Photo by Larry Slater.
Welcome to TheMat.com’s weekly series called USA Wrestling History Lesson. Each week, we will highlight one athlete that has wrapped up his or her wrestling career, sharing the impact that they’ve had on the sport.
This week, we take a look at Bill Zadick, a 2006 World champion and current U.S. National Freestyle Coach.
Check out the other USA Wrestling History Lessons HERE.
Hailing from Great Falls, Montana, Zadick is one of only 17 four-time Montana state champions. He went on to compete for the University of Iowa, where he won an NCAA title in 1996 and made the podium in 1995, helping the Hawkeyes to NCAA team titles both years.
In his Senior freestyle career, Zadick was a hammer domestically and internationally. Stateside, Zadick won U.S. Open titles in 2001 and 2002. He also made the 2001 and 2006 World Teams.
At the 2001 Worlds, Zadick was seventh at 63 kg/139 lbs. in his Senior World debut. At the 2006 World Championships, he reached the top of the freestyle wrestling world in 2006, when he won a World gold medal at 66 kg/145.5 pounds in Guangzhou, China. His younger brother Mike won a silver medal at 60 kg/132 pounds at the 2006 World Championships, making them the first U.S. brothers to reach the World finals on the same year since Tom and Terry Brands in 1993.
Bill wrapped up his wrestling career in 2007, turning his attention to coaching. In January of 2009, he first joined USA Wrestling in the position of Resident Coordinator and Assistant National Freestyle Coach.
Zadick was promoted to the position of National Freestyle Developmental Coach and Assistant National Freestyle Coach in September 2010.
During his four years working with the USA age-group teams (2011-2014), the USA won eight Cadet World medals, nine Junior World medals and 10 medals at the University Worlds or University World Games. In 2014, the U.S. age group World Teams reached new levels of success in freestyle, with the Cadets placing third in the World, the Juniors placing second in the World and the University team winning the World title.
After the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Zadick was elevated to National Freestyle Head Coach. In 2017, the U.S. won its first World team title in 22 years led by gold medalists Burroughs and Snyder, silver medalists Thomas Gilman and Green and bronze medalists J'den Cox and Nick Gwiazdowski. Zadick and his staff also produced one of the greatest years in USA Wrestling age-group history, including winning the Junior World team title for the first time in over 30 years. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee named Zadick the 2017 Olympic Coach of the Year.
Overall in his three years as the USA Wrestling head coach, Zadick has coached American athletes to seven Senior World gold medals, three silver medals and seven bronze medals with two team podium finishes, including first place in 2017 and second place in 2018.
In June 2021, Zadick will be inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.