Manning, Jones to coach 2001 U.S. Freestyle World Team

USA Wrestling has named its head and assistant coaches for the 2001 U.S. Freestyle World Team, head coach Mark Manning of Lincoln, Neb. and assistant coach Zeke Jones of Morgantown, W.Va.

The U.S. Freestyle World Team will compete at the 2001 World Championships of Wrestling, to be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Sept. 26-29. The team will be determined at the World Team Trials, set for Cincinnati, Ohio, June 22-24.

"It is a great honor to be named World Team coach," said Manning. "This is all about our eight guys performing to the best of their abilities. I want to do everything I can to make them successful. We've had great help in the past from our coaches pool. We have outstanding athletes. All of this makes us a force in the world. With the World Championships in the United States, we want to show that we are the best. Our guys are all training with that in mind, to win the World Team Title in New York City."

Manning currently works as the head wrestling coach for Div. I wrestling power Nebraska. Prior to taking over the Cornhusker program this year, Manning was the head coach at the Univ. of Northern Iowa, helping revive the program. He also served assistant coaching stints at the Univ. of Oklahoma and the Univ. of North Carolina. He serves as a club coach for the Dave Schultz WC and the Great Plains WC.

He served on the coaching staff of the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic teams. He served as the assistant coach of the 1997 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which placed sixth in the team standings in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The team featured one gold and one silver medalist. He was also on the coaching staffs of the 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999 U.S. World teams. He was also a coach with the 2000 Pan American Championships team, which claimed the team title.

Manning served as USA Wrestling's National Developmental Coach during early 1993, managing the organization's age-group national team programs. He was head coach of the 1994 and 1996 Junior World teams, and also coached the 1992 Cadet World team. He also coached at two U.S. Olympic Festivals.

As an athlete, Manning was an Olympic Trials finalist in 1988, and placed in the U.S. Nationals four times. He was a two-time NCAA Div. II national champion for the Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha. He was a three-time South Dakota high school state champion.

Jones works as an assistant wrestling coach for the Univ. of West Virginia. He has also served assistant coaching stints at Bloomsburg Univ. and at Arizona State Univ. He is a club coach with the Sunkist Kids.

Jones was a member of the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic freestyle coaching staff. He was assistant coach for the 1999 U.S. World Cup team, which claimed the team title in Spokane, Wash. He was also a coach with the 2000 Pan American Championships team, which claimed the team title.

Jones was one of the greatest freestyle wrestlers in U.S. history. He won a World gold medal at 114.5 pounds at the 1991 World Championships in Varna, Bulgaria. Jones also claimed an Olympic silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Jones added a World bronze medal at the 1995 World Championships in Atlanta, Ga.

He placed fourth in the 1990 and 1993 World Championships. He was a member of the 1993 and 1995 U.S. World teams, which claimed the World Team title for the United States. Jones won gold medals at numerous major competitions including four World Cups, the 1995 Pan American Games and the 1994 Goodwill Games.

Jones was a NCAA runner-up for Arizona State in 1990 and was a three-time All-American. He was No. 1 ranked freestyle wrestler in the USA while still competing in college. He is originally from Ann Arbor, Mich., where he was a state high school champion.

The United States is a World power in men's freestyle wrestling, having claimed the team title in 1993 and 1995. The USA won five freestyle medals at the 1996 Olympics and four freestyle medals at the 2000 Olympics.

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