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Arlington Wrestling Club Staff


Arlington Wrestling Club has a very experienced coaching staff.  The coaching staff has a combined 75+ years of wrestling and coaching experience from the states of New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Virginia and Tennessee.  

Chris Nettleton
Head Coach
USAW Bronze level certified coach
[email protected]
Chris wrestled for over 20 years in the Southern New Jersey area. He started at age 5 and was still wrestling in the AAU open division (MAWA) when he moved to Arlington TN in 2008. Chris has studied under many great coaches including Coach Paul Mauriello, one of the winning-est high school wrestling coaches in NJ, and Freestyle under South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame member Joe Melchiore, a 3-time NJ state champion (125-3) and 4 time all American at Iowa. Coach Chris joined the Army after high school where he eventually wrestled in Iraq at an intramural wrestling club. Coach Chris started the Cub program (grades K-2nd) under the AWC umbrella in 2009 and is a founding board member.
Fun Fact: 
Coach Chris wrestled for Overbrook Regional High School, the rival school of Olympic Gold Medalist Jordan Burroughs. (Just a few years earlier.)
Favorite quote: 
Great wrestlers don't have to tell everyone they're great, they show you on the mat!

Arlington Wrestling Club maintains 15 or more assistant coaches for our winter season and 5+ in our spring and summer seasons. The average coach to wrestler ratio is 5 wrestlers for every coach. 

AWC thanks it's previous coaches for their tremendous contribution to the club:

AWC thanks our Alumni and Previous Coaches and Board members for the amazing impact they have left on the club and the Arlington Wrestling family:

Ivan Pagan: Founder and 1st Head Coach
"The Godfather of Arlington Youth Wrestling"

Brian Owens
Club President 2011 - 2013
2012-2013 TN AAU Region 5 Volunteer of the year; Founding Board Member; Wrestling Extraordinaire

Founding Board Members:
Kelly Kinear; Ivan Pagan; Brian Owens; Peyton Dodson; Chris Nettleton

Past Coaches: In recognition of their support for the club.

Don Kerns
USAW Bronze level certified coach
Bio: Don wrestled for 10 years in Ripley, West Virginia where he went to States three times, won his Conference and Regional Tournaments, and placed 5th his senior year. Don also wrestled four years on intramural teams at the US Air Force Academy. He began coaching with Coach Pagan and the inaugural AWC team in 2008. His son Luke wrestles and daughter Rachel and wife cheer the team on!
Fun Fact: Ken Chertow occasionally practiced with our team as he was preparing for the Olympics and I pinned him...once!

Ivan Pagan
USAW Bronze level certified coach
Bio: Coach Pagan has been involved in wrestling over 37 years.  He wrestled four years varsity in high school before attending the Naval Academy where he wrestled for two years; opting to concentrate solely on academics during his second year.  Since graduating from college Coach Pagan has been involved in coaching at the youth and high school levels at programs such as Navy Junior Wrestling, Roosevelt Roads High School (Puerto Rico), Cordova Youth Wrestling, Arlington High School, and Arlington Wrestling Club.  In the 2007/2008 season he worked as a volunteer assistant at Arlington High School and helped guide that team to the Region Ten Championship.  In the following fall of 2008 he established Arlington Wrestling Club as a way to promote wrestling at the youth level in Arlington and the surrounding areas.  He remains active as a coach on the staff at AWC.

Matt Caskey
USAW Bronze level certified coach
Bio: Coach Matt learned wrestling in Sikeston, Missouri from Marc Stevener, a member of the Missouri Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.  Matt was a 3-year varsity letter winner, 2-time All-District, 2-time All-Conference wrestler, and Conference Champ in 1989.  He was team captain of the Sikeston wrestling team his senior year.  He continued his wrestling career at the collegiate level for two years at the United States Naval Academy and was a two-time intramural champion at the University of Missouri.  Matt has been a coach with Arlington Wrestling Club since its inception in 2008 and was head coach from 2012-2015. 
Message from Coach Matt: Wrestling is unlike any other sport in that it always matches you against a competitor your same size and age.  There is no better test of a man (or boy) than pulling up the singlet straps, fastening the headgear, toeing the line, shaking hands, and squaring off to see who is better on that given day.   The lessons learned in the wrestling room teach young men the value of hard work, discipline, and mental toughness.  If you want to read a great summary of why wrestling is the greatest sport in the world, click "Why I Wrestle:  By Jake Herbet"  Jake is an Olympic wrestler and great ambassador of the sport.

Mike Thomas
Bio: Mike wrestled for John Harris High School 1970/71 in Harrisburg PA.  Mike also has over 20 years coaching experience in softball and soccer.  For the last 5 years Mike has been training submission grappling at several schools in southern New Jersey.
Fun Fact: Mike has been submitted by several pro MMA fighters.
Favorite Quote: Failure isn't about falling down, it's about not getting back up.

Danny Lee
 Bio: Danny began wrestling with his brothers at a very young age. He learned many valuable lessons as a junior at CBHS, after which he made a commitment to his coach, his team, and himself to improve and never be pinned again. Through increased focus and tenacity, he increased his work ethic and attended multiple camps that summer because summer wrestlers breed winter champions. His senior year, Danny achieved a personal best record of 29-3. He was the District and Regional champion.  Danny was selected for the “All Metro,” “All District,” and “All region” teams. Danny also earned a scholarship to attend Meramec Junior College, in St. Louis Missouri, which he turned down to attend Memphis State University.
Fun Fact: 
Danny was invited by the coach at Forest Park Junior College in St. Louis to wrestle in a tournament that served as a recruiting effort for the school. After Danny won his match, he was offered a walk on spot for the team.

Ted Butterfield
Team Coach
 Ted began wrestling at the age of seven when he joined the "Little Mountain Grapplers" wrestling program with 3 of his brothers.  Only he and one other brother continued wrestling through the high school level, but it was always a central part of family life...six brothers provided a lot of competition for one another!  His youth coach, Norman Sanderson, founded and coached the "Little Mountain Grapplers" program and got many young wrestlers started on their path to becoming state champions.  Ted grew up wrestling with and around Coach Sanderson's grandson, Cael Sanderson, who was just one year ahead in school, and who went on to win 4 state championships, 4 NCAA championships and an Olympic gold medal.  Ted has been blessed to associate with many phenomenal wrestlers over the years and has learned much from them along the way.

Fun Fact:  After high school, Ted took 2 years to serve a mission for his church in South America.  Between that and college, it took him almost 20 years to come back to wrestling!  He loves working with these young wrestlers and can't believe he stayed away from the sport for so long.
Favorite Quote:
  "Good, better, best; never let it rest, till your good is better and your better best."

Charles Turner
Mike Anderson
Ashley & Shamus McGrath
Taylor Hunt; 
David Seaman
Tramayne Jenkins
Bruce Fowler

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