By Gary Abbott
Bill Zadick of Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been named the Myron Roderick Man of the Year by USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States. This award recognizes an outstanding man for his contributions to the sport of wrestling.
The award is named in memory of one of the most influential figures in American wrestling history, Myron Roderick. Myron saw the need for a National Wrestling Hall of Fame and worked to bring the dream to life and ensure its future. He was also the first executive director of the U. S. Wrestling Federation and established the foundation of USA Wrestling, our national governing body.
In 2017, Zadick completed his first year as USA Wrestling’s National Freestyle Coach, and led the team to World Team Title at the World Championships in Paris, France. With the title race going down to the last match, Kyle Snyder won a battle of Olympic champions over Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia for the 97 kg gold medal and the USA defeated Russia by one point.
It was the first Freestyle World Title for Team USA in 22 years, going back to the 1995 Worlds in Atlanta, Ga. Six U.S. team members won medals, with two golds (Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Snyder), two silvers (Thomas Gilman and James Green) and two bronzes (J’den Cox and Nick Gwiazdowski).
In his role overseeing the freestyle program at all levels, Zadick and his staff also produced one of the greatest years in USA Wrestling age-group history. The U.S. Junior World freestyle team also won the team title, led by seven medalists, including three individual champions. It was the first time that Team USA won the Junior Worlds in over 30 years.
At the 2018 Cadet World Championships, Team USA placed a strong second, with six medalists including four individual gold medalists. Team USA also had two individual medalists at the new U23 World Championships (for athletes age 18-23) and placed fourth in the team standings.
Other top achievements for Freestyle Team USA in 2017 was a second place finish at the Freestyle World Cup in Kermanshah, Iran, where the USA lost in the finals to host Iran in a dual meet which went down to the last match. The USA also won the men’s freestyle team title at the 2017 Pan American Championships held in Salvador, Brazil, led by seven individual medalists, including five champions.
“Clearly from a performance standpoint, it was a great year in men’s freestyle. It was our highest performance ever with our Senior and Junior World Teams winning team titles. It was one of the highest performances ever for our Cadet team in history, battling for the team title right to the end and taking second. We have added some great staff with Joe Russell and Kevin Jackson, who have been fantastic help for the program. It is a tremendous honor and really humbling. So many people contribute towards this, our RTCs, the personal coaches, the athletes, the current and former Team Leaders, our staff and many others. It is a team effort. I can’t accept an award like this without contributions from so many other people,” said Zadick.
Zadick was named the 2017 U.S. Olympic Committee Olympic Coach of the Year. He became the first USA Wrestling coach to win the USOC Olympic Coach of the Year award, and only the second U.S. wrestling coach to win any national award given by the USOC.