When you put a fantastic coach in a position to work with similarly-fantastic athletes, good things tend to happen.
The Illinois Regional Training Center has officially announced today that 2012 Olympian/multi-time World Team member Ellis Coleman (67 kg, Army/WCAP, world no. 14) is set to become the latest member of its Senior roster. Coleman, 27, now joins Travis Rice (63 kg, world no. 15) and Max Nowry (55 kg, Army/WCAP, world no. 12) as former Illinois age-group Greco-Roman athletes to have recently reunited with IRTC head coach Bryan Medlin.
“I am from Illinois and it is an honor to represent my home state,” Coleman said in a statement. “Bryan Medlin coaches there and my Greco-Roman success started under him. There’s nothing better than getting help from my first Greco coach who knows all about me and helped start me down the path I am on today. I think I still attribute my success now to him because what I was good at then I am still good at now. It has made me consistent on an international level. It has been a long time since I have been able to represent my home state and it is an honor.”
Last Friday, Coleman added to his remarkable competitive resume by earning his fifth US Senior National title. But before his achievements on the Senior level began piling up, the native of Oak Park was a budding star. In addition to his Senior accolades, Coleman is also two-time Junior World bronze medalist and a three-time Fargo National champ.
And like Nowry and Rice, he is the product of an Illinois youth program that rocketed to prominence under Medlin and former Oak Park head coach Mike Powell. So while Coleman might be a standout World-caliber wrestler who has competed on the sport’s biggest stages, the familiarity between he and Medlin stretches back to halcyon days of a decade past, and that bond is one more reason why Medlin is thrilled to bring him into the fold.
“I grew into coaching with Ellis,” explained Medlin. “He is a great example of how much your effort and ethics affect your outcome in this sport. He is still one of the hardest, if not the hardest, worker I have ever been around. And in a sport that prides itself on hard work that is really saying something. He will be a great mentor for our guys, and the young Illinois athletes, because he is walking example of what is possible if you wrestle and live your life with absolute grit and determination. I am extremely excited to help him in any way possible finish his career with a World and Olympic medal.”
As noted previously with regards to Nowry and Ryan Mango (63 kg), who is affiliated with Stanford‘s California RTC, Coleman is not leaving the Army World Class Athletes Program. Instead, he will use permissive leave and other available opportunities to train in Illinois.
The Illinois Regional Training Center is hosted at the University of Illinois in Champaign and also features freestyle wrestlers Isaiah Martinez, Zane Richards, and Jesse Delgado.