2012-13 Team USA Ranking No. 1 at 60KG
Years on Team USA: 4 (2009-13)
Residence: Stillwater, OK
Club: Gator WC/Titan Mercury WC
Coach: John Smith
College: Oklahoma State
HighSchool: Waynesburg, Pa. (Central)
Prior to High School
Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championships:
1996: 10 & Under – 55 lbs. – Champion
1997: 10 & Under – 60 lbs. – Champion
1998: 11 & 12 – 65 lbs. – Champion
1999: 11 & 12 – 75 lbs. – Runner-up
2000: 13 & 14 – 90 lbs. – Champion
At Waynesburg Central High School
PIAA Class AAA State Tournament:
2001: 112 lbs. Season Record (31-8) – State Sixth Place
2002: 103 lbs. Season Record (42-3) – State Champion
2003: 112 lbs. Season Record (40-1) – State Champion
2004: 125 lbs. Season Record (43-0) – State Champion
PIAA Class AAA WPIAL/South West Regional Tournament:
2001: Tournament Champion at 112 lbs.
2002: Tournament Champion at 103 lbs.
2003: Tournament Champion at 112 lbs.
2004: Tournament Champion at 125 lbs.
POWERade Christmas Tournament:
2000: Tournament Third Place at 112 lbs. as a Freshman
2001: Tournament Champion at 119 lbs. as a Sophomore
2002: Tournament Champion at 112 lbs. as a Junior
2003: Tournament Champion at 125 lbs. as a Senior
Beast of the East Tournament:
2000: Tournament Record of (3-2) at 112 lbs. as a Freshman
2001: Tournament Fifth Place at 119 lbs. as a Sophomore
2002: Tournament Runner-up at 112 lbs. as a Junior
2003: Tournament Champion at 125 lbs. as a Senior
Walsh Ironman Tournament:
2000: Tournament Runner-up at 112 lbs. as a Freshman
2001: Tournament Third Place at 112 lbs. as a Sophomore
2002: Tournament Champion at 112 lbs. as a Junior
2004: Dapper Dan Classic Team Pennsylvania Representative at 125 lbs.
2004: Dapper Dan Classic Team Pennsylvania “Outstanding Wrestler” Award Winner
2004: Dream Team Classic Team USA Representative at 125 lbs.
2004: Dream Team Classic Team USA “Outstanding Wrestler” Award Winner
2004: Named Dave Schultz National High School Excellence Award Winner
High School Career Record at Waynesburg Central (156-12)
At Oklahoma State University
NCAA Division I National Tournament
2005: 125 lbs. Season Record (24-9) – Tournament Eighth Place
2006: 125 lbs. Season Record (30-7) – Tournament Fifth Place
2007: 133 lbs. Season Record (30-4) – Tournament Runner-up
2008: 133 lbs. Season Record (33-4) – Tournament Champion
Big 12 Championship Tournament
2005: Tournament Champion at 125 lbs.
2006: Tournament Runner-up at 125 lbs.
2007: Tournament Champion at 133 lbs.
2008: Tournament Third Place at 133 lbs.
2005: Big 12 Championship Tournament “Outstanding Wrestler” Award Winner
2006: NWCA All-Star Classic Wrestler at 133 lbs.
Career Record at Oklahoma State University of (117-24)
National & International Greco Roman and Freestyle Career
2002: ASICS/Vaughan Cadet Freestyle National Third Place at 112 lbs.
2002: ASICS/Vaughan Cadet Greco-Roman National Champion at 112 lbs.
2003: ASICS/Vaughan Junior National Champion at 125 lbs.
2004: ASICS/Vaughan Junior National Champion at 125 lbs.
2005: FILA Junior Freestyle National Fourth Place Medalist at 60kg/132 lbs.
2006: FILA Junior Freestyle World Team Trials Champion at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2006: FILA Junior Freestyle World Team Member at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2008: ASICS U.S. National Freestyle Runner-up at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2008: Olympic Freestyle Team Trials Fourth Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2009: Cerro Pelado International Senior Freestyle Fifth Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2009: Hargobind International Freestyle Tournament Champion at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2009: Sunkist Kids International Freestyle Open Runner-up at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2009: World Freestyle Team Trials Third Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2009: ASICS University Freestyle National Tournament Runner-up at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2010: Pan American Championships Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2010: Dave Schultz Memorial International Freestyle Sixth Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2010: World Freestyle Team Trials Third Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2010: Emam Ali Habibi & Abdollah Movahed’s Cup Freestyle Third Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2010: ASICS U.S. Senior Freestyle Open National Championship Third Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2011: Cerro Pelado International Senior Freestyle Fifth Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2011: World Freestyle Team Trials Third Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2011: NYAC Holiday International Open Freestyle Second Place 60 kg/132 lbs.
2011: ASICS U.S. Senior Freestyle Open National Championship Third Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2012: Dave Schultz Memorial International Freestyle Champion at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2012: Olympic Freestyle Team Trials Champion at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2012: Olympic Special Wrestle-off Winner and Olympic Team Member at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2012: Olympic Games – (London, England) Bronze Medalist at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2013: Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix Senior Freestyle Fifth Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2013: Pan American Senior Freestyle Championships Fifth Place at 60 kg/132 lbs.
2013: ASICS U.S. Senior Freestyle Open National Championship Runner-up at 60 kg/132 lbs.
The Legacy Begins
Coleman Scott made his case for being mentioned as one of the greatest wrestlers from Pennsylvania when he turned a unique path to the United States Olympic Team into an Olympic Bronze Medal. Scott was considered an outside shot for making the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, but that didn’t stop the Waynesburg native and former three-time PIAA State Champion. Scott would defy the odds and fight his way to London, bringing home hardware in the process (more on his inspirational story in a moment).
Scott has always worked hard at what he desires, whether it be with athletics, family, or community service. That work ethic served young Coleman well and was evident when he captured four Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State Championships prior to high school. Scott competed in the PJW State Tournament five times, finishing as the Champion four times and as the runner-up in 1999 at 75 lbs. in the 11-12 year old division, falling to Greensburg Salem’s Donnie Jones in the finals.
Entering Waynesburg Central High School Coleman Scott built a legacy that began late in the year 2000. The toughest challenge Scott would face early on was someone he knew well; friend and teammate Drew Headlee. Headlee was a sophomore when Scott entered high school and as a freshman Drew was a PIAA Class AAA State Qualifier at 103 lbs. Scott was more than able to compete at 103 lbs. in his freshman campaign but Drew Headlee had returned to 103 lbs. in his sophomore season. That forced Coleman to wrestle up a weight-class at 112 lbs. in his first season of high school competition. The challenge of wrestling up a weight-class did not intimidate Coleman at all. The freshman capitalized on the opportunity and, after failing to place at the nationally renowned Beast of the East Tournament, Scott finished third at 112 lbs. in his first POWERade Christmas Tournament.
