Mike Clayton Named Head Coach at Stevens

As reported earlier, Mike Clayton has officially been named Head Wrestling Coach at Stevens Institute of Technology.

From the StevensDucks.com:

HOBOKEN, N.J. (August 8, 2007) – Former United States Military Academy head assistant coach Mike Clayton (Brooklyn, Iowa) has been named the head wrestling coach at Stevens Institute of Technology. A four-time letterwinner at the United States Naval Academy during the 1990’s, Clayton takes over the Ducks’ program after former head coach Andy Lausier assumed the position of assistant coach at Princeton University in late-June.

“I’m very excited to join a great group of people at Stevens,” Clayton said. “The school’s administration and athletics director (Russell Rogers – Branchburg, N.J.) have made a landmark commitment to bring back a program to a wrestling rich community. They are 100 percent behind building the best Division III wrestling program in the nation.

“With our campus location near Manhattan, a top academic reputation and amazing job placement history, wrestling at Stevens is a natural fit for the best young men all around the country,” Clayton added.

During his three years at Army, Clayton helped produce eight NCAA Championship qualifiers. In his first year with the team, he guided Phillip Simpson to his third consecutive All-America certificate and an appearance in the national finals. In 2004-05 and 2005-06, Clayton was instrumental as the Black Knights returned to the national polls. He was also responsible for student development, recruiting, team and individual workouts, travel, budgeting, camps, purchasing, facility improvements and promotions while at West Point. Clayton’s 2006 recruiting class ranked No. 22 nationally in the Wrestling USA Magazine poll.

Prior to arriving at Army, Clayton spent five years as the head coach at Newport News Apprentice School in Virginia. During his time there, Clayton mentored 30 National Collegiate Wrestling Association All-Americans and eight national champions. He also increased the team size from eight wrestlers upon his arrival in 1999 to 30 in 2003 by developing a national recruiting base. Clayton’s 2003-04 roster featured athletes from 14 different states. In addition, the team’s fortunes turned around immensely on the mat. After posting a 0-10 record his first two seasons at the helm, Clayton guided Apprentice School to a 26-11 mark over his final three years.

During those final three years at Apprentice, Clayton delivered a college curriculum in Business Operations/Leadership, Ship Construction and Microsoft Office. He also developed a partnership with the U.S. Naval Academy’s leadership department as part of his Business Operations course.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Navy in 1995, Clayton, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps, was named an assistant wrestling coach for the Midshipmen. He served in that role for five months before heading to Athens, Ga., to complete the 27-week Navy Supply Corps Officers Basic Qualification School. While there, Clayton earned a spot on the All-Navy wrestling team, capturing a silver medal at the 1996 Armed Forces Championships and placing fourth at the Chattanooga, Tenn., Olympic Regionals.

From 1997-2001, Clayton served in a variety of posts. He was a Supply and Disbursing Officer on the USS Guam from 1997-98. Clayton also worked as a Hazardous Material Control and Ship’s Store Officer on the USS Nimitz and as a Logistics/Purchasing Officer at Fleet Hospital Support Office in Virginia.

During his professional career, Clayton has published a book entitled Championship Training Log for Wrestling. The book helps wrestlers self-assess their habits to ensure healthy and effective training.

What They’re Saying About Mike Clayton
“We are very excited to bring one of the nation’s top young wrestling coaches to Stevens. Mike has the experience, vision and determination to lead our team as we strive to build one of the nation’s elite programs. Most importantly, I look forward to seeing the positive impact that his leadership is going to have on the overall development of our student-athletes.”
~ Russell Rogers, Director of Athletics at Stevens Institute of Technology

“I am excited that Coach Clayton will have a chance to lead such a wonderful program like Stevens. During his time at West Point, he worked very hard, and I’m certain that he will carry that over in this new position and help elevate the Stevens’ program to the upper echelon of the Division III ranks.”
~ Chuck Barbee, Head Wrestling Coach at the United States Military Academy

“Mike Clayton is a student of the sport of wrestling and has a great concept of what it takes to win on a national level. He has great insight into training, conditioning, and the skills needed to be standing on top of the podium.”
~ Bruce Burnett, Head Wrestling Coach at the United States Naval Academy

“As a friend and colleague of Mike’s, I am excited for him. Mike is a winner on and off the mat. He is a person with many talents and a great passion for kids and wrestling. As a former West Point coach, I am sorry to see him leave, but this is a great opportunity – one in which he will prosper and bring a new level of excellence to Stevens Wrestling while impacting many lives.”
~ Jack Spates, Head Wrestling Coach at Oklahoma University