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Army Tabs Chuck Barbee Head Wrestling Coach



WEST POINT, N.Y. - United States Military Academy Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan Thursday announced that Chuck Barbee, head assistant at the University of Oklahoma for the past three years, has been hired to succeed Tod Giles as Army's head wrestling coach. Barbee becomes West Point's eighth head coach in the program's 78-year history. "We are very pleased to name Chuck Barbee as our new head wrestling coach," Greenspan said. "Chuck brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and success to our program. He has played a major role in building one of the nation's elite wrestling programs at the University of Oklahoma. Chuck's student-athletes have excelled both in the gym and in the classroom. We expect him to experience that same type of success here at the Academy." A 1993 graduate of Oklahoma State University, Barbee has coached seven All-Americans and four national finalists in the last three years while helping Oklahoma build one of the country's top wrestling programs. Oklahoma finished fourth at the NCAA Championships last spring. He has also been responsible for helping bring in a Top 10 recruiting class the past three years, which has kept the Sooners among the nation's elite wrestling programs. "I'm extremely excited about this opportunity," Barbee said. "The Military Academy is one of the most prestigious institutions in the country. I can't wait to rally the forces and get things started up there." In addition to Barbee's accomplishments on the mat, he has also helped produce 27 student-athletes who have made it on the honor roll at Oklahoma. Barbee does not have a problem pushing his athletes here at West Point to achieve similar success. "Some feel they can tolerate the academic pressure the athletes are under at the Military Academy," Barbee said. "I will embrace it and work within the system to produce leaders for the country." Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione, echoed Barbee's claim saying, "The type of student-athletes our program has produced is what's special. They are not only talented on the mat but in the classroom and in the community as well. The Academy is getting a great head coach." Barbee was a three-time All-American at Oklahoma State from 1989-91 leading the Cowboys to two NCAA titles in 1989 and 1991. He was an Academic All-American twice and a University National Freestyle Champion. In addition to his coaching at Oklahoma, Barbee has also served as the head coach of the 2000 Big 12 All-Star team and coached in the 2000 Olympic Trials for the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club. He is certified at the Bronze level by USA Wrestling. "It's with mixed emotions we embrace the departure of Chuck Barbee," said Oklahoma Head Coach Jack Spates. "On one hand, we're ecstatic he gets to realize his dream of being a head coach at the Division I level. There's no question he'll be a great success and they'll love him as much as we do. We're obviously saddened because we're losing a great colleague and great friend. His mark will always be on Sooner wrestling and he will always be counted as a member of the Sooner family. We're grateful for all we accomplished with his help."
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