July 13, 2016 Update

Lots of updates, so hold on it might be a bumpy read. As most know, Tom Carr has started his new job as the head coach of Central Christian College. I am confident he will do well. Dave Marble has stepped down from his role as our volunteer coach. In his role as the volunteer, Dave has proved valuable to the program. My hope is he will continue to stay connected to George Mason University Wrestling. Israel Silva has recently decided to take on the task of helping rebuild the Fresno State University wrestling program. I know it was a difficult decision for Israel and his family, but I do wish them the best with their new adventure.

I am now working to make sure we have a staff that will help the current team members achieve their goals and move program forward. I am excited to report Greg Flournoy has decided to assume the role as the volunteer assistant coach. As a recent grad, he will be able to impact team. His knowledge, skill level and recent experiences will be easily relayed to the team. He has walked in the same shoes and on the same path the team is traversing. As I have written often, his wrestling IQ is very high, so I know he will have a positive impact on the mat.

The show of support from Alums during the alumni-athlete giving challenge was outstanding. In fact, we finally won the overall giving percentage. We have come in 2nd a few times, so I am happy we finally won. We will receive $3,000 thanks to the challenge made by Dan and Patty Wotring. To my surprise, we lost the young alumni portion of the challenge to the Masonettes (Congratulations), but we did win another $1,000 by having the most improved giving percentage. I want to thank those who donated and those who helped rally the troops. Hopefully, my phone calls, emails, texts, Facebook posts and in person requests were not too annoying. I am thankful and appreciative, even if you did not donate, for alums putting up with my zeal for success. I also want to thank the former coaches who helped me twist arms (Jerry Mullins, Roger Rinker, Mike Moyer, Brian Shaffer and Mark Weader). I heard from more than one alumnus Mark Weader made sure to get their donation.

I have been on the road quite a bit recruiting, speaking, and doing clinics. I will be in town more as my camps will be starting soon. Hopefully you can help me spread the word.

I am excited to report Sahid Kargbo will be at all of my camps. Sahid will certainly be an asset to me and those who attend. Sahid will be a senior at George Mason University where he has been 3rd in the EWL tournament twice while serving as the team captain. Sahid has also excelled on the international scene as he represented the USA at the Junior World Championships and last year he won the University Greco-Roman National Championship.

July 25-29 we will be hosting a high school only camp. My hope is to be able to gear the camp toward the needs of this age group and help them prepare for the upcoming high school season.

August 1-5 we will host an all age folk style camp. I am excited to report my father Rick will be at a session of the camp, as he was last year. In addition, my brother Dan will be at a session of the camp. Dan is a 4x NCAA II Champion, 4x undefeated high school state champion, and current high school coach. Dan recently wrote a book about his life entitled “Finish Strong” which, despite some of his recollections of things I did as a kid, is a great read.

August 5-6 our Father/Son camp now called Parent/Child camp is back. This year it will feature Rick and Dan Russell. This has traditionally been our most popular camp and for good reason. Those who have attended have said it is a great weekend where they have benefited. I hope the room is packed with parents and wrestlers. This year my son Taft and I plan to participate so we can learn along with everyone else.

August 8-12 we will host our first youth only camp. This camp will be geared toward wrestlers ages 6-12. Rick and Dan Russell will help run a session. Sahid Kargbo and I plan on being at the camp for the entire week.

For more information you can go to http://www.joerussellwrestling.com or contact me via email at jrusse13@gmu.edu. Don’t worry, if I can’t assist, Sadie Russell can. She is great and really runs the show.

Thanks for your support and I look forward to what the future has in store.