Scott entered his first WPIAL/Southwest Regional Tournament as the third seed at 112 lbs. Junior Jeff Breese (McGuffey) was the #1 seed at 112 lbs. two years after he captured a PIAA Class AAA State Championship as a freshman in 1999. During his sophomore season, however, Breese injured his knee in a soccer game for McGuffey and despite rehabilitation, re-injured his knee in his first match back. Breese was forced to injury default the match, giving him his first career defeat, ending his season and the dream of becoming a 4x PIAA State Champion. Breese returned to the mats for his junior season and advanced to the WPIAL/Southwest Regional finals to face the freshman Coleman Scott from Waynesburg Central. Breese had defeated Scott the week earlier at the WPIAL Section 5 Finals by a score of (5-2). In the biggest victory of his young high school career Scott reversed the outcome from a week prior and scored an upset victory (6-4) over Breese to capture his first WPIAL/Southwest Regional Championship.
In his first trip to Hershey Scott advanced to the Championship semi-finals where he faced fellow WPIAL wrestler, senior Aaron Olszewski of Belle Vernon Area, who was a SW Regional third place finisher. Scott fell to Olszewski (4-0) and dropped to the consolation bracket. Olszewski went on to face Jeff Breese in the finals as the McGuffey junior earned his second career PIAA Class AAA State Championship with a (10-2) major decision victory. For freshman Coleman Scott he would fall twice and finish in sixth place, ending his first season with a record of (31-8).
Returning to the mats his sophomore season Coleman Scott began the season at 119 lbs. but would end it at 103 lbs. Teammate Drew Headlee competed at 112 lbs. for the season. In his second trip to the Beast of the East Tournament Scott advanced to the 119 lbs. Championship semi-finals where he faced the talented Mark Moos of St. Edwards, Ohio. Moos dominated Scott by tech-fall (16-0 in 2:42). Scott earned his first Beast of the East medal by finishing in fifth place. At the 2001 POWERade Christmas Tournament Scott would improve on his third place finish a season before when he captured the Championship title at 119 lbs. in a loaded weight-class. Scott entered the tournament as the #3 seed but took out the #2 seed and returning PIAA Class AAA State runner-up Mark McKnight (Chartiers Valley) in the semi-finals by a score of (6-1). In the finals at 119 lbs. Scott faced the #1 seed junior Josh Zupancic of Ohio’s Walsh-Jesuit. Scott was victorious (5-3) earning his first career POWERade Tournament Championship.
Heading into WPIAL Post-Season action Scott dropped to 103 lbs.; a weight-class below his freshman season which he placed sixth in the State at 112 lbs. Coleman won his first WPIAL Section 5 Championship and advanced to the WPIAL/Southwest Regional Tournament as the #1 seed at 103 lbs. For the second week in a row Scott faced Thomas Jefferson junior Michael Goslicky in the finals and, like the week prior, Scott defeated Goslicky (5-3) to earn his second straight WPIAL/Southwest Regional Championship. In his second trip to Hershey Coleman Scott looked to improve on his sixth place medal from a season ago at 112 lbs. Scott again advanced to the Championship semi-finals but, unlike 2001, Scott advanced to the PIAA Class AAA State Finals with a (4-0) victory over familiar foe Mark McKnight (Chartiers Valley).
In his first finals appearance Scott faced freshman Brad Pataky (Clearfield Area) the Northwest Regional Champion who only had one defeat on the season. Coleman Scott reached his goal of a PIAA Class AAA State Championship with a decisive (9-0) major decision over Pataky. Following up at 112 lbs. Scott’s teammate Drew Headlee captured his first PIAA Class AAA State Championship in his junior season. Scott would finish the 2001-2002 season with a record of (42-3).
During the off-season of 2002 Coleman Scott competed both in Freestyle and Greco-Roman at the Cadet level. Scott wrestled at 112 lbs. and qualified in both styles for the ASICS/Vaughan Cadet National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. In Freestyle Scott had an impressive Tournament competing against the Nation’s top wrestlers, finishing third Nationally. Interestingly to note, in 2002 at the Cadet National Freestyle Championships, Coleman Scott finished third at 112 lbs., while Joey Slaton of Iowa finished in seventh at 112 lbs. The two would meet almost six years later in the 2008 NCAA Division I National Championship finals at 133 lbs. which Scott would go on to win by fall in (0:49). In the Greco-Roman style Scott was even more impressive as he captured the Cadet National Championship title at 112 lbs. over Jake Gonzales of Washington by a score of (5-1).
Returning to Waynesburg Central as a junior for the 2002-2003 Season, Coleman had successfully put his name on the Pennsylvania and National map after capturing his first PIAA State Championship, followed up by a Cadet National Greco-Roman Championship and a Cadet National Freestyle third place medal. Scott began his junior season by returning to his freshman weight-class of 112 lbs., but this time by his own natural growth process. In the first tournament of the season Coleman Scott picked up right where he left off by winning one of the Nation’s toughest tournaments, the Walsh Jesuit Ironman Tournament, defeating Ohio’s Kyle Shackle of Massillon Perry High School (5-4) in the finals at 112 lbs.
In his third Beast of the East Tournament Coleman Scott entered as the #1 seed at 112 lbs. and advanced to the Championship Finals for the first time in his career. En route to the Finals Scott defeated two fellow Pennsylvania wrestlers downing Quakertown’s Nate Nauroth (6-2) and Northampton Area’s Billy Stenack (10-0). In the finals Scott faced a New York legend that would go on to capture a NCAA Division I National Championship for the Cornell Big Red. That wrestler was Troy Nickerson of New York’s Chenango Forks High School. Nickerson was the #3 seed at 112 lbs. but proved to much for Scott as he defeated the Waynesburg Central junior (6-4) in the finals. His defeat to Nickerson was the last time Coleman Scott would fail to have his hand raised that season.
In his third POWERade Tournament Scott looked to repeat his performance from a season ago when he captured the 119 lbs. Championship. As a junior Scott competed at 112 lbs. but the result was the same. Coleman was dominant as he defeated Parkersburg, West Virginia wrestler Robert Shyver (9-3) in the finals at 112 lbs.
Returning PIAA Class AAA State Champion Coleman Scott earned his second straight WPIAL Section 5 Championship and once again entered the WPIAL/Southwest Regional Tournament as the #1 seed. For a third year in a row the junior captured the Southwest Regional Championship and in dominating fashion. Entering the 2003 PIAA Class AAA State Championships Scott’s only defeat on the season was at the hands of 5x New York State Champion Troy Nickerson. Scott was heavily favored to capture the 112 lbs. State Championship and the junior made it look easy, picking up two wins by fall, a regular decision, and a technical-fall in the finals to earn his second straight PIAA Class AAA State Championship. Scott finished his junior season with a record of (40-1) bringing his career mark to (113-12).
