By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Andy Barth at the induction ceremony as an Outstanding American for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Larry Slater photo
Andy Barth of San Marino, Calif. has been named as the Team Leader for the 2013 U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team by USA Wrestling, the national governing body for the sport in the United States.
Barth will serve as Team Leader at the 2013 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and will be on the Freestyle Team USA leadership staff throughout the four-year Olympic cycle.
“We are fortunate and honored to have one of the nation’s top business leaders who is a wrestler committed to helping Team USA and our men’s freestyle program. We are confident that, with Andy’s leadership, our American athletes will be well-positioned to earn World and Olympic medals for our nation,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.
Barth has been a leader in the sport of wrestling on many levels, and has worked for the growth and development of the sport in a variety of ways.
“I can't tell you how happy I am Andy is joining our team. He's a sharp guy and I know will make a big difference in helping our team. He has a great wrestling background, knows the sport, and has a keen knowledge of what it takes to win World and Olympic medals. His leadership will be great for our men,” said National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones.
Barth is excited about being part of the team effort to support our freestyle program and build towards the 2016 Olympic Games.
“It is a great program with great people involved. I am excited to work with the coaches and the team. The leadership has a strong vision and understanding about how to drive the U.S. program to an even greater level of success. I am 100% behind what they are doing. If I can help in any way, and one way is financially, we can really work to achieve the goals which have been laid out. I am looking forward to the next four years being one of the most successful in our history. Being a part of that is thrilling, exciting and humbling,” said Barth.
Barth is a founder of the new Titan Mercury Wrestling Club, which supports Senior-level athletes in men’s and women’s freestyle as well as supporting wrestling on the local level in California. The Titan Mercury WC won the men’s freestyle team title at the 2013 Dave Schultz Memorial International, only the second event it has entered as a team.
He also helped found the Beat the Streets Los Angeles organization, for which he serves as the President of the Board of Directors. Included in the mission of Beat the Streets Los Angeles is the provide wrestling opportunities “to cultivate and support youth development programs in underserved communities in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.” In just its first full year, BTS-Los Angeles is already making an impact on the lives of young people in the community.
In June of 2012, Barth received the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Outstanding American honor, the 48th recipient of this prestigious award. This honor demonstrates wrestling's pride in those who have used the disciplines of the sport to launch notable careers in other walks of life, such as science and technology, business and industry, government and the military, and the arts and humanities.
Barth and his wife Avery, made the largest charitable gift in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s 36-year history with a $1 million multi-year pledge for the organization's Wrestling Beyond the Walls Campaign. He was also instrumental in obtaining a replica of an ancient training manual on wrestling for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
As Columbia University’s top wrestling supporter, his major gift in 2004 endowed the Lion wrestling program and helped renovate its wrestling room, later named in his honor. In 2005, Columbia announced the endowment of its head wrestling coach post with the title of Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling.
Andy Barth was a member of Columbia University’s varsity wrestling team from 1979-83 and was a team captain as a senior in 1982-83. The Lions won three consecutive Ivy League titles in his first three years on the team. Barth competed in the 177-pound class as a walk-on first-year in 1979-80 and bumped up to 190 pounds as a sophomore the following year. He earned All-Ivy League honors (honorable mention) in his junior year, 1981-82, when he played a key role in helping Columbia to its third straight conference title.
Barth also represented the New York Athletic Club in Greco-Roman and freestyle events from 1980-85 and in 1985 he won the New York State Greco-Roman title, the Eastern AAU Greco-Roman title and placed sixth at the Andre Guerin International in France.
Barth graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics from Columbia College in 1983. Upon graduation from Columbia Business School in 1985, Andy moved to Los Angeles to work as a financial analyst for The Capital Group, a global financial investment firm. Over the past two decades he has risen through a series of executive and investment roles to become the Chairman of Capital Guardian Trust Company and Capital International Limited. His leadership led to the growth of Capital Group from $25 billion dollars in assets in 1985 to $1.2 trillion dollars in assets in 2011.
As civic contributor, Andy was twice elected to the Board of Governors of the San Marino Unified School District from 1997-2005. Among his honors include the John Jay Award from Columbia in 2011, the International Medical Corporation Global Humanitarian Award in 2011 and the Golden Apple Award in 2006.