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Seras, Sheldon named by USA Wrestling to coach 2006 U.S. World Greco-Roman team



USA Wrestling has made its choice for the World Team Coaches in Greco-Roman who will participate in the World Championships in Guangzhou, China, Sept. 26 - Oct. 1.

Selected to join USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser of Colorado Springs, Colo. as World Team Coaches in Greco-Roman wrestling are Andy Seras of Sandy Hook, Conn. and Shawn Sheldon of West Palm Beach, Fla.

These coaches, as well as all of the coaching assignments in Greco-Roman for the year, were made by the Greco-Roman Coach Selection Committee and approved by USA Wrestling's Executive Committee.

Seras served as an Olympic Coach for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman team, which competed in Athens, Greece and featured Olympic bronze medalist Rulon Gardner. Seras was head coach of the 2002 U.S. World Team which competed in Moscow, Russia and placed fifth in the standings. As the assistant coach of the 2001 U.S. World Team, Seras assumed the head coaching role when the head coach was injured. The 2001 U.S. World Team placed third in the standings, led by three medalists.

He works as the head coach for Sacred Heart Univ., a Div. I program in Connecticut. Seras is a club coach with the Sunkist Kids and the Atlas WC. He has twice been named USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year (2001, 2004). Seras competed as an athlete at the 1988 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. He also wrestled on five U.S. World Teams and was a 1991 Pan American Games champion. Seras was a U.S. Nationals finalist for 12 straight years, and won five straight U.S. Nationals titles.

Sheldon is a club coach for the New York Athletic Club, which has produced numerous U.S. World and Olympic team members. Sheldon coached for a number of years with athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. He currently works as the Wrestling Administrator for the Palm Beach County Olympic Development Program. He also served as an assistant coach at SUNY-Albany from 1991-93, and has coached a number of state-level Junior National teams.

As an athlete, Sheldon placed fourth at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, and also competed at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. He was a silver medalist at the 1991 World Championships, and competed in eight World Championships for the United States. He won nine U.S. Nationals Greco-Roman titles, and placed second eight times. Sheldon was also a two-time World Cup champion.

Seras and Sheldon have worked together within wrestling for many decades. They were teammates on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team, which competed in Seoul, South Korea. Both competed on the same wrestling clubs, the Adirondack Three-Style Wrestling Association and the New York AC, and were coached by Joe DeMeo. They were also teammates on the same SUNY-Albany wrestling teams, where they were both Div. III national champions.

Complete biographies of the World Team Coaches follow, as well as quotes from each of the coaches.

QUOTES FROM THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD TEAM COACHES

Andy Seras of Sandy Hook, Conn.
"As coaches, we work hard for this opportunity. I am happy that the committee had confidence in me. This is the best level to coach, and I am glad they are letting me do this. I look forward to working with Shawn Sheldon. Shawn is very knowledgable, and is arguably the greatest wrestler we ever had. He is an impressive person."

"Some of the athletes in the program are new, because they were not No. 1 in the past. I am excited about working with the athletes. It will be exciting to win some matches in China this summer. The goal is to win medals in China. Those are the program's goals, and those are my goals."

Shawn Sheldon of West Palm Beach, Fla.
"I'm real excited. This is an opportunity to show what Andy Seras and I can do for our World Team. We were from the same club, have the same mindset, and wrestled for the same coach, Joe DeMeo, during our career. Hopefully, we can come home with some medals. I have been wrestling for 20 years. Now I get an opportunity to help athletes achieve a medal, hopefully a gold medal. Working with Andy Seras will be fun. He has coached on an Olympic team, and it is good to follow in his footsteps."

National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser of Colorado Springs, Colo.(about Seras and Sheldon)
"Andy Seras has tremendous experience coaching many of our teams. He has a great relationship with the athletes, which along with his knowledge, makes him a big contributor to our efforts this year. This is Shawn Sheldon's first major assignment as a young coach. We all know about his great athletic career. He brings youth and pizzazz to our team."

"As National Coach, I am looking forward to putting together a strong team, both with great coaches and talented athletes. We have now seen and experienced the new rules of Greco-Roman. We plan to make an impact at the year's World Championships."

BIOGRAPHY SKETCHES OF WORLD TEAM COACHES IN GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING

Andy Seras of Sandy Hook, Conn.

Seras was an Olympic Coach for the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team, which competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The United States team was led by Olympic bronze-medalist Rulon Gardner, who claimed his second career Olympic medal. Seras was head coach of the 2002 U.S. World Team, which competed in Moscow, Russia. The team placed a strong fifth in the team standings, led by individual gold-medalist Dremiel Byers.