In the off-season following his junior year of high school Coleman Scott again set out to take on the Nation’s top wrestlers. Moving up from the Cadet to Junior Division Scott again qualified for the ASICS/Vaughan National Championships competing in Freestyle. Neither Scott’s move from Cadet to Junior Division nor his move up to 125 lbs. would have an impact on his performance in July 2003. The now 2x PIAA Class AAA State Champion was outstanding against the talented field as he defeated Indiana’s Angel Escobedo by a score of (5-3) to capture his first Junior Freestyle National Championship. Escobedo would go on to become an NCAA Division I National Champion and a 4x All-American for Indiana University.
Coleman Scott entered his senior season as one of the Nation’s most sought after recruits for his performance in State and National competition. Scott moved up to 125 lbs. for 2003-2004 and in his fourth appearance at the Beast of the East the senior finally captured the elusive Championship with a (5-2) decision over the #3 seed Mike Rowe of Maryland’s DeMatha Catholic. Scott followed up the Beast of the East Championship with his third career POWERade Championship with a dominating (12-0) major decision in the finals over Oxford Area’s Jarrett Hostetter at 125 lbs. Coleman entered his final post-season with a (32-0) season record capturing his third straight WPIAL Section 5 Championship and fourth straight WPIAL/Southwest Regional Championship.
At the 2004 PIAA Class AAA State Championships one of the most highly anticipated match-ups was the 125 lbs. Championship. Senior Charles Griffin (Reading) earned his first PIAA Class AAA State Championship the season prior when he upset returning PIAA State Champion Tim Haas (Cedar Cliff) with a dominating (10-1) major decision in the finals at 125 lbs. Unfortunately for Griffin, he would have to earn another upset victory in order to capture his second PIAA State Championship. As expected both Griffin and Scott advanced to the finals without trouble and the premier match was set. The undefeated Coleman Scott would not be denied his third straight PIAA Class AAA State Championship as he defeated Griffin (5-2) in a closely contested bout. For his performance Scott was named the PIAA Class AAA State Tournament’s “Outstanding Wrestler.” Coleman Scott ended his career at Waynesburg Central High School with a record of (156-12) and win percentage of 93%.
Scott was an obvious selection to the 2004 Dapper Dan Classic for Team Pennsylvania at 125 lbs. In the Classic Scott was named Team Pennsylvania’s “Outstanding Wrestler” for his performance against 3x Wisconsin State Champion Jordan Crass earning a (16-9) victory. Coleman was also an obvious selection for the Wrestling USA Magazine/Cliff Keen USA Dream Team at 125 lbs. The USA Dream Team took on the California Dream Team with USA winning the all-star dual meet (42-12). Scott was one of three Pennsylvania natives selected to the USA Dream Team joining Archbishop Wood’s Joe Weygand at 103 lbs. and Freedom Area’s Kurt Brenner at 171 lbs. Just as he did in the Dapper Dan Classic Scott dominated his opponent defeating California’s Steven Juarez by technical fall (15-0). For his performance Coleman was named the USA Dream Team’s “Outstanding Wrestler.” The most prestigious award Scott received his senior year however was the Dave Schultz Award. This National award is based on outstanding wrestling success, scholastic achievement, and citizen or community service.
The highly touted Scott chose to continue his wrestling career for legendary head coach John Smith at Oklahoma State University. Before heading west to Oklahoma from Waynesburg, Scott stopped in Fargo, North Dakota to defend his ASICS/Vaughan Junior National title. Competing at 125 lbs. for the second year, Coleman captured his second straight Junior Freestyle National Championship with an impressive (9-1) victory over Minnesota’s Jayson Ness in the finals. Jayson Ness would go on to become an NCAA Division I National Champion in 2010 at 133 lbs.
Arriving in Stillwater, Oklahoma Coleman Scott settled in well to his new life at Oklahoma State University. Entering his true-freshman season Coleman Scott was set to take a redshirt season and develop his talents. In his first tournament competing unattached for Oklahoma State Scott captured the Fort Hays State Open Championship at 125 lbs. Next, Coleman placed third at 125 lbs. in the Central Missouri State Open in November 2004. A week later Scott again placed third wrestling unattached at the Kaufman-Brand Open in Omaha, Nebraska. After Oklahoma State’s 125 lbs. wrestlers compiled a (1-5) record in dual meets, head coach John Smith pulled the redshirt label from Coleman Scott and the true-freshman was set to compete for the Cowboys at 125 lbs.
Scott’s first collegiate match was no easy task when Oklahoma State faced the Michigan State Spartans. In the dual meet Scott took on the #3 ranked wrestler in the Nation at 125 lbs. in Nick Simmons. Simmons, who had taken an Olympic redshirt year the season prior, was an NCAA Division I All-American placing seventh at 125 lbs. in 2003. Scott got off to a good start in the first period driving #3 Nick Simmons to his back for a takedown and a three-point nearfall to go up (5-0). Simmons quickly reversed Scott to get on the scoreboard. The score remained (5-2) at the start of the second period. Simmons added another point with an escape early in the second period. Simmons proved why he was so tough to beat in the third period when Scott chose to start from the bottom. With a (1:14) remaining in the match, Simmons turned Scott on to his back for a short count that tied the match. Simmons then rode out the rest of the period to earn the riding time advantage and a (6-5) victory (match recap obtained from OKSTATE.com). In his second match for the Cowboys Coleman Scott once again gave up a lead and fell to Iowa’s Charlie Flack (5-3) late in the third against the Hawkeyes.
Despite suffering several close defeats against the Nation’s top wrestlers Scott helped the Oklahoma State Cowboys capture their third straight National Duals Championship. In his first post-season for Oklahoma State Coleman entered the Big 12 Championship Tournament as the #3 seed at 125 lbs. and exceeded expectations. The true-freshman advanced to the finals after pinning Nationally ranked #8 Matt Keller of Nebraska by fall in (6:21). In the finals Scott faced undefeated and nationally ranked #1 Sam Hazewinkel of Oklahoma. In a match that went into tiebreaker Scott upset Hazewinkel by a score of (2-1 TB) to capture his first career Big 12 Championship as a true-freshman.
Heading to St. Louis for the NCAA Division I National Tournament Scott was the #9 seed at 125 lbs. In the second round Scott defeated the #8 seed Bobbe Lowe of Minnesota (4-3) and advanced to the quarterfinals to face #1 seed Hazewinkel. Unlike the Big 12 Championship Finals, Scott was unable to pull another upset over Hazewinkel, falling (2-0) and dropping to the consolation bracket. Scott defeated Robbie Preston (Harvard) to advance to the All-American round but fell in his next two bouts to finish in eighth place. It was an impressive feat for the true freshman who entered the season as a redshirt freshman and ended it as an All-American. Interestingly, just as they did in 2002 at the PIAA Class AAA State Championship Tournament, Waynesburg wrestlers Coleman Scott and Drew Headlee finished in the same position on the medal stand. In 2002 the pair each won a State Championship (Scott at 103 lbs. Headlee at 112 lbs.) and in 2005 the pair both finished in eighth place at the NCAA Division I National Tournmanet. Wrestling for the University of Pittsburgh Headlee placed eighth at 133 lbs. for the Panthers. Overall Scott ended his true freshman campaign with a record of (24-9).
