Marines, wrestling coaches partner to build wrestling community

June 17, 2020

The National Wrestling Coaches Association hosted an online webinar featuring Marines and wrestling influencers who are leaders in their organizations, June 10, 2020.

The webinar, titled “Marines and Wrestling: Developing the Next Great American Generation,” was part of NWCA’s scholastic wrestling webinar series sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. The series is designed for ongoing coaching development and to inform coaches and influencers of opportunities to involve Marines in their programs.

The NWCA, which is comprised of more than 10,000 members, has a mission to bring the wrestling coaching community together to advance the sport and ensure that current and future generations have the opportunity to engage in a safe and educationally-based wrestling experience.

“The Marine Corps has decided that we are going to put our efforts of connecting with our communities by aligning with influencers, coaches, guidance counselors, civic leaders, etcetera, who have an everyday impact on our nation’s most valuable resource — our youth,” said Capt. Andrew Herbert, the national partnerships officer for Marine Corps Recruiting Command. “We identify the role they play in the lives of the young men and women they mentor, and we want to help them make a positive impact on as many lives as possible.”

Although every webinar in the series features at least one Marine speaker, this webinar showcased Col. David Fallon, the commanding officer of 9th Marine Corps District, alongside Brian Smith, the head wrestling coach for the University of Missouri. Bud Hennebaul, the scholastic leadership academy director for NWCA, and Herbert also spoke during the webinar.

 “The Marine Corps has decided that we are going to put our efforts of connecting with our communities by aligning with influencers, coaches, guidance counselors, civic leaders, etcetera…” Capt. Andrew Herbert, national partnerships officer for Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Fallon, Smith and Hennebaul hosted the majority of the webinar together and discussed how coaches can better recruit and retain new wrestlers and instill values and create a culture within wrestling teams. They also explained how the Marine Corps can assist coaches with recruiting new wrestlers and leading workouts with local wrestling teams, and how coaches can help Marines by becoming influencers for the Marine Corps. At the end of the webinar, the leaders answered questions from participants during a question and answer panel.

“We think that [wrestlers] already have those intangible qualities that are going to make them ideally suited and very successful to become Marines, and that’s why the Marine Corps is largely partnered with the wrestling community,” said Fallon.

Since 2017, MCRC has been partnered with USA Wrestling and has been the premier partner for the US Open Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas as well as the Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. This year, MCRC is also partnering with NWCA and is working to collaboratively enhance NWCA events, including its CEO Leadership Collegiate Academies.

“The Marines chose wrestling, and to me, we should be really thankful for that, because they do a lot for the sport of wrestling,” Smith said. “The support that the Marines provide for the sport of wrestling goes above and beyond.”

Coaches or influencers of high school or college students are encouraged by the Marine Corps Recruiting Command to sign up to be a Marine Corps influencer or involve Marines in their programs by visiting or by simply internet searching, “Marine Corps recruiting in my area” and calling their local recruiting station.

For more information about service as a Marine, visit