Seras was the assistant coach for the 2001 U.S. World Team, and worked in that capacity during its training period. When the head coach was injured and could not attend the World Championships, Seras assumed additional responsibility on the coaching staff, serving as the head coach. The United States won the third-place trophy, led by three medalists: World champion Rulon Gardner and World silver medalists Brandon Paulson and Matt Lindland. It was the highest placement of a U.S. team ever at the Greco-Roman World Championships.

He was also the head coach of the 2001 U.S. Greco-Roman World Cup team, which competed in France and placed third in the standings, led by four individual medalists. Seras served as assistant coach of the 2001 U.S. team in Poland, as well as assistant coach of U.S. tour team that competed in Russia and Sweden.

Seras was selected as the 2001 and 2004 USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year. He has coached a number of U.S. teams on international tours. He is a club coach with the Atlas Wrestling Club and the Sunkist Kids. He has also served on the coaching staff of the Connecticut Junior National Team in 1999 and 2000.

He works as the head wrestling coach at Div. I Sacred Heart Univ., where he is building a strong program. He was an assistant coach at Sacred Heart for a number of years, and was previously an assistant coach at SUNY-Albany.

Seras was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team, which competed in Barcelona, Spain. He was a 1991 Pan American Games champion, and placed second in the 1995 Pan American Games. Seras claimed a gold medal at the 1994 World Cup. He competed on five U.S. World teams, placing sixth in the 1991 World Championships and ninth in the 1989 World Championships. Seras won five U.S. National titles and made the finals of the U.S. Greco-Roman National Championships for 12 straight years.

He competed for SUNY-Albany, where he was a 1985 NCAA Div. III national champion. He is originally from Niskayuna, N.Y., where he was fourth in the New York state high school meet. Seras was a two-time placewinner at the Junior World Championships.

Shawn Sheldon of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Sheldon currently works for the Palm Beach County Community Olympic Development Program, as its Wrestling Administrator and as a CODP Manager. Sheldon conducts wrestling training for local athletes of all ages in this Olympic-based community sports program.

He is a club coach with the New York Athletic Club, which has recently won the U.S. Nationals team title in Greco-Roman and placed numerous athletes on U.S. World and Olympic Teams. Sheldon coached at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for a number of years, assisting with the resident program, prior to accepting his position in Palm Beach County.

He was an assistant wrestling coach at his alma mater, SUNY-Albany from 1991-1993. Sheldon served as the Colorado State Junior National Team Head Coach in 2002 and the New York State Junior National Team Assistant Coach in 1993 and also coached the Florida Junior National team in 2005. Sheldon is a bronze-level certified coach in USA Wrestling's National Coaches Education Program.

He was one of the most successful Greco-Roman wrestlers in American history, competing on the national and international levels for almost two decades.

Sheldon placed fourth in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, and competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. He was also a silver medalist at the 1991 World Championships. Sheldon competed in eight World Championships for the United States.

Sheldon also won the U.S. National Greco-Roman Championships nine times and was second in the U.S. Nationals eight times. He was a two-time World Cup champion, winning titles in 1989 and 1996. He was also third in the 1987 and 1991 Pan American Games. Sheldon won a U.S. record eight Greco-Roman World Cup medals during his career. He was a five-time Concord Cup gold medalist.

Sheldon was a 1986 NCAA Div. III national champion, competing for SUNY-Albany and a three-time All-American. He was third in the New York high school state championships in 1983, competing for Columbia-Voorheesville High School.

2006 INTERNATIONAL COACHING ASSIGNMENTS IN GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING

World Championships, Guangzhou, China, Sept. 27-Oct. 2
Andy Seras, Sandy Hook, Conn.
Shawn Sheldon, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Junior World Championships, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Aug. 29 - Sept. 3
Mark Halvorson, Brentwood, Calif.
Gary Mayabb, Kansas City, Mo.

Pan American Championships, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, May 31-June 4
Shon Lewis, Fort Carson, Colo.

World University Championships, Ulan Bator, Mongolia, June 15-20
Rich Estrella, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Cadet Tour
Matt Clark, Park Rapids, Minn.
Brian Church, Columbus, Ohio

Cadet/Junior Tour
Bob Empey, Stoughton, Wis.

Cuba Tour
Jay Antonelli, Chesapeake, Va.

Poland/Bulgaria Tour
Dave Curby, LaGrange, Ill.
John Matthews, Phoenix, Ariz.

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