Lindland resigns as national Greco-Roman coach; Abdelfatah is no longer part of the Greco-Roman national team
Matt Lindland at the Greco-Roman 2016 Olympics press conference. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers are Warriors
Greco-Roman national coach Matt Lindland has stepped down after eight years on USA Wrestling’s professional coaching staff.
Lindland, an Olympic silver medalist in 2000 and world silver medalist in 2001, had been a national Greco-Roman coach with the organization since May 2014.
“Coaching the athletes of the U.S. National Greco-Roman Wrestling Team has been the honor of a lifetime, and it remains a job of which I am immensely proud. I wish the program the best as it transitions ahead. We have a great group of coaches and wrestlers who are working hard to prepare for the upcoming world championships. I am thrilled to see the great things they are able to achieve,” Lindland said.
Lindland not only coached America’s elite senior Greco-Roman wrestlers, but also oversaw the development of the sport at the age group level.
“I’m especially proud of the progress we’ve made together in rebuilding the American Greco-Roman program into an expanded grassroots youth network that fits right in with the various senior-level world medals our athletes have won,” Lindland said.
During his tenure as national coach, Lindland led the program to four world medals: two bronze medals by Andy Bisek (2014, 2015), a silver medal by Adam Coon (2018) and a bronze by G ‘Angelo Hancock (2021). The United States has had three Pan American Games champions under Lindland, Andy Bisek and Jon Anderson in 2015 and Pat Smith in 2019. The United States has qualified four athletes for the 2016 Olympics (Jesse Thielke, Andy Bisek, Ben Provisor , Robby Smith) and four athletes for the 2020 Olympics (Ildar Hafizov, Alejandro Sancho, John Stefanowicz, G’Angelo Hancock).
“What makes the Greco-Roman team so special is the community of athletes, parents, coaches, alumni and administrative support staff who make up our family, from grassroots to senior level. I cherished those relationships and cherished the moments of medal triumph Going forward, I remain committed to developing the Greco-Roman network as a priority for me to serve all of our athletes, parents and families in achieving of their dreams of world championships and Olympics,” Lindland said.
Lindland was the fourth national Greco-Roman coach in American wrestling, joining two-time Olympic medalist Dennis Koslowski, world champion Mike Houck and Olympic champion Steve Fraser in the role.
In another change for the program, Mohammed Abdelfatah, the national assistant Greco-Roman coach is no longer a USA Wrestling staff member. Abdelfatah, world champion for Egypt, held a coaching position with USA Wrestling for many years.
Ivan Ivanov will lead the USA Greco-Roman World Senior Team in Belgrade, Serbia in September. Ivanov, who was named to the new position of General Manager of Greco-Roman Programs in April 2022, directs all aspects of USA Wrestling’s Greco-Roman program. He is responsible for coaching American Greco-Roman athletes, working with the assistance of key volunteer coaches within the organization.
Ivanov and USA Wrestling’s high performance staff will assess the training needs of the national Greco-Roman program leading to the World Championships and beyond.