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Lee Kemp joins USA Wrestling in temporary position, assisting in coaches education and freestyle coaching

Lee Kemp of Alpharetta, Ga., a three-time World freestyle wrestling champion and one of the greatest wrestlers in American history, has joined USA Wrestling in a temporary position in the National Teams Department at its Colorado Springs headquarters.

Kemp will assist USA Wrestling's National Freestyle Developmental Coach Dave Bennett in coaches education and developmental freestyle coaching. Kemp will also work with National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson and Freestyle Resident Coach Terry Brands by coaching the nation's elite freestyle wrestlers.

Kemp joined USA Wrestling in December and will work on a temporary basis during the new year.

"USA Wrestling is very fortunate to have the opportunity to employ the services of such an outstanding individual," said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director. "Not only is Lee one of America's all-time greatest competitors, but he is also one of our country's great individuals. We plan to take advantage of his talents to raise the level of our organization. USA Wrestling is proud to welcome Lee to our staff."

Kemp is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame after one of the most successful careers in history.

Kemp won three World gold medals in freestyle wrestling (1978, 1979, 1982) and was a 1981 World bronze medalist. He was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team which did not attend the Moscow Olympic Games due to the U.S. government boycott. He also won four World Cup titles, and placed second at the 1984 Olympic Trials to Dave Schultz, who went on to win the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Kemp also had one of the greatest college careers, winning three NCAA Div. I titles and placing second as a freshman for the Univ. of Wisconsin. He was a Junior National Champion as a prep wrestling star from Ohio.

"During my career, I wanted to do something that had never been done," said Kemp. "I was the youngest World champion from the United States and the first three-time World Champion for our country. At that time, it had never been done before. I am proud of those things."

Kemp served as a graduate assistant wrestling coach at the Univ. of Wisconsin during his years as an international freestyle star. He also coached with high school and college teams in the cities where he held professional positions. While in the New York area, he assisted with the wrestling teams at Montclair State Univ. and Rutgers Univ., as well as at Montclair High School. When living in the Minneapolis area, he assisted with the Univ. of Minnesota and with Forest Lake High School. Kemp was a volunteer coach when Forest Lake High School won the Minnesota state team title, and helped develop state champion wrestlers with the program.

In 2006, Kemp served as a member of the U.S. Freestyle World Team coaching staff, assisting with the team which won four individual World medals and placed third in the World Championships.

Kemp has had a successful career in business. He received his master's degree in marketing from the Univ. of Wisconsin in 1983. He worked in the advertising field with Burrell Communications in Chicago, then was in marketing with Clairol in New York City. In 1991, he became the ownership of a car dealership, Forest Lake Ford in Minnesota, where he held expand the business serving this suburban city. Kemp has also launched his own internet company, Hire the Winners, LLC, which provides an online assessment tool for sales personnel in the auto industry.

Kemp credits USA Wrestling Board member John Bardis, who served as the Team Leader for the 2006 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team, for expanding his involvement with USA Wrestling over the past year. Bardis, who was a teammate and roommate with Kemp at the Univ. of Wisconsin, encouraged Kemp to get involved in coaching and working with the organization.

"I would like to help develop a functioning online coaches certification process, which provides testing and learning resources which can be completely administered online," said Kemp. "I also want to create a systematic way to keep track of those who have been certified, so they know what they need in order to advance and can access the materials they need. The goal is to be more efficient, faster and more current."

Kemp is also looking to work with Bennett on technique videos, showcasing his expertise and skills in freestyle wrestling to assist in the development of young wrestlers.

"My goal is to also be involved with the National Team in whatever role Kevin Jackson requires," said Kemp. "I truly enjoyed my involvement with the World Team this fall at the World Championships. I will contribute where I can. It was very enjoyable coaching at that level."

Kemp will spend time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, as well as working at USA Wrestling's national headquarters.

"Wrestling has always been an important part of my life. It has enabled me a place to be accepted and feel comfortable. It provided an outlet for me that has been needed. Wrestling has really enriched my life, even more than I have known at the time," said Kemp.
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