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Brian Antonelli named new assistant coach at Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy wrestling coach Bruce Burnett has announced the hiring of Naval Academy graduate Brian Antonelli as his new assistant coach to replace long-time Navy assistant Joel Sharratt, who took over the head coaching reigns at Air Force in August. A former two-year wrestling letterwinner for the Midshipmen and former Captain in the Marine Corps, Antonelli brings a wealth of experience and leadership both on and off the mat to the Navy wrestling program.

"In preparing to hire a new assistant coach, I knew what our needs were," said Burnett, who is in his seventh season guiding the Midshipman program. "Brian Antonelli more than fits the needs of the program. He is a Naval Academy graduate with a strong military background and he comes from a wrestling family that is known throughout the East Coast. Brian is 100 percent invested in this sports, as is his entire family.

"I worked with Brian a couple of years ago when he was the team's officer representative. I told him then that if I ever had the opportunity to hire him on as a coach, I would do everything possible to get him here. I couldn't be happier to have Brian accept this position and be back on board with Navy wrestling. He will be a huge asset to the program."

"I am excited to be back at the Naval Academy," said Antonelli. "I'm looking forward to helping the midshipmen meet their goals as wrestlers and as future officers within the fleet."

In August of 2005, Antonelli left the Marine Corps and earned his first coaching position when The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey hired him as its head wrestling coach. There he helped mold two New Jersey Prep State Champions and one of his pupils garnered All-America recognition at the national tournament. In addition to his wrestling duties, he served as quarterback and special teams coach of the football team.

A native of Owings Mills, Md., Antonelli graduated from the McDonogh School in 1992 where was was the Maryland State Wrestling Champion at 160 pounds and a two-time all-state football player. He went on to spend a year at Blair Academy in 1993, winning the 160-pound prep state title and was the quarterback of the undefeated state championship football team.

As a member of the Midshipmen wrestling team, he earned letters in 1996 and 1997. As a senior, he was the recipient of the H.McCoy Memorial Award, given to that midshipmen that displays the "highest degree of athletic leadership and competitive spirit." Antonelli graduated from the Naval Academy in 1997 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Marine Corps.

Prior to receiving his first assignment in the Marine Corps as Production Control Officer for MALS 26 in 1998, he spent five months wrestling for the Marine Corps team in Quantico. Between August of 1999 and '02, he was the MMCO for HMM-266 and for the 24th MEU. In the summer of 2001, he participated in Operation Rapid Cheetah where he patrolled the borders between Kosovo and Bosnia.

In August of 2002, Antonelli returned to the Naval Academy where he served as an Admissions Officer for three years and was a USMC Green Belt instructor. In addition, he returned to his wrestling roots and served as the officer representative for the Midshipmen wrestling program.

Antonelli's older brother, Jay, is a 1992 graduate of the Naval Academy and was a two-year letterwinner for the Midshipmen wrestling team. He has continued his involvement in the wrestling community serving on the Greco-Roman coaching staff at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, as well as many other U.S. international tour teams. In addition, he served as the head coach of the 2002 World Cup team and four CISM World Military Championship teams. In 1998, he was named the USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year. A Major in the Marine Corps, he is currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Va.

Antonelli and his wife, Susie, are the parents of two daughters, Katie (5) and Samantha (2), and an infant son, Christopher (9 mos).
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