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Former Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling captain Adam Smith has been named the team's Director of Wrestling Operations, announced head coach Troy Sunderland. Smith, a 2005 Penn State graduate in Business Administration, began his duties September 1, 2006.
Smith returns to Penn State after a year spent working with Care Capital Management in the greater Harrisburg area and serving as an assistant wrestling coach at Newport High School. Smith also owned and operated his own wrestling club, the Intensive Training Center.
"I'm extremely excited to be back at Penn State given where this program is headed," Smith said. "Aside from the addition of our new world-class facilities, we have a group of young guys ready to step up and make things happen right away. With so many teams competing for a national title in Division I wrestling, you need to have wrestlers ready to have an impact right away, and Troy has such a group right now."
The Newport, Pa., native was a three-time national qualifier at Penn State from 2003 through 2005. A four-year letterman, Smith was voted team captain for the 2004-05 season and is ninth on Penn State's all-time matches wrestled list with 151 appearances. An outstanding student, Smith won the 2005 Spiritus Leoninus ("Spirit of the Lion") Award and took part in the Student-Athlete Advisory Board's Speakers Bureau. He was also on the Dean's list in 2004-05.
Smith was the bronze medal winner at the 2005 University Freestyle National All-Americans and was a 2005 University Freestyle World Team Trials finalist as well. He recently took the bronze medal at the 2006 U.S. Nationals.
"The wrestling staff is looking forward to working with Adam in this new role," Sunderland said. "This will be an interesting and educational experience for Adam to see wrestling from the administrative side of things. We're fortunate that he has returned to Penn State and we're very happy that he has decided to continue to train here in order to reach his goal of making the U.S. Olympic Team."
Penn State, which finished ninth at the 2006 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City this past March, returns two All-Americans and a handful of other national qualifiers as well as one of the nation's top-rated recruiting classes. The 2006-07 season will begin on Sunday, Nov. 12, with Wrestle-Offs.