Naval Academy Wrestling Camp Staff
Head Coach United States Naval Academy
Bruce Burnett embarks on his ninth season as the head coach of the Navy wrestling program after leading the Midshipmen to back-to-back 18th-place finishes at the NCAA?Championship in 2007 and `08. After orchestrating 10-win dual marks in six of the last seven seasons (only 10 duals wrestled in 2008), Burnett has bulked up the schedule for 2009 which will include at a minimum 13 dual dates, including home bouts against American, Lehigh, East Stroudsburg and Rutgers.
Last season Burnett's Midshipmen had their share of ups and downs. While Navy battled injuries, Burnett's goal year after year is to build up to the conference championship and put his wrestlers atop the All-America stand at the National Championship. Navy weathered some stormy matches, but enjoyed a solid month of February leading into the two most important weeks of the year. Navy opened the month with a second-place finish at the All-Academy Championship where eight wrestlers placed including All-American Matt Stolpinski (174) who became the first Navy wrestler to capture an individual title all four years. After a two-week layoff, the Mids turned in a pair of dual wins, including pushing their winning streak to eight in a row against arch rival Army in the annual Star Match. The Mids, once again had the odds stacked against them as two wrestlers failed to make weight. As usual, though, Burnett had Navy well prepared as it was able to contain the Black Knights and captured a 22-12 win.
Burnett guided Navy to a fourth-place finish at the EIWA Championship, as seven wrestlers placed and three claimed individual titles. Junior Joe Baker became a first-time winner at 133 pounds, while seniors Matt Stolpinski and Ed Prendergast were able to win back-to-back titles at 174 pounds and heavyweight, respectively. Rookie Bryce Saddoris (149) and senior Spencer Manley (157) both placed third in their respective weight classes to earn a berth into the NCAA?Championship, along with Baker, Stolpinski and Prendergast. For the first time since 1967, Navy produced three All-Americans with Prendergast placing third, Stolpinski seventh and Baker eighth. Prendergast's third-place finish is the highest by a Navy wrestler since 1990 when Scott Schleicher placed second at 158 pounds. Meanwhile, Stolpinski grabbed his second All-America title to become the second wrestler under Burnett's watch to earn All-America recognition twice.
Navy turned in an 11-4 record in 2006-07, including a flawless 7-0 mark in EIWA competition. Along the way, the Mids captured wins over EIWA foes Lehigh, American and Bucknell, while also tournament titles at the All-Academy Championship and the Navy Classic. Additionally, Navy won eight of the 10 matches against Army to push the Mids' winning streak to seven in a row against the Black Knights. The Army win helped propel Navy into the EIWA Championship where the Mids finished second. It was the highest Navy had finished at the conference tournament since placing second in 1993-94. Meanwhile, juniors Matt Stolpinski (174) and Ed Prendergast (HWT) also stood atop the podium as the champion in their respective weight classes.
The year was capped off by sending six wrestlers to the NCAA?Championship where Stolpinski became Navy's first All-American since Frank Edwards in 2002-03 with his fourth-place finish. Navy's 18th-place finish at the national tournament was its highest since Reg Wicks led the Mids to a 13th-place finish in 1989-90.
In 2005-06, Navy won 13 of its 15 duals, the most wins by a Navy team during his tenure. Five Midshipmen qualified for the NCAA Championship, where Navy placed 34th.
The 2004-05 edition of the Navy wrestling team was among the best in school history. Navy posted a 12-3 record, suffering its three losses at the hands of top 10-ranked foes Oklahoma, Nebraska and Lehigh. Navy finished third at the EIWA Championship and sent six wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament, the most since 1991. Navy also claimed the top spot in the Navy Classic (first time since 1997) and placed third at the highly-competitive Southern Scuffle.
In 2003-04, Burnett led the Mids to a 12-4 overall mark. Navy placed sixth in the EIWA Tournament, its third top-six finish in four years under Burnett.
Frank Edwards placed seventh at the 2003 NCAA?Championship to garner All-America recognition as a junior. Edwards, who was Navy's lone qualifier that season, captured three of his five-NCAA victories by three points or less. Meanwhile, the Midshipmen turned in an 11-6 dual mark for the second straight season.