In the off-season following his freshman season at Oklahoma State Coleman again went to work on his freestyle skills. Competing in his first FILA Junior National Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada Scott was forced to default out of the tournament following an injury, finishing in fourth place at 60 kg/132 lbs. Returning to the mats healthy for his sophomore season at Oklahoma State Coleman Scott would look to improve on his eighth place medal a season ago. He returned to 125 lbs. and won an early season title at the Kaufman-Brand Open before dropping his first match against Michigan State when he fell to #4 Nick Simmons for the second straight year. Traveling to Reno, Nevada for his first Reno Tournament of Champions Scott finished as the runner-up at 125 lbs. falling to Arizona State’s returning NCAA Division I National Tournament qualifier Jeremy Mendoza (1-0) in the finals. After facing the top competition in dual meets for Oklahoma State Coleman sought to defend his Big 12 Championship title at 125 lbs. Like a season prior, Scott and Oklahoma’s Sam Hazewinkel met in the Big 12 Championship finals. Unlike 2005 Scott was unable to capture his second Big 12 Championship falling to Hazewinkel (2-1) but advancing to his second straight NCAA Division I National Tournament.
Entering the 125 lbs. bracket with a season record of (24-5) and the #6 seed, Scott suffered an opening round upset when he fell to Wyoming’s Bryce Leonhardt (3-2) and dropped to the consolation round. The sophomore would win five straight matches, advancing to the consolation semifinals, and for the second season in a row would earn All-American Honors. After falling to Michigan State’s Nick Simmons in the consolation semifinals Scott defeated Cal Poly’s Chad Mendes to place fifth in the Nation at 125 lbs. Although an improvement from his eighth place medal in 2005, Scott knew he was capable of becoming a National Champion and would continue to work on improving. Scott ended his sophomore season with a record of (30-7).
That work towards an NCAA Championship showed when Scott captured two National Freestyle Championships in the 2006 off-season. Scott first won the FILA Junior National Championship at 60 kg/132 lbs. against Indiana University’s Angel Escobedo (2-0, 1-0) in the finals. The victory advanced Scott to the finals of the 2006 Junior World Team Trials where he would face the Challenge Tournament winner. That wrestler would end up being Cornell’s Troy Nickerson. In the finals Scott defeated the NCAA National runner-up Nickerson in a best-of-three series to qualify for the United States Junior World Team. Scott had successfully avenged his 2002 defeat to Nickerson in the Beast of the East Finals at 112 lbs. At the FILA Junior World Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala Scott suffered an injury in his first match against Jack Bond of Canada forcing him to default out of the Tournament.
In his junior season at Oklahoma State Coleman moved up a weight class to compete at 133 lbs. for the Cowboys. Scott was one of three Cowboys selected to participate in the NWCA All-Star Classic in Dallas, TX. Competing at 133 lbs. Scott fell to the #1 nationally ranked Matt Valenti (University of Pennsylvania) by a score of (6-5). For the third season in a row Scott fell to Michigan State’s Nick Simmons in their annual early season dual meet. Simmons was the #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation at 133 lbs. and defeated #3 ranked Scott (4-0). After finishing as the runner-up in his first Reno Tournament of Champions the junior earned his first Championship at 133 lbs. with a (4-3) victory over Cal-Poly’s Darrell Vasquez in the finals. In Oklahoma State’s dual meet against Missouri #4 ranked Scott won a tight bout against #8 ranked Tyler McCormick (1-0). The two met again in the Big 12 Championship finals at 133 lbs. where Scott again was victorious by a (6-5) margin to earn his second Big 12 Championship Title in three seasons.
In his third trip to the NCAA Division I National Tournament Scott was seeded #4 and for the first time in his career advanced to the championship semifinals where he met Michigan State’s Nick Simmons. Despite losing to Nick Simmons three times in his career, including a (4-0) defeat four months earlier, Coleman Scott upset the #1 seed by a score of (4-3). With the victory Scott advanced to his first career NCAA Division I Nationals Finals at 133 lbs. against returning NCAA National Champion and #2 seed Matt Valenti of the University of Pennsylvania. The two faced each other in the 2006 NWCA All-Star Classic with Valenti winning (6-5) over Scott. After Scott scored the opening takedown Valenti earned a reversal to tie the match (2-2) after one period. In the second period Scott choose the down position but was ridden out for the entire two minutes. In the third period Scott cut Valenti to give him a (3-2) lead in addition to a point for riding time. Scott was unable to secure a takedown late in the third as Valenti won his second straight NCAA Championship at 133 lbs. with a (4-2) victory over the Cowboy. It was a difficult defeat for Scott who had been so close to his ultimate goal of a NCAA National Championship but the junior did secure his third straight All-American status and improved on his fifth place medal from a season ago. Even more promising was the fact Scott had another year to redeem himself on the National stage. Scott ended his junior season with a record of (30-4).
For the second straight year Scott was selected to the NWCA All-Star Classic to take on Minnesota’s Mack Reiter. However, due to sustaining a knee injury at the Central Missouri Open, Scott was forced to withdraw from the All-Star Classic. Coleman returned to the mat for the Cowboys at the Journeyman/Brute Northeast Duals and posted a (3-1) record. Despite his early season #1 National ranking at 133 lbs., Scott fell to Hofstra’s talented Lou Ruggirello (3-2), coincidently the wrestler who replaced him in the NWCA All-Star Classic. The next week when the Cowboys faced their rival Oklahoma Scott earned a hard fought (1-0) victory over Brian Shelton. In January Oklahoma State and Iowa clashed in a battle of two of the most successful programs in the Nation. Scott came into the dual meet ranked #1 in the Nation at 133 lbs. and faced the #2 ranked wrestler Joey Slaton of Iowa. Scott jumped out to a (7-1) lead on the Hawkeye and held off a late comeback by Slaton winning the intense bout (8-6) helping to lift Oklahoma State over Iowa (19-14).
In his third Reno Tournament of Champions Coleman won his second straight title at 133 lbs. with a (6-4) victory over Joey Baker of Navy. In the next week at the Virginia Duals Scott posted a (4-0) record including a (3-2) victory over #9 Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois. Scott followed up with a (2-0) win over #8 Kenny Jordan of Nebraska a week later. The senior’s 18 match win streak came to an abrupt end when he was stunned by Oregon’s unranked Ryan Dunn (5-3) giving up a takedown late in the third period.
Entering his final post-season run Scott would not be satisfied with anything less than a National Championship. Scott was the #1 seed at 133 lbs. but the 2x Big 12 Champion was upset in the semifinals falling to Missouri’s Tyler McCormick in overtime (5-3) to deny the senior a chance at his third career Big 12 Championship. It was not the note Coleman wanted heading into the 2008 NCAA Division I National Championship in St. Louis. His loss at the Big 12 Championships dropped Scott to the #3 seed at 133 lbs. It would be no easy task for the Cowboy senior to advance to the finals for the second season in a row. After a (4-0) victory over Jimmy Conroy (Pittsburgh) in the first round, his remaining opponents would all be wrestlers Scott had met throughout the season. In the second round Scott took on Oregon’s Ryan Dunn, the opponent who snapped his 18 match win streak, but unlike their first meeting, Scott defeated Dunn (6-1).
