Townsend to join USA Wrestling staff

Townsend named Manager of Developing Wrestling Styles for USA Wrestling

Jason Townsend of Las Vegas, Nev. has been hired as the Manager of Developing Wrestling Styles for USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States.

Townsend assumes a new position at USA Wrestling, which will manage the organization’s programs in the developing styles of international wrestling, which includes Grappling, Beach Wrestling and Sombo.

There will be responsibilities in events operations, grassroots development, promotion and international team organization, along with other duties. He will report to the Director of Communications and Special Projects. Townsend is expected to begin work at USA Wrestling in January 2008.

“Jason Townsend will bring a unique skill set to our team at USA Wrestling,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. “He is an accomplished wrestler and coach in his own right. Jason has developed an expertise and passion in Grappling, which will serve him well as he leads USA Wrestling’s effort in developing the new styles of our sport.”

Townsend served as a World Team Coach for the historic 2007 U.S. Grappling World Team, which competed in the first Grappling World Championships in Antalya, Turkey in September. Working with World Team Coach Bob Anderson, Townsend helped lead the USA to a sweep of all nine World gold medals at the event, and a total of 21 medals in a dominant team performance.

He serves as a member of the FILA World Grappling Committee, the group within international wrestling which manages Grappling worldwide. Within the committee, Townsend serves as Technical Director for coaches and officials education, as well as rules oversight. He is one of the authors of the FILA Grappling Rulebook.

Townsend was the founder and President of the International Submission Wrestling Association, a Grappling organization that hosted competitions, as well as trained officials, coaches and athletes. With the ISWA, Townsend developed the rules of Grappling which have been adopted by FILA. The ISWA ceased operation after FILA and USA Wrestling adopted Grappling as a style of wrestling.

He was a key volunteer in putting together USA Wrestling’s existing Grappling program. He attended the historic Grappling Summit, held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in March 2007, and assisted in the organization of the first Grappling World Team Trials in Las Vegas in June 2007.

Townsend is currently a Wrestling/Grappling Coach at Xtreme Couture MMA in Las Vegas, Nev. working with Mixed Martial Arts legend Randy Couture, who was also a U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling World Team member.

He also serves as Head Wrestling Coach at Marc Laimon’s Cobra Kai jiu-jitsu in Las Vegas, Nev. Cobra Kai jiu-jitsu placed two athletes in the finals of USA Wrestling Grappling World TeamTrials.

Townsend served as an assistant wrestling coach at Cal-State Fullerton from 2000-2005. He was a varsity wrestler for Syracuse Univ. and Hofstra Univ. Townsend was a two-time Maryland state high school champion, and was an All-American in freestyle at the Junior Nationals and Espoir Nationals.

“This is a dream come true for me, to work with USA Wrestling,” said Townsend. “I look forward to the challenge of developing these styles to the best of my abilities and helping improve USA Wrestling in these areas. Grappling, as the newest wrestling style, has shown great potential. All of these styles have a chance to grow into successful programs within USA Wrestling.”

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Gary Abbott