Helen Maroulis with the Olympic gold medal in Rio (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
University of Maryland head wrestling coach and director of the newly named DMV RTC, Alex Clemsen announced the addition of Jon Morrison to be the head coach of the DMV RTC on Monday. He also will be adding Olympic gold medalist Helen Maroulis as an assistant coach and athlete.
The Olympic Regional Training Center -- formerly known as the Terrapin Wrestling Club -- will now be named the DMV RTC to better align with the region and the athletes who associate themselves closely with the area.
"I couldn't be more excited to be making three big announcements today," Clemsen said. "First, by renaming our Olympic Regional Training Center the DMV RTC, we better align ourselves with one of the best areas in the world to live and we want to emulate the spirit of the region in our efforts to grow and support the greatest sport in the world."
Morrison will head the DMV RTC after successful stints leading the Cowboy Wrestling Club (Stillwater, Okla.) from 2014-16 and the Capital Wrestling Club (Rockville, Md.) starting in 2019. Morrison's stellar wrestling career at Oklahoma State was highlighted by championships at the Southern Scuffle (twice), Big 12 Championships twice) and a NCAA All-American finish in 2013. Most recently, Morrison was named a Bill Farrell Memorial International Champion.
"By bringing Jon on to be the head coach of the DMV RTC," Clemsen said, "I know that the current athletes, the region, and the future athletes will be able to reach their greatest potential as both wrestlers and citizens. Jon is one of the best people I have ever encountered in our sport and I couldn't be happier to get to work alongside him within the DMV RTC."
"I couldn't be more thrilled to join the DMV RTC," Morrison said. "Recent history has shown that wrestlers from the state of Maryland are capable of succeeding at the very highest level with Helen and Kyle Snyder winning gold medals at Rio in 2016. Our vision is to build on that legacy by creating one of the very best training situations in the world; allowing our elite cadet and junior athletes alongside our college athletes to reach a world-class level.
"Recent history has also shown that a strong RTC and in-state recruiting are critical to a college's success at the NCAA tournament. After coaching at the club level here in the DMV for the past 18 months, I see everything needed for Maryland to be the top wrestling program in the country. From the talent, the coaches, the fan base, and the school... it's all there. As I've gotten to know Alex, Nick, and Devin over the last several years, I know they believe the same thing and are working tirelessly to get there. I'm very grateful for the opportunity and I can't wait to join them!"
Maroulis will join the DMV RTC as a coach and athlete. Maroulis - one of the most storied female wrestlers in the country - became the first female wrestling Olympic gold medalist when she won at Rio in 2016. Her career has also been highlighted by four WCWA Collegiate National Championships and two World Championships (2015, 2017).
"They say sometimes you save the best for last, and the last part of this trifecta is to bring Helen Maroulis home and fully support her in her quest to win a second Olympic gold medal and fourth overall world championship," Clemsen said. "When Helen became America's first and only Olympic gold medalist in women's freestyle wrestling in Rio, the world was watching, as that match garnered some of the best ratings of the entire games. To have her back in her home state of Maryland and to be able to work with her and support her next quest to put the world on notice could not make me more excited and proud."
"As a Maryland native, it's such a joy to come back to my roots and be a part of the DMV RTC program as a coach and athlete," Maroulis said. "As athletes, we aspire to be the very best we can be. We also understand that it takes a village to do so - a key group of coaches, resources, and teamwork to bring the dream to fruition. In the end, everyone wins. With this new partnership. I believe we can all grow wrestling in Maryland at the grassroots, collegiate, and international level. RTC's afford the opportunity to advance at all levels in the sport. It is exciting to think about the generation that will come up out of this program and continue to put Maryland wrestling on the map. I'm grateful to the staff and coaches for creating the space for these dreams to be realized and can't wait to contribute."
Morrison and Maroulis will help lead the DMV RTC, which is a Non Profit 501-C-3 organization located in College Park, Md. The goal of the DMV RTC is to promote wrestling and to help wrestlers become more competitive on a local, state, national, and international level.
"I am confident these three moves will continue to help our efforts to grow wrestling in the DMV and to win championships at all levels of wrestling," Clemsen said.