In the quarterfinals Scott met Navy’s Joe Baker whom he had defeated (6-4) in the finals of the Reno Tournament of Champions. For the second time Coleman Scott defeated Baker in a decisive (9-4) victory to advance to his second career Championship semifinals. Scott would have to get through Illinois’ #2 seed Jimmy Kennedy in order to continue his dream of becoming a NCAA National Champion. Scott defeated Kennedy (3-2) earlier in the season and again downed the Fighting Illini (4-2) to come within one victory of a National Championship. In the finals Scott would take on the #4 seed Joey Slaton of Iowa. Scott defeated Slaton (8-6) when Oklahoma State and Iowa met in January 2008. With his defeat to Penn’s Matt Valenti in the NCAA Finals a season ago lingering in his mind, Scott knew this was his last chance at success. Scott came out aggressive against Slaton and just 0:49 seconds into the match Coleman Scott became a NCAA Division I National Champion and a 4x All-American. Scott used a high-crotch to takedown Slaton and in the process locked up a cradle earning the fall in under a minute. It took four grueling seasons for Scott to achieve his lifelong goal of becoming a National Champion.
Scott ended his senior season with a (33-4) record bringing his career record to (117-24). Coleman Scott became only the twelfth wrestler in Oklahoma State history to earn All-American honors in all four of his seasons. A month after winning his first NCAA Division I National Championship Coleman Scott went back to work to fulfill another of his lifelong dreams: becoming an Olympian.
Becoming an International Competitor
At the ASICS U.S. National Senior Freestyle Championships Scott was seeded seventh at 60 kg/132 lbs. Competing against seasoned freestyle competitors Scott proved he was able to hang with the Nation’s best, finishing as the National runner-up to Shawn Bunch. Scott’s former teammate Drew Headlee finished in seventh place at the same weight. 2008 was an Olympic year and Coleman Scott aimed to gain valuable experience competing with the top freestyle wrestlers.
After his runner-up finish at the U.S. Nationals Scott qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 60 kg/132 lbs., however, the United States failed to qualify the 60 kg/132 lbs. weight-class for the Beijing Olympic Games. Wrestlers, including Scott, were therefore not competing for a spot on the USA Olympic Team but the opportunity to train full-time at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs. In the quarterfinal round of the Olympic Team Trials Scott defeated Angel Cejudo (3-0, 0-1, 4-2) to advance into the Championship semifinals. A match away from the championship finals Scott fell to Mike Zadick (0-1, 1-0, 6-0) the eventual Olympic Trials Champion at 60 kg/132 lbs.
In the wrestle-back round Coleman faced friend and former Waynesburg Central teammate Drew Headlee as Scott won the match (1-0, 3-0), advancing to the consolation finals. Scott ended up finishing fourth at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials, falling to Nate Gallick (2-1, 6-0). Despite not winning the Trials, Coleman was able to compete with the top freestyle wrestlers just months after finishing a long and grueling senior season at Oklahoma State. Now, moving forward and focusing primarily on qualifying for the 2012 USA Olympic Freestyle Team, Scott had four years to prepare for his next career goal.
From early 2009 to the Olympic Trials of 2012 Coleman Scott competed in a multitude of International and National freestyle tournaments across the World. His main goal throughout that time was to prepare for the Olympic Trials and secure a spot on the USA Olympic Team that would travel to London, England for the 2012 Olympic Games.
At the 2009 ASICS University Freestyle Nationals in Akron, Ohio Scott advanced to the finals at 60 kg/132 lbs. but choose to forfeit to fellow 3x PIAA State Champion and Oklahoma State redshirt freshman Jordan Oliver. In his first Senior World Team Trials in May 2009 Scott did not reach his goal of earning a spot on the U.S. World Team but, he did however, finish in true third defeating Reece Humphrey (1-0, 7-0). Five months later, in October 2009, Scott competed against regular opponents at the Sunkist Kids International Open. He finished as the runner-up at 60 kg/132 lbs., falling to Nate Gallick (4-1, 1-0) in the finals. 2x NCAA National Champion Matt Valenti finished in fourth and Scott’s former Waynesburg Central teammate Drew Headlee finished in fifth place. In November 2009 Scott won his first International Freestyle event at 60 kg/132 lbs. in Surrey, Canada at the Hargobind International.
In his second full year of International Freestyle competition Coleman Scott traveled the globe taking on both foreign and domestic opponents. By the end of the year Coleman’s United States Passport was filled with stamps for his extensive travels. Below is look at his itinerary for the year.
January 22, 2010: Colorado Springs, Colorado (U.S. World Cup Team Wrestle-Off)
February 3, 2010: Colorado Springs, Colorado (Dave Schultz Memorial International)
February 12, 2010: Istanbul, Turkey (Yasar Dogu International)
February 20, 2010: Kiev, Ukraine (Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestler Memorial International)
April 22, 2010: Cleveland, Ohio (ASICS U.S. Open)
April 30, 2010: Monterrey, Mexico (Pan American Championships)
June 10, 2010: Council Bluffs, Iowa (U.S. World Team Trials)
July 31, 2010: Qaemshar, Iran (Emam Ali Habibi & Abdollah Movahed’s Cup)
In the first month of 2010 Scott competed in a wrestle-off to determine representatives for Team USA at the World Cup. Scott defeated Derek Moore but fell to Shawn Bunch at 60 kg/132 lbs. In February Scott entered the Dave Schultz Memorial International in Colorado Spring, CO and finished in sixth place at 60 kg/132 lbs. falling to Japan’s Kenichi Yumoto (3-0, 6-2) in the fifth place match. The next month, in February 2010, Scott traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to compete in the Yasar Dogu International. Despite traveling halfway across the Earth, he was defeated in his only bout of the tournament by a wrestler from Greene County, Pennsylvania; Drew Headlee (4-3, 1-0). Scott finished out February 2010 by heading to Kiev, Ukraine where he and Drew Headlee both lost their first and only bouts of the Tournament.
Back in the United States Coleman finished third at the ASICS U.S. Open winning by injury default over Reece Humphrey. In his first career Pan American Championships Scott earned a bronze medal at 60 kg/132 lbs. For the second straight year Coleman Scott participated in the U.S. World Team Trials and for the second time finished in true-third place by defeating Matt Valenti (3-0, 1-0). Scott finished out the 2010 year by heading to Iran for the Emam Ali Habibi & Abdollah Movahed’s Cup in Qaemshar. Scott went (3-1) against Iranian grapplers finishing with the bronze medal at 60 kg/132 lbs.
