Olympian Marcie Van Dusen, named women's wrestling coach at Menlo College in April, hit the ground running. She's continuing her own Women's Wrestling Technique Tour, sponsored by Body Bar, which maintains a hectic road schedule, and she's also getting ready for her new coaching position.
Menlo College senior Jacquelyn Davis and sophomore Keaton Long joined their new coach for a Women's Freestyle training camp in Colorado Springs this week, which runs through July 1.
"It will be a little bit of a rebuilding year," Van Dusen told themat.com Tuesday. "I got into the recruiting a little late. Jackie and Keaton will definitely be the backbone of the team. Meeting the girls, that was a lot of fun. I had to adjust to the recruiting aspect though; I didn't realize how time consuming it is."
Van Dusen, who turns 28 on Friday, replaces the retired Lee Allen to become the second coach in the school's history. She was also the first female coach ever hired to lead a college wrestling program. Two others have since been hired.
"Lee has been a great help for me," said Van Dusen, a two-time national champion. "I've talked with him almost every day. He's given me guidance on where to go, and what to do. The program has been established there for nine years. It's a tradition that is easy to walk into. Lee will still be around for help and support."
Van Dusen spent eight years as a member of the U.S. National Team, culminating with a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and a ninth-place finish at the Beijing Games. She was the World University champion in 2004 and a World Cup gold medalist in 2008.
"We are extremely fortunate to hire someone of Marcie's caliber to continue the great tradition left behind by Lee Allen," Menlo College Athletic Director Keith Spataro said.
Van Dusen currently coaches the California USA Wrestling women's team, which she led to a first-place finish last year at the National Junior Duals. She also serves as an instructor at Rim of the World Wrestling Club in her native Lake Arrowhead, Calif., as well as a number of clinics across the country.
"I get to know the girls and it's definitely good for recruiting for Menlo," Van Dusen said of hosting clinics for Body Bar.
At Rim of the World High School, she was a member of the men's varsity wrestling team. She was the 1998 C.I.F. California Southern Section women's champion and placed fourth in the 2000 CIF Southern Section men's division.