Our entire Greco Program needs an overhaul. Coach Lindland has his work cut out for him. I realize he was a late spring hire, and the best he can do is work this summer is work with the talent he has.
After the senior World Championships he is going to have to put together a program that elevates these guys to another level. I'm not sure what happen to our Greco Program. in 2007 we won a World Team title at the senior level, we had an incredible development program at northern Michigan (Coach by World Silver medalist Ivan Ivanov), where most of those kids in the Northen Michigan program were challenging the senior level guys and consistently winning Junior World medals. USOEC wrestlers absolutely dominated the FILA Juniors and University Nationals, and one USOEC wrestler at the time (Lester) made a World Team and medaled at the Senior level.
The solution is investing in the development program. The USOEC program lost alot of funding (no full scholarships anymore), while by comparison, the freestyle program has expanded it Regional Training Centers throughout the U.S. (almost all the top colleges for wrestling - Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota, Arizona State, Iowa, Iowa State) has a regional training center for freestyle, and their student athletes are on scholarship. Not so with Greco, and until this changes we will continue to see the results.
The options also for senior level involvement are very sparse. Essentially it boils down to the U.S. Army's WCAP program, or Minnesota Storm. Two great programs, but Lindland is going to need to create some incentives for new senior level clubs to emerge. In 2007 the year we won the World's in Greco all of the armed force greco programs were competitive, we had Minnesota storm, Gator club, NYAC, and as I stated earlier a very, very strong USOEC program that was pushing the senior level wrestler.
I think we can get back, and surpass where we were. If your reading this coach Lindland, I have confidence that your the man you can guide to a new level.
With all that being said, I'm optimistic about Coon's chances in Greco,
I won the battle (state championship) but I feel he won the war.
He lost in the first round at state and I still remember the glorious pep talk his dad gave him about how this was a "test of his character" and how they could either pack it up now and go home (a sarcastic jab at me since I was sitting a few feet away basking in my first round victory by tilt-fest) or how he could pick himself up and wrestle hard for 3rd. My dad didn't even know I had won state until I called him in BrÃ¼gge (pronounced like it rhymes with luge) where he was on a business trip.