In February 2011 Scott headed to Cuba for the Cerro Pelado International Tournament and finished in fifth place, defeating fellow American Nick Simmons (6-0, 1-0), but falling twice to Cuban grapplers. His next test came at the ASICS U.S. Senior Open. Against the Nation’s best, Scott went (4-1) and finished in third place. In the championship quarterfinals Scott defeated his former foe Matt Valenti (2-0, 3-1) and advanced to the semifinals against top seed Shawn Bunch. Scott was unable to earn his first career victor over Bunch, falling (2-0, 6-2) to the eventual runner-up. In the consolation round Scott defeated his former Wayensburg Central teammate Drew Headlee (3-0, 4-0) in addition to Mike Zadick in the third place match (1-0, 1-0).
With only two years left until the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Coleman Scott continued to work towards his goal of representing the United States, and a good first step was the 2011 U.S. World Team Trials. Set up virtually the same as an Olympic Team Trial tournament, the 2011 U.S. World Team Trials would be a significant measure of Scott’s progress. Reece Humphrey was the 2011 ASICS U.S. Open Champion and earned an automatic spot in the World Team Trial finals. Reece’s opponent would be decided through a Challenge Tournament that Coleman Scott competed in. Scott, the second seed, defeated former Iowa State All-American Nick Fanthrope (1-0, 1-0) before meeting up with 2008 Olympian and U.S. World Team member Mike Zadick in the Challenge Tournament semifinals. Scott was victorious winning two of three periods (2-0, 0-2, 4-0) and advanced to the Challenge Tournament finals at 60 kg to face Shawn Bunch. In the finals Scott fell to Bunch (1-0, 1-0) and was denied a spot on the U.S. World Team. Scott finished in true third place after he defeated Ohio State’s Logan Stieber (1-1, 4-1).
An Olympic Dream
To end the 2011 freestyle season Scott competed in the NYAC Holiday International Open and advanced to the finals where he faced 2011 World Team member Reece Humphrey. In the finals at 60 kg Scott fell (1-1, 0-1) to Humphrey. To end the year Scott finished ranked third at 60 kg by TheMat.com’s United States Senior Freestyle Rankings behind #1 Reece Humphrey and #2 Shawn Bunch.
Three months before the Olympic Team Trials, in February 2012, Scott captured the Dave Schultz Memorial International championship at 60 kg defeating India’s Rahul Balasaheb Aware (2-1, 1-3, 3-2) in the finals. Scott was also named the Tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. Scott qualified for the 2012 Olympic Team Trials a year earlier when he placed third at the 2011 World Team Trials. On Saturday April 21, 2012, at the Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Scott continued his dream of competing for the United States at the Olympics. It was the second Olympic Team Trials for Scott after he finished in fourth place at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials four years earlier.
At the time of the Olympic Team Trials the United States had not yet qualified the Freestyle 60 kg weight-class to compete in the London Olympics. The USA Senior Freestyle leadership determined that 2011 World Team member Reece Humphrey and 2011 World Team Trials runner-up Shawn Bunch would skip the Olympic Team Trials and attempt to qualify the weight for Team USA in one of the last two qualifying tournaments.
In the meantime, the 2012 Olympic Team Trials would continue at 60 kg. The catch, however, was the Olympic Team Trials Champion did not automatically earn a spot on the United State’s Olympic Team. In fact, if the United States failed to qualify the 60 kg weight-class then no U.S. wrestler at that weight would be heading to London. Therefore, the fate of 60 kg rested on Humphrey and/or Bunch.
At the 2012 Olympic Team Trials Coleman Scott, in a field without Humphrey or Bunch, was now the favorite to win the Championship. He did just that. Defeating former NCAA Champion Matt Valenti in the semi-finals before defeating 2012 NCAA Champion and Ohio State redshirt freshman Logan Stieber in the Championship finals in two straight matches. It was a great accomplishment for the former Cowboy but, unlike the rest of the Freestyle Division Champions, he wasn’t booking his flight to London just yet. Coleman finished with a (4-0) record and won eight of ten periods against his opponents.
Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) dec. Martin Berberyan (SK Golden Boys) – (4-0, 2-1)
Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) dec. Matt Valenti (Lehigh Valley AC) – (1-0, 0-1, 7-0)
Championship Finals (Best of Three Series)
Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) dec. Logan Stieber (NYAC) – (3-0, 1-0)
Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) dec. Logan Stieber (NYAC) – (2-0, 0-1, 2-0)
After winning the 2012 Olympic Team Trials all Coleman Scott could do was wait and hope that either Shawn Bunch or Reece Humphrey would qualify the United States at 60 kg. A week after the Olympic Team Trials Shawn Bunch flew to Taiyuan, China where he would attempt to qualify the 60 kg weight in freestyle for Team USA. Reece Humphrey had to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury he sustained during training for the qualifying tournament. Bunch was able to turn in a (5-1) record and finish in third place effectively qualifying the United States at 60 kg in freestyle at the 2012 Olympics. Now it was time to determine who the representative at 60 kg would be.
The USA Wrestling elite had to come up with a unique format to determine which wrestler would be heading to London. It was evident all three wrestlers deserved a shot at the 60 kg weight and final USA Olympic Freestyle Team spot. Reece Humphrey, despite sitting out of the Olympic Team Trials and sustaining an injury, was the #1 ranked freestyle wrestler in the United States at 60 kg. In 2011 Humphrey won the World Team Trials and represented Team USA in Istanbul, Turkey at the 2011 Senior World Championships where he went (2-1) and finished in ninth place. Shawn Bunch, the #2 ranked freestyle wrestler in the United States at 60 kg, successfully qualified the weight-class for Team USA and was the 2011 World Team Trials runner-up to Humphrey. By virtue of his 2012 Olympic Team Trials Championship Coleman Scott, the #3 ranked freestyle wrestler in the United States at 60 kg, earned a chance to compete for the final roster spot as well.
It was determined that Shawn Bunch, due to qualifying the weight-class for the United States, would receive an automatic spot in the championship finals against the Scott vs. Humphrey winner. The wrestle-off to determine the final Olympic Team spot was held on Thursday June 7, 2012 at the Second Annual Beat the Streets “Grapple in the Apple” in an outdoor venue constructed in New York City’s Times Square. The event featured an International Freestyle match between Team USA and Team Russia.
Despite coming of an injury Reece Humphrey had a strong track record against Coleman Scott in freestyle competition. The two had met four times since 2009 with Humphrey winnings the last two meetings. Scott last defeated Humphrey in May 2009 at the World Team Trials true-third place match by a score of (1-0, 7-0). In their next meeting Humphrey injury defaulted to Scott in the 2010 ASICS U.S. Open third place match. Humphrey downed Scott at the NYAC International Holiday Open in 2010 and 2011. By 2012 Reece Humphrey was the clear #1 wrestler in the Nation at 60 kg having separated himself from Bunch and Scott by winning the 2011 World Team Trials.
