TEMPE -- Former collegiate standouts Bryan Snyder, Ben Askren and Raymond Jordan have joined the coaching staff of the Arizona State University wrestling program, Head Coach Shawn Charles announced Tuesday. All three individuals, who will join current assistant coach Brian Stith on the staff, were multiple All-Americans and conference champions in their time on the mats and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the mats in Tempe.
"I am very excited to have all three of these men on my staff," Charles said. "I have worked with them all in the past and I believe they bring a lot to the table as we push to become a very successful program once again. I really feel our coaching staff is second-to-none and I know each of these men are ready to work hard to help our program succeed both on the mats and off. I look forward to watching this program continue to grow with their help."
A four-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up for Nebraska, Snyder will serve as the head assistant coach on Charles' staff while both Askren and Jordan will serve as volunteer assistant coaches. Askren, a 2008 U.S. Olympian and two-time NCAA Champion at Missouri, and Jordan, a two-time All-American at Missouri, will also continue their training as members of the Sunkist Kids organization while assisting with the Sun Devil program. All three have worked with Charles in the past as well: Charles was a coach during Snyder's senior season and both were on the staff together for two seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05); Charles was an assistant coach at MU for the past two years where Askren was a volunteer coach and Jordan was a competitor for the Tigers.
Snyder was one of the top wrestlers at 157 pounds from 1999-02 as he collected four All-America honors after placing fourth, fifth, second and second in his NCAA appearances. One of the few four-time champions in the history of the Big XII Conference, Snyder compiled a career record of 136-11 with his .925 winning percentage standing as the best in Husker history. Snyder was equally as successful in the classroom during his time in Lincoln as he was selected as the school's 2002 Student-Athlete of the Year. He graduated from NU with a pair of degrees (Sociology and Communication Studies) in 2002 before coaching at Harvard for one season. After his stint with the Crimson, Snyder returned to NU where he served as a graduate assistant coach while working toward his Masters in Sociology, which he earned in 2005. Recently, he has spent the past three years at the University of Colorado where he studied as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology.
"I am really excited to work alongside Shawn Charles and the rest of the staff to bring Arizona State back to national prominence," Snyder said. I am confident that we can do big things at Arizona State and I am anxious to get on campus and get to work by helping our student-athletes excel on the mat and in the classroom as well."
"Bryan is going to help me bring together all the pieces that we need to make our program very successful," Charles said. "He coached at Harvard as well and academics is big on his list. I know he is going to help make sure that our wrestlers are doing the things academically that we need to do to be among the top programs in our sport and across the board. We are going to go after wrestlers that can get the job done in the classroom as well as on the mat and he will be a big part of that. He also is from one of the more prestigious high schools in the country (Easton High School in Pennsylvania) and I feel he will be able to help us attract some of the East Coast talent that will continue to help the Sun Devil program rise to the top once again."
Askren was one of the elite collegiate competitors in the nation during his time at Missouri (2003-07) where his exciting style of wrestling led him to the finals of the 174-pound weight class at the NCAA Championships four times. A three-time Big XII champion, Askren won the national title in each of his last two seasons by winning 87 matches in a row and pinning numerous foes. For his dominance, he was named the Dan Hodge Winner twice while also collecting the Schalles Award (Best Pinner) twice. Askren built a career record of 153-7 in Columbia with 93 wins by fall (fourth-best in NCAA history) while also posting a national record of 18-consecutive wins by fall in the first period. A four-time NWCA All-Academic and four-time Academic All-Big XII honoree, Askren spent the past two years as a volunteer assistant coach with the Tigers while training for and competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the member of Team USA went 1-1 in the 74kg freestyle competition.
"I am very excited to help Coach Charles take the Sun Devils back to the top," Askren said. "Coach Charles helped me tremendously in my Olympic run in 2008. I feel like Arizona State is a great school to recruit at and has the potential to challenge for a national title year after year. I am very motivated to seeing that become reality and look forward to doing all I can to help the Sun Devils reach that goal."
