Former Hawkeye Bill Zadick named Olympic Coach of the Year
Former Iowa wrestler Bill Zadick was named the Olympic Coach of the Year at Wednesday night’s Team USA Awards in Los Angeles.
Zadick has been the leader during a banner year for the U.S. Freestyle National Team. He was hired in August 2016, and led the United States to a Freestyle World Team Title this past August. It was Team USA’s first senior-level freestyle team title since 1995, and just its third ever.
“It is an honor to be included in this group of excellent coaches, which is humbling,” Zadick said in a release. “A good plan is contingent upon good people in the right places. We have a vision to be the best and believed we could be World Champion. It is a victory for everybody.”
Zadick was a two-time All-American at Iowa, wrestling under Dan Gable. He won the 1996 NCAA title at 142 pounds. In 2006, he won a world championship at 66 kilograms (145.5 pounds) in Guangzhou, China. He was twice runner-up at that same weight at the 2000 and 2008 Olympic Trials.
In addition to senior-level success, Zadick also led USA Wrestling to a Junior World Team men’s freestyle title this past year, a first at that age level for Team USA since 1984. He beat out USA Boxing’s Billy Walsh and Nordic Skiing’s Matt Whitcomb for the honor.
Ohio State senior wrestler Kyle Snyder was also honored by the United States Olympic Committee on Wednesday night as the Male Olympic Athlete of the Year. He is just the fourth wrestler to win the award, joining John Smith in 1990, Rulon Gardner in 2000 and Jordan Burroughs in 2015.
Snyder was part of Team USA’s World Championship team, winning the 97 kilogram world title. His victory over Russia’s Abdulrashid Sadulaev gave the United States the world title over Russia by one team point. Snyder now has two world titles (2015, 2017) in addition to an Olympic gold (2016).
“This is great because Team USA is built from a ton of amazing and talented athletes,” Snyder said in a release. “To be awarded this title is pretty special.”
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.