On Thursday June 7, 2012 Coleman Scott arrived at Times Square in what would be the greatest day of his long wrestling career. Facing Humphrey at 1:00 PM the bout was tense and both wrestlers appeared passive. Who could blame them considering the stakes and environment? Wrestling outside on a raised mat in the middle of New York City’s Times Square for a chance to represent your country and fulfill a lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics. In a three period match Coleman Scott did what he had not done before, winning two ball draws, and defeating Humphrey by a score of (1-0, 0-1, 1-0). Scott won both the first and third periods after a scoreless result ended in a ball draw. Scott stated he wasn’t accustomed to winning many ball draws so he capitalized on the opportunity and scored both times from the clinch position.
International Freestyle Career Against Reece Humphrey:
May 29, 2009 – World Team Trials: True Third Place Match
Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) over Reece Humphrey (NYAC) (Dec 1-0, 7-0)
April 22, 2010 – ASICS U.S. Open: Third Place Match
Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) over Reece Humphrey (NYAC) (Inj. 0:00)
November 20, 2010 – NYAC International Open: Consolation Third Round
Reece Humphrey (New York AC) over Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) (Dec 1-0, 5-0)
November 11, 2011 – NYAC Holiday International Open: Championship Finals
Reece Humphrey (NYAC) over Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) (Dec 1-1, 1-0)
June 7, 2012 – Beat the Streets “Grapple in the Apple” Special Wrestle-Off
Coleman Scott (Gator WC/Cowboy WC) over Reece Humphrey (New York AC) (Dec 1-0, 0-1, 1-0)
As impressive as his victory over Humphrey was for Coleman, the 26-year-old still had to upset yet another well-known opponent in order to complete his wild journey to the USA Olympic Freestyle Team. Historically speaking Coleman Scott was in trouble. Since 2008 Shawn Bunch had defeated Scott in all five of their head-to-head meetings. Their last meeting was at the 2011 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament finals where Bunch was victorious (1-0, 1-0). Bunch would advance to face Reece Humphrey in the Championship Finals falling in a best-of-three series.
Since qualifying the United States to compete in the 60 kg weight-class in Freestyle at the 2012 Olympics, Shawn Bunch knew he had just one person standing in his way. As is customary in a Freestyle Championship final the winner would be decided in a best-of-three match series. It was an unreal atmosphere as the evening sun was setting in the middle of Times Square.
In the first match against Bunch Coleman showed no signs of fatigue appearing fresh and aggressive. The first period went to Scott after a scoreless two minutes of regulation resulted in a ball draw. Scott made it three-for-three on the day in ball draws and secured the takedown and period winning point from the clinch position. In period number two Shawn Bunch countered with a push-out to secure the period (1-0) and force a third period. In the third and final period of match number one Scott made a statement with an exciting performance. Thirty-nine seconds into the crucial two-minute period Scott scored on a takedown to go up (1-0). Bunch came back aggressive, charging Scott, and putting in a front-headlock. Bunch tried to spin behind Scott but the two rolled out of bounds and the referee indicated two points to Scott. Now up (3-0) in the third Bunch’s corner threw in the red challenge brick. After reviewing the replay the mat judges confirmed the referees decision and Scott earned an additional point for Bunch’s failed challenge. Now up (4-0) Scott was forty-two seconds away from winning the first match in a best-of-three series. Bunch went into desperation mode and attempted a throw that resulted in Scott simply flipping him over and earning a three-point move to end the match in a technical-fall (7-0) in 1:36. Now, after a (1-0, 0-1, 7-0) first match victory, Coleman Scott sat one victory away from London.
In match number two Bunch used his explosiveness to earn a one-point push out with just twelve seconds left in the first period. Coleman Scott countered with an impressive single-leg takedown as time ran out on the period. Having scored the last point of the period Scott was awarded the period (1-1). The momentum was now clearly in Coleman Scott’s favor with just one period victory away from securing the series and punching his ticket to London. In the second period the two were scoreless after two minuets of action and for the first time on the day Scott drew his opponent’s color. The ball draw gave Bunch the clinch position advantage that Bunch capitalized on securing the takedown and winning the period (1-0). In the third and decisive period Scott again was one period away from victory if he could come out on top. Thirty-three seconds into the period Bunch again was able to secure a point with a push-out point and an (1-0) advantage. Unable to counter Bunch’s defense Scott dropped the period and match falling (1-1, 1-0, 1-0).
Naturally, the tense circumstances surrounding qualification for the final spot on the US Olympic Freestyle team would come down to the third and final match. As the sun set on Times Square, so to did the emotional ride of two American wrestlers. Back in his lucky blue singlet Coleman Scott took the mat for the final time of the day. He knew at the age of 26 this match would define his career forever. If Scott was nervous – he didn’t show it. After exchanging takedown attempts the two were scoreless after two minuets of regulation. For the second time in the series Shawn Bunch reached into the bag and selected the blue ball in favor of Coleman Scott. With the clinch position advantage Coleman earned the takedown and a (1-0) first period victory. Again the Waynesburg native was one period victory away from clinching the match, series, and Olympic Team spot.
Forty seconds into the second period Coleman Scott took a single-leg shot that landed him deep on Bunch’s left leg. Bunch attempted to fight off the attempt on one leg as the two spun around twice near the edge of the mat. When the two came to a stop Bunch, still on one leg, was locked over top of Scott. In unique fashion Coleman Scott was able to gather the strength to throw Bunch over his hip as the two landed. The referee awarded Scott three points for the throw and immediately Bunch’s corner threw in the red challenge brick. After a review by the judges it was determined that the throw was in fact a five-point move not a three-point throw. The ruling effectively ended the period, match, and series as any wrestler scoring on a five-point throw automatically wins the period. When Coleman Scott heard the decision he erupted in celebration, joined by his coaching staff, with Shawn Bunch looking on in disbelief.
The scene was truly remarkable for any sports fan. To witness an individual accomplish a lifelong goal in the matter of seconds is a unique aspect of wrestling. Holding an American flag, a teary eyed Scott was speechless following his performance in Times Square, saying the victory was for his daughter whose birthday he missed a day earlier.
International Freestyle Career Against Shawn Bunch:
April 4, 2008 – ASICS U.S. Open: Championship Finals:
Shawn Bunch (Gator Wrestling Club) over Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) (Dec 4-0, 1-0)
May 29, 2009 – U.S. World Team Trials: Challenge Tournament Championship
Shawn Bunch (Gator Wrestling Club) over Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club) (Dec 3-0, 1-0)
2010 Freestyle World Cup Wrestle-Off
Shawn Bunch (Gator Wrestling Club) over Coleman Scott (Gator Wresting Club) (Dec 1-0, 0-3, 2-0)
April 7, 2011 – ASICS U.S. Open: Championship Semifinals
Shawn Bunch (Ohio RTC) over Coleman Scott (Cowboy Wrestling Club) (Dec 2-0, 6-2)
June 9, 2011 – U.S. World Team Trials: Challenge Tournament Championship Finals
Shawn Bunch (Ohio RTC) over Coleman Scott (Gator WC/Cowboy WC) (Dec 1-0, 1-0)
June 7, 2012 – Beat the Streets “Grapple in the Apple” Special Wrestle-Off
Coleman Scott (Gator WC/Cowboy WC) over Shawn Bunch (Ohio RTC) (Dec 1-0, 0-1, 7-0)
Shawn Bunch (Ohio RTC) over Coleman Scott (Gator WC/Cowboy WC) (Dec 1-1, 1-0, 1-0)
Coleman Scott (Gator WC/Cowboy WC) over Shawn Bunch (Ohio RTC) (Dec 1-0, 5-0)
More Than a Dream
Coleman Scott was not satisfied with just qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. As Team USA Freestyle head coach Zeke Jones stated, “He [Coleman] could be our most prepared guy right now.”
