USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling in the United States, has named Dan Chandler of Minneapolis, Minn., and Shon Lewis of Colorado Springs, Colo., as coaches of the 2009 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team.
They will work with USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser of Colorado Springs, Colo. and the USA Wrestling national coaching staff to lead the team that will compete at the 2009 World Wrestling Championships in Herning, Denmark, Sept 21-27.
Chandler and Lewis were selected by USA Wrestling's Greco-Roman Coach Selection Committee and approved by USA Wrestling's Executive Committee.
Both coaches have led past U.S. Olympic Teams, with Chandler serving as head coach of the 2000 U.S. Greco-Roman Olympic Team and Lewis serving as Olympic Coach for the 2004 U.S. Greco-Roman Olympic Team.
Chandler and Lewis have also been official coaches of past U.S. World Championship teams and on the staffs of numerous other World and Olympic Teams.
Lewis is the club coach for the U.S. Army team, and Chandler coaches the Minnesota Storm team. Both have produced numerous Olympic Team and World Team athletes for the United States.
The U.S. Greco-Roman World Team is currently in training for the World Championships, and Chandler and Lewis have been helping prepare the athletes for competition.
Quotes from the coaches
National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser
"Dan Chandler is a veteran coach and brings a ton of expertise to the team. He knows all of the guys well and has proven success with his involvement. His experience and knowledge is outstanding. Dan Chandler is making a big impact on our team's quest to win the Worlds in 2009. His many years in the sport and the fact that he is one of our country's pioneers in Greco-Roman will be essential."
"Shon Lewis is in the OTC wrestling room daily and has a great working relationship with not only his U.S. Army guys but with all of the national team. His energy shines bright and is vital in helping prepare the guys for World competition. Shon Lewis will play a key role in Denmark. His Greco-Roman knowledge and leadership has proven to be very valuable."
Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn.
"We have a nice mix of veterans and younger guys on the team. This is a nice group. All of the coaches are excited about our prospects. We have veterans like Dremiel Byers and Harry Lester and young talents like Chas Betts. There are great athletes on this team. Our goal is to win the tournament. A lot comes down to the luck of the draw and peaking at the right time. Our guys have a good conditioning level and are very focused. We are seeing all good things so far."
Shon Lewis, Colorado Springs, Colo.
"This team has trained hard and will give it their best. We are a young team in many weights. Hopefully, our guys will get it done at the World Championships. It is a great opportunity and privilege to coach a World Team. I guess you could call me a veteran coach. In all three styles, the U.S. is going with a young team this year. We will compete with high intensity at the Worlds. All of our wrestlers will give it their best."
Biographies of World Team Coaches
Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn.
Chandler was the head coach of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team in Sydney, Australia, which finished with three medals and a team third-place finish. It was considered by many the best performance by a U.S. Greco-Roman team in Olympic history. The U.S. medalists were Rulon Gardner (gold), Matt Lindland (silver) and Garrett Lowney (bronze).
Chandler was the head coach of the 1995, 1997 and 1999 U.S. Greco-Roman World teams. The 1995 team placed in a tie for fourth in the team standings in Prague, Czech Republic. The team featured two medalists, champion Dennis Hall and runner-up Matt Ghaffari. The 1997 U.S. World team placed 12th in the World Championships. The 1999 U.S. World team placed 14th in the final standings, with three wrestlers placing in the top 10 of their weight division.
Chandler also served as the assistant coach for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team, which featured silver medalist Dennis Koslowski and bronze medalist Rodney Smith. He served on the coaching staff at the 1988, 1996, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.
Chandler was named the USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year five times, the most by any coach (1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000).
He was the coach of the 2003 Pan American Games team which competed in the Dominican Republic. Chandler served as head coach of the 1994 Pan American Championships team, which won the team title. He also coached the 1990 and 1993 World Cup teams.
Chandler works as the state coach for Minnesota USA Wrestling, coaching athletes in the state on all age levels. He also coaches the Minnesota Storm club, which features many of the best Greco-Roman athletes in the nation. The Minnesota Storm is among the most successful club teams on the national level, earning team honors on the Senior and age-group levels. He also coached three years on the college level at St. Thomas Univ., and as an assistant at the Univ. of Minnesota.
As an athlete, he was a member of three U.S. Olympic teams (1976, 1980, 1984). Chandler competed in six World Championships, placing as high as fifth in the 1979 World Championships. He won medals in three Pan American Games, including golds in 1975 and 1979. Chandler competed for the Univ. of Minnesota.
He has been married for 24 years to his wife Cindy and has two children.
Shon Lewis, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Lewis was an Olympic Coach for the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team, which competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The United States team was led by Olympic bronze-medalist Rulon Gardner, who claimed his second career Olympic medal.
Lewis served as head coach of the 2003 U.S. Greco-Roman World team that competed in Cretiel, France. The U.S. team placed 13th in the standings, led by three athletes in the top 10 of their divisions.
He was the assistant coach of the 2002 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team, which placed fifth in the World Championships held in Moscow, Russia. The team was led by World Champion Dremiel Byers.
He was a member of the coaching staff at the 2008 Olympic Games. Lewis was a member of the coaching staff for a number of other U.S. World Teams, including the 2007 U.S. World team which won the team title and the 2006 U.S. World Team which placed third in the standings.
He coached the 2006 U.S. Pan American Championships team, which competed in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and placed second in the team standings. The U.S. team won a medal in all seven weight classes.
Lewis has been named Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling three times (2002, 2003, 2006).
Lewis works as the head coach of the U.S. Army team, stationed in Fort Carson, Colo. He is responsible for training the athletes in the Army's World Class Athlete Program. The U.S. Army won the 2009 U.S. Nationals team title in Div. I, and has won the national team title four years in a row. His Army wrestlers won four individual national titles in 2009, and he placed three U.S. Army athletes on the 2009 U.S. World Team.
The Army was also the champion at the 2009 Armed Forces Championships and has won nine of the last 10 Armed Forces team titles. He has coached many U.S. National Team members and All-Americans during his tenure in all three Olympic wrestling styles. He is the club coach for Dremiel Byers, who was a World champion in 2002, one of only five Americans to win a Greco-Roman World title.
Lewis has also served as a coach for the U.S. World Military team five times, which competes at the CISM World Military Championships. Lewis has coached numerous Military World medalists during those trips.
As an athlete, Lewis competed on the 1993 and 1999 U.S. World Championships teams. He also qualified for the 1998 U.S. World Team, but was unable to participate in the World Championships that year. He was a four-time U.S. Nationals Greco-Roman champion (1993-94, 1996, 1998), and was a medalist in three U.S. Olympic Team Trials (1992, 1996, 2000). Lewis was a member of the U.S. Army team as an athlete, winning six Armed Forces Greco-Roman titles and competing in the World Military Championships. He was the 1993 U.S. Army Athlete of the Year, an award including all sports in the Army's program.
Prior to joining the Army, he attended the Univ. of Oregon, as well as competing for Placer High School in Auburn, Calif.