USA Greco

National Coach Herb House Speaks Before Olympic Trials

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Herb House -- Photo: Justin Hoch

STATE COLLEGE, PA — As the hours count down until the first athletes are called on-deck at the 2024 US Olympic Trials for Greco-Roman wrestling, National Team head coach Herb House couldn’t be busier. Soon after arriving in town on Wednesday, House settled into his hotel and then immediately got right back to work. He has had to deal with myriad concerns regarding competitors in the tournament, help sort out various logistical arrangements for others, answer dozens and dozens of emails and texts, and confer with club coaches who have their own questions leading up to first whistle.

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On this particular evening, which is to say Thursday night, House had just returned from a dinner honoring Art Martori, the founder and longtime executive director of Sunkist Kids who is set to retire following over four decades of that club’s immense contributions to the sport.

Come tomorrow morning, House will oversee the weigh-ins, confirm once and for all the seeds in each bracket, and, of course, take in all of the action. Witnessing the tension and drama that are sure to unfold throughout the day will be his version of resting.

House does not slow down. That is a good thing, because there won’t be time to do so, at least not for a while.

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But he does not lack for energy, anyway, and graciously made himself available for a brief pre-Olympic Trials interview that is intended to set the tone for the weekend and beyond, as well as provide fans of the program with a few key perspectives.

USA National Team Head Coach Herb House

Pre-2024 US Olympic Trials

5PM: Do you see this tournament any differently this time around through the eyes of being the National Team head coach?

Coach Herb House: No, I don’t. This tournament always showcases the best wrestlers who will compete to represent our country at the Olympic Games. My title is just a title, but these guys come in and wrestle their hearts out year after year in hopes of earning the opportunity to compete in the Olympics. I treat it the same. It is the best tournament for the best wrestlers in the United States.

5PM: How has it been in terms of managing the increase in responsibilities as this tournament has approached along with the plans for what comes next, such as the World Qualifier in Istanbul and then the main training phase for Paris?

House: It is no more or less. I own multiple businesses and had grown multiple businesses before I took this job, so I’m used to multi-tasking. Really, for me, it is all about planning. Always staying one step ahead of everything. It is about taking care of business. Working hard on making sure that the athletes are taken care of, planning our trips for after this tournament, what we are going to do the minute this tournament is over, going to Turkey, our training camp at home… My everyday tasks and objectives center around planning out our schedule for the remainder of this year and into next year, as well as working on other developments for Greco-Roman wrestling in our country.

5PM: Despite the shortened quad, there has been an infusion of young guys who have quickly become top contenders at this tournament. What do you think has been the biggest source of growth for this younger group of Senior athletes who have rapidly established themselves?

House: I think it has been the opportunities. That is one of the biggest things that the Greco-Roman program has been trying to do, which is keep our younger athletes engaged more. We want to give them more opportunities in this sport. That to me is the biggest thing right now. These guys are more excited about wanting to be Greco wrestlers. I went to a couple of camps recently and the one in Illinois had over 250 Greco wrestlers in attendance. It really motivated me to see that we do have young athletes who want to wrestle this style. With that, I’m motivated. I think Greco can get big. Our major goal for 2028 is to have the largest Greco presence that we have had in quite a while. I am very happy about our future in Greco.


— All times ET.
— Live streaming available on Peacock (subscription required).
— USA Network will carry both the Challenge Tournament finals (Friday) & best-of-three finals (Saturday).

10:00am-3:45pm — Session I
6:30pm-10:00pm — Session II

10:00am-2:30pm — Session III
6:30pm-10:00pm — Best-of-three Olympic Trials finals

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