Maybe the long haul to the Olympic Team would pay off in the end for Coleman Scott. In terms of his confidence it could not have been more apparent that these were the best days of his international freestyle career.
So, in August 2012, Scott and six other American Freestyle competitors headed across the Atlantic to London, England for the Olympic Games. On August 11, 2012, in his first match of the Olympics, Coleman faced Korea’s Lee Seung-Chul during the round of 16. Scott came out strong against the Korean winning the match in two straight periods (3-0, 3-0). In the second period Seung-Chul had the clinch position advantage after the ball draw but while attempting to bring Scott to the mat, the American was able to hip over and earn a three-point move to end the period and match.
The victory sent Coleman into the Championship Quarterfinals to meet Georgia’s Zarkua Malkhaz. In the first period Scott scored on a slick takedown to go ahead by one point. Malkhaz and Scott exchange scrappy tie-ups but no other points were scored as Scott won the first period (1-0). In the second period the two picked up where they left off but this time Coleman connected on a straight double-leg takedown exposing Malkhaz’s back for a three-point move. Down late in the period Malkhaz went into desperation mode and attempted to throw Scott with a hip toss. Coleman denied the Georgian and planted him on his back to pick up the fall in (1:29) effectively ending the match. Scott and his coach John Smith were animated by the result as Coleman advanced to the Championship Semifinals just one win away from the Gold Medal match.
Entering his third match of the Olympic Games Coleman Scott, the last wrestler to earn a spot on the United States roster, had advanced to the semifinals and stood one victory away from a chance to wrestle for an Olympic Gold medal. In the semifinals he would face Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijani. The young eighteen-year-old European Champion from Azerbaijani stormed into the semifinals to face Scott. In the first period Asgarov used a slide by to earn a one-point takedown and take the lead. In the final seconds of the first period Scott nearly scored on a low single leg but Asgarov fought it off as time ran out winning the period (1-0).
In the second period Scott needed to win in order to force a third period and a chance to advance to the Gold Medal match. Forty-five seconds into the second period Asgarov countered Scott’s takedown attempt by pushing him out of bounds and earning a point. Now in desperation mode Scott needed to score. With time running out on the period the two were tangled up in a flurry that ended with Asgarov exposing Scott’s back and earning three points as the final whistle blew. Toghrul Asgarov had defeated Coleman Scott (1-0, 4-0) and advanced to the Gold Medal match.
Scott dropped directly into one of two Bronze Medal matches where he would face Japan’s Kenichi Yumoto. Scott was no stranger to Kenichi as the two faced off in February 2010 at the Dave Schultz Memorial International in Colorado Springs. There, Kenichi defeated Scott (3-0, 6-2) to finish in fifth place. In the Olympic Games championship quarterfinals Yumoto fell to Asgarov but advanced through the repechage round (French for “rescue”). One win and Coleman Scott would be awarded the Olympic Bronze Medal.
In the first period both wrestlers were cautious and neither were able to build an offense and score. In the ball draw Kenichi Yumoto’s red ball was selected and the Japanese grappler was able to execute a one-point take down from the clinch position advantage. Now down a period, Coleman Scott faced defeat in the second period. Ten seconds into the period Yumoto gathered a single-leg on Scott but the American fought it off and, catching his opponent off-balance, ended up securing a low single leg. Scott sat Yumoto on his rear and earned an exposure to go up (3-0) with just over a minute left in the period. Scott held off Yumoto’s takedown attempts and tied the match at one period apiece.
In the decisive third period Coleman Scott stood one period away from defying the odds and earning an Olympic Medal. Yumoto began the period weighing heavy on Scott’s head while attempting a takedown. At the 1:20 mark Yumoto was able to slide by Scott and come around the American before flattening him out and earning a one-point takedown. Now with less than 40 seconds left in the match Coleman Scott needed to score, and fast, to earn an Olympic Bronze medal. After returning both wrestlers to their feet, Scott attempted a double-leg right after the whistle. Yumoto sprawled, the two returned to their feet, and that was when Coleman Scott hit a low left single leg. Coleman’s left hand secured Yumoto’s foot before switching off to a double and effectively knocking him off balance. With control of both legs, Scott again sat Yumoto back and scored an exposure to go up (3-1) in the period as time ran out.
Realizing what he had just done, Scott raised his hand in victory and slammed it into the mat in celebration. Coleman did a back roll and took in the moment of a lifetime. After embracing coach John Smith, Coleman Scott had his hand raised in what will go down as likely the greatest match of his life.
The Greene County kid did it. Coleman was just a young boy when he first tasted success on the mats. Now at age 26, Scott had journeyed from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania to International triumph on the World’s largest athletic stage. Some would call what Scott achieved at the Olympic Games destiny. Many more would call it perseverance.
Coleman Scott has competed for many different teams; Waynesburg Central, Team Pennsylvania, Oklahoma State University, and Team USA.
Coleman was a special wrestler to watch in both Hershey’s old Arena and GIANT Center. Winning three PIAA Class AAA State Championships is an amazing feat in itself. Defeating a returning State Champion handedly as a senior was all the more impressive. But he didn’t stop there. Scott became a four-time NCAA Division I All-American earning a National Championship his senior season. Again, he didn’t stop there. Scott trained for four years on the International level proving his worth against the top competition worldwide. In his second career Olympic Team Trials Coleman won the Olympic Team Trials Championship. But he didn’t stop there. Scott went on to defeat two of the Nation’s top freestyle wrestlers at 60 kg., one of whom he had never before defeated in International competition, to earn a spot representing the United Stated of America. Still, he didn’t stop there. Coleman represented his town, county, State and Nation at the 2012 Olympic Games. And he didn’t disappoint. As long and difficult the road to London was, Scott could rest easy, returning home with more than he came; an Olympic Bronze Medal and a lifetime dream fulfilled. The Greene County native who wears his achievement on his neck and hard work on his ears, has a family of his own t raise. I don’t think Coleman Scott will stop there.
The Never Ending Journey
Today Coleman calls Stillwater, Oklahoma home where his wife Jessica and daughter Leighton join him. After his Olympic triumph Coleman continues to compete on the International level. In 2013 Scott finished second at the U.S. Senior Open falling to Reece Humphrey in the finals. Scott was also selected to compete in the historic “Rumble on the Rails” event in New York City at Grand Central Station terminal against team Russia. In June 2013 Scott will compete in the World Team Trials.