"With all his accolades, Ben certainly brings a lot of wrestling credentials to the table," Charles said. "He is going to be the guy that will work with our 165, 174 and 184-pound wrestlers and help prepare them to compete at a high level and to become national champions. He is a great guy and has a unique style of wrestling, which many call "funk". He will be able to teach our guys a different style of wrestling that I feel will help them understand the sport better and give them more tools to become better wrestlers and win more matches."
Jordan is the most recent graduate on the staff as he graduated in December with his degree in personal finance planning from MU. A four-time NCAA qualifier, Jordan was a two-time All-American for the Tigers and just the fourth MU wrestler to earn the national honor in multiple weight classes as he finished fifth at 184 pounds as a junior and then was third at 174 pounds as a senior. The 2007 Big XII champion at 184, Jordan compiled a career record of 123-29 and was the 15th wrestler in the program's history to record 100 or more victories in a career. His win total also stands as the fourth-most in program history. A three-time high school state champion from North Carolina and a high school All-American, Jordan was involved with the MU program off the mats as well as he served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) on campus during his senior year.
"I am excited to come to Arizona State and work alongside a talented group of coaches," Jordan said. "The program has a strong tradition of being very successful and I am looking forward to helping restore that reputation. ASU is only one of a handful of programs that has tasted what it is like to win a National Championship and I hope to help them reach their goals of achieving that title again. I am really appreciative of this opportunity to join the Sun Devil staff and look forward to many great years ahead."
"Raymond is a hard worker and earned many accolades at Missouri," Charles said. "He will work with our wrestlers at 184, 197 and heavyweight and I know he will work hard to make sure those student-athletes are physically ready to compete and be well prepared to challenge for All-America honors and national titles. I am very happy to have someone like Raymond in our program because he is an all-around good guy with great character and determination to succeed. I was very excited when he told me he would be coming out to train with Sunkist and to help our program as well."
The Sun Devil coaching staff is currently preparing for the 2009-10 season and will look to build upon the program's 20th-place showing at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships. ASU will be led by a pair of returning All-Americans in Anthony Robles (fourth place at 125) and Chris Drouin (sixth place at 141).
The Snyder File
• Four-time All-American for Nebraska at 157 pounds (1999-02)
• Two-time NCAA finalist (2001, 2002)
• Four-time Big XII Conference champion
• Three-time NWCA All-Star participant
• Career 136-11 overall and 69-4 dual records (#2 on NU wins lists)
• Career winning percentage leader at NU (.925)
• Four-time NWCA All-Academic
• Four-time Academic All-Big XII selection
• Graduated from NU in 2002 (two degrees: Sociology, Communication Studies) and in 2005 (Master's in Sociology)
• Working toward Ph.D. in Sociology at Colorado
The Askren File
• 2008 U.S. Champion and U.S. Olympian (74kg freestyle)
• Two-time NCAA Champion for Missouri at 174 pounds (2006, 2007)
• Four-time NCAA finalist and All-American (2004-07)
• Three-time Big XII Conference champion
• Two-time Dan Hodge Award winner
• Two-time Schalles Award winner
• Career 153-7 record at MU
• Won 93 matches by fall (fourth-most in NCAA history)
• Won 18-consecutive matches by fall in the first period (NCAA record)
• Undefeated over his last two years of competition at MU
• Won his last 87 matches in a row (Top 10 in NCAA history)
• Four-time NWCA All-Academic selection
• Four-time Academic All-Big XII selection
• Graduated from Missouri in 2007
The Jordan File
• Two-time All-American for Missouri at 174 (2009) and 184 (2008)
• Only the fourth Tiger to earn All-America honors at two different weights
• Four-time NCAA qualifier (three times at 184 and once at 174)
• 2007 Big XII Champion at 184 pounds
• Career record of 123-29 made him the 15th Tiger to win 100 or more matches in a career
• His 123 career wins ranks as the fourth-most in MU history
• Graduated from MU in December 2008 with a degree in Personal Finance Planning