff, mentored underclassmen and led the team’s community engagement.
Futrell was also a standout in the classroom where he was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, while also garnering NWCA All-Academic recognition twice. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology in May of 2012 and went on to earn his Master of Education degree in educational policy studies from Illinois in December of 2013.
Futrell continued his wrestling career by training at the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center, as well as the Michigan Regional Training Center. He earned more than 20 domestic and international medals in Olympic-level competitions while representing Team USA in competitions that spanned 12 different countries including Romania where he claimed a gold medal. Among his career highlights, he placed third at the 2017 U.S. World Team Trials and earned a top-10 world ranking in freestyle wrestling at 65 kg. Additionally, he was a silver medalist at the 2014 University World Championships and was a three-time US Open medalist including earning the bronze in 2014. He was a two-time University Nationals freestyle and Greco-Roman champion, a two-time NYAC International finalist and champion, a three-time Dave Schultz International finalist and champion and a 2016 Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier Champion. Futrell was also and influential member of the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club when it won the World Clubs Cup World Championship in 2016.
He has been active an active mentor and coach with Beat the Streets Philadelphia, a program committed to helping establish youth wrestling programs in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. The organization fosters the holistic development of student-athletes by providing the resources to support wrestling and an academic tutoring programs throughout the greater Philadelphia region. Additionally, Futrell has coached at numerous college and high school clinics across the country where he has created and led high-intensity and level-specific wrestling camps that focused on improving wrestling technique, physical development, sports psychology and personal development.