SPIRE is ready to hit the mats and add wrestling as the latest sport to their growing resume of sports. Former Olympic gold medalist Kenny Monday was recently named as the head coach for their new wrestling program.
A three-time Olympian, Monday is also a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He grew up wrestling in Oklahoma where he won four state titles and the 1977 Junior National Championships. His record from 7th – 12th grade was an astonishing 140-0-1. As an All-American collegiate wrestler at Oklahoma State, his record was 121-12-2, where he also captured the NCAA title in 1984.
Post-college, Kenny won Olympic gold in Seoul in 1988, Olympic silver in Barcelona in 1992 and finished 6th in 1996 in Atlanta. Kenny also won multiple gold and silver medals in World Cup, World Championships and Pan American events. After retiring from competition, Kenny became a highly respected wrestling coach. Most recently, he’s served as the head coach of the University of North Carolina Tar Heel Wrestling Club since 2016.
Kenny Monday is the athletic academy’s latest addition to the world-renowned coaching teams at SPIRE. “Kenny Monday is a legend in the world of wrestling. There’s no one better equipped to help us build a world class training and development wrestling environment at SPIRE,” says SPIRE Co-Managing Director, Ted Meekma. “I have no doubt that SPIRE’s wrestling academy, as well as the annual calendar of wrestling camps, clinics, club and competitive events that we will operate, will be second-to-none under the expert tutelage of Coach Monday.”
Kenny is looking forward to his new position leading the wrestling program at SPIRE. “I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead the new wrestling program at SPIRE. I’ve built my entire wrestling career on the SPIRE principles of strong mind, body and character. I’d like to thank Jonathan Ehrenfeld, Ted Meekma and the entire leadership team at SPIRE for believing in me and the vision of building a world class wrestling program. As the Director and Head Coach of Wrestling, I truly believe the possibilities are limitless and I can’t wait to get started.”
Wrestling makes perfect sense for inclusion in SPIRE’s core sport offerings. “Northeast Ohio is one of the true hotbeds of wrestling in the U.S., which makes SPIRE the ideal location to add a comprehensive, year-round wrestling program to our existing complement of core sports,” said Meekma.
While the official launch of SPIRE’s formal Wrestling Academy is in the fall of 2022, athletes are already looking to become a part of SPIRE’s newest program during the fall 2021 semester. Starting in August of 2021, wrestling will be included in the SPIRE calendar of events with clinics and camps scheduled throughout the fall and into next year.