Marines support 2004 NCAA Wrestling Championships
By Staff Sgt. Marc Ayalin
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | March 22, 2004
ST. LOUIS --
Marines from Marine Corps Recruiting Station, St. Louis used the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Wrestling Championships as an opportunity to boost recruiting efforts and awareness for the United States Marine Corps, here, March 18-20.
The national event attracted more than 18,000 fans from across the nation to the city’s Savvis Center. The Marine Corps took advantage of this large turnout by providing color guards for three of the six wrestling sessions held during the championships and by conducting a marketing lead generation event at St. Louis’ historic Union Station, located just one block from the Savvis Center. Additionally, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the honorable Mr. Joseph E. Schmitz, was a guest speaker at a National Wrestling Coaches Association Coaches clinic held during the championships.
For the NWCA and its members, involvement by the Marine Corps proved to be useful for today’s wrestling coaches and wrestlers.
“We have an obligation as an association to transform coaching from an occupation to a profession,” said Michael W. Moyer, executive director, NWCA. “We believe leadership is the core of what our coaches need to focus on and there’s no better partner than the United States Marine Corps in leadership training.”
The Marine Corps’ participation in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and its advertising partnership with NWCA included increasing the general public’s understanding of job opportunities available in the Marine Corps. For two days, Marine recruiters set up a recruiting booth at Union Station where wrestling competitors, their families, friends and visitors could participate in a chin-up challenge for a chance to earn Marine-themed key chains, posters and pens.
Additionally, a Marine Corps color guard, provided by the recruiting station, made a dramatic impression in front of thousands of spectators and wrestlers during three opening ceremonies of the championships at the Savvis Center.
“This event helped reinforce that serving in the Marine Corps is a viable option for many young men and women,” said Maj. Douglas S. Cochran, commanding officer, Recruiting Station, St.Louis. “The interaction we had with young adults and the information we provided about serving in the Corps assisted our recruiting efforts locally and across the nation.”
The Marine Corps’ marketing efforts captured a greater audience during the week as more than 300 high school and collegiate wrestling coaches attended a national coach’s clinic hosted by the NWCA. The clinic included a demonstration and discussion seminar designed to help coaches improve their training techniques and see what new programs were available that could better their training regimen.
One of the programs presented to the coaches during the clinic, was a new online leadership-training course developed and implemented by NWCA. Much of the course content is similar to the characteristics of Marine Corps leadership training and is designed to improve the development of on-team leadership skills for athletes nationwide.
According to the event’s guest speaker, Joseph E. Schmitz, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, this partnership offers the Marine Corps a great opportunity to showcase the job opportunities available in the Marines.
“The course offers coaches an intellectual and academic foundation that utilizes what they are already doing – taking the teamwork, camaraderie and the passion that is instilled during training and focusing these types of leadership tools so that the wrestlers and other athletes who benefit from these opportunities can end up being better citizens – if not Marines,” Schmitz said.