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Olympian Hazewinkel joins Central Oklahoma staff

Sam Hazewinkel battles Tony Ramos at the U.S. World Team Trials in 2014 (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

EDMOND -- The University of Central Oklahoma wrestling team has added a new member to the coaching staff, Athletic Director Joe Muller announced Thursday.

Sam Hazewinkel will join first-year head coach Todd Steidley and assistant coach Kyle Evans on the staff.

"I am thrilled to have someone of Sam's caliber on the staff here at UCO," Muller said. "His success, both on the college and olympic levels, are well known and I know he's going to have a great impact on our wrestling program."

Hazewinkel said the chance to work with Steidley is a great opportunity.

"I'm excited to be moving forward in my coaching career. This is a great opportunity and Central Oklahoma is the place to be. I've heard nothing but good things about coach Steidley and I can't wait to work with him. I'm very excited to learn from all he knows. He's one of the best around."

Steidley is as eager to work with Sam and said Central Oklahoma now has one of the best coaching staffs in the country.

"Both those guys (Sam and Kyle) are great technicians," Steidley said. "They're both energetic and I'm excited to get to work. I think it's huge for us. Sam brings a wealth of knowledge. He has traveled all over the world for wrestling and he brings in a fresh set of eyes."

Hazewinkel, of the same family inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, brings one of the better resumes and pedigrees in all of wrestling to UCO. National champion, All-American, Olympian, Hazewinkel has done it all.

Hazewinkel went 140-0 in high school at Pensacola Christian Academy and was a three-time state champion. From there, he went to the University of Oklahoma and was a four-time All-American and a four-time Academic All-American.

Also a four-time U.S. Open Champion, twice in Freestyle and twice in Greco, Hazewinkel was a 2008 University World Champion in Greco. The same year, he served as alternate for the Olympics and in 2012 was also an Olympian in both Freestyle and Greco.

His accolades didn't go unnoticed.

Chael Sonnen hosts a radio show on Flowrestling.com and had this to say about Sam.

"Hazewinkel two years ago was the best overall wrestler in the country. If there's one person to have coach my kid, (Hazewinkel) is the guy. That's my guy."

After competing in the Olympics, Hazewinkel joined his father and uncle as Olympians. Sam and his father, Dave, are the only father-son Olympians in American wrestling history.

Sam is married (Rachel) and has one son (Josh).

Central Oklahoma wrestling, who hangs 15 national championship banners in Hamilton Field House, returns to action this November.

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