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Former Mizzou star J’den Cox set to coach for USA Wrestling



Just months after retiring from competition at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials, Mizzou legend J'den Cox will coach for his country. On Tuesday, USA Wrestling announced that Cox will serve as the national freestyle and resident coach for the team.

In this role, USA Wrestling said that the Columbia-native will work with the U.S. Pan American and World Teams at the U15, U17 and U20 levels, all while managing the Elite U20 Resident Program out of the training facility in Colorado Springs. He will also be a vital member of the professional national freestyle coaching staff.

"I was overjoyed and overcome with emotion. Being able to find this opportunity was overwhelming. It is a great position, and anybody who is somebody should want to be in this position. The legacy that has been building around USA Wrestling, the bar that has been raised in freestyle wrestling, is amazing. I am honored to be in a position to help young men develop as people, first and foremost becoming great men, and then as athletes. I am excited to get to work and have an effect on the future of USA Wrestling," Cox said in a statement.

It will not be the Tiger alum's first taste of coaching, though. In 2017, he served as a volunteer assistant coach at Mizzou under his former head coach, Brian Smith. During that season, he worked with heavyweight wrestlers. He's also run wrestling camps for the last eight years.

Of course, Cox also had a celebrated career on the mat. During his time as a professional, he earned two Senior World titles, a World silver medal and two World bronze medals. However, the peak of his career came in 2016, when he captured an Olympic bronze medal in the Rio Olympics.

Cox also had one of the greatest careers in Mizzou wrestling history, as he won three NCAA Championships, in 2014, 2016 and 2017. He was also a four-time All-American.

He really got his start at Hickman High School, though. When he was a Kewpie, the J'den Cox dominance began with four-straight Missouri state titles, each in a different weight class.

"Being able to come back home will be fun. I do consider [Colorado Springs] my home," he said. "It is the first place since I left Columbia, Mo. and established a home base and really grew me as an athlete and as a person. I am looking forward to going back there and sharing it with my family."

Cox is set to start with USA Wrestling in late July.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie anchors and reports sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.


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