In Burnett's first season at the Academy, he helped guide Mark Conley to a fifth-place finish in the 141-pound weight class at the 2001 NCAA Championship and garner All-America honors. Conley, who won the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championship at 141 pounds two-straight seasons, battled to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championship in 2002. He was ranked No. 1 in the country for most of the season and was the first Navy wrestler to achieve All-America status since Greg Gingeleskie placed seventh at the 1998 NCAA Championship. Conley's fifth-place finish at the 2001 NCAA Championship was the highest for a Navy wrestler since 1994 when Dan Hicks placed fifth in the heavyweight division.
Burnett came to Annapolis fresh off a coaching stint in Sydney, Australia, where he served as the United States Olympic Freestyle Coach at the 2000 Olympic Games. His athletes captured one gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Burnett has helped prepare the United States' elite athletes for world and Olympic competition as the national freestyle coach since 1992. His resume is nothing short of impressive. His teams won five medals at the 1996 Olympic Games (three gold, one silver and one bronze) and eight medals at the 1999 Pan American Games (six gold, one silver and one bronze). His teams captured World Team Titles in 1993 and 1995, the World Cup of Wrestling in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 and the Pan American Championship in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996.
During that time, Burnett coached Kurt Angle, Tom Brands, Kendal Cross, Kevin Jackson, Brandon Slay and John Smith to Olympic gold medals, while cornering Terry Brands, Tom Brands, Angle, Jackson and Smith to World Championships.
He was named the Freestyle Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1996 and was named the United States Olympic Committee Elite Coach of the Year in 1996. He has been named a finalist for the 2004 Olympic Freestyle Staff.
At the conclusion of Navy's 2001-02 season, Burnett served as the head coach of the United States World Cup Team at the 2002 Freestyle World Cup of Wrestling Championship in Spokane, Wash.
Before taking over as head coach of the freestyle team, Burnett was the Associate Director of Programs and National Development Coach for USA Wrestling for three years. Burnett developed a national technique and training syllabus and was responsible for the United States age group world teams. During his time as the developmental coach, the age group teams won a total of 42 medals, an increase of 82 percent over the previous four years. Burnett also served on the 1992 Olympic Freestyle and Greco-Roman coaching staffs.
Burnett was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State from 1987-90 and in his four years with the Cowboys, OSU won two NCAA team titles, three Big Eight Conference titles and two National Dual Meet team titles.
Burnett got his coaching career started at Meridian High School in Meridian, Idaho, where he was the head coach from 1974-87. In his 14 years, Burnett had a stout record of 154-13-2 (.917). His teams won nine conference, six district and four state championships. Burnett built such a solid program at Meridian that his program grew from 23 wrestlers his first year to 119 his last season. He was named Idaho Coach of the Year six times.
Burnett is a 1973 graduate of Idaho State, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education.
Burnett and his wife, Karen, live in Annapolis, Md.
Assistant Coach United States Naval Academy
Naval Academy graduate Brian Antonelli is in his third season as an assistant coach at his alma mater. A former two-year wrestling letterwinner for the Midshipmen and former Captain in the Marine Corps, Antonelli joined the program in August of 2006 and has brought with him a wealth of experience and leadership both on and off the mat to the Navy wrestling program.
"In preparing to hire a new assistant coach, I?knew what our needs were," said Burnett, who is in his ninth season guiding the Midshipman program. "Brian Antonelli more than fits the needs of the program. He is a Naval Academy graduate with a strong military background and he comes from a wrestling family that is known throughout the East Coast. Brian is 100 percent invested in this sports, as is his entire family.
"I worked with Brian a couple of years ago when he was the team's officer representative. I told him then that if I ever had the opportunity to hire him on as a coach, I would do everything possible to get him here. I couldn't be happier to have Brian accept this position and be back on board with Navy wrestling. He will be a huge asset to the program."
Antonelli has played an instrumental role in Navy's recruiting since joining the staff, bringing in 2008 NCAA?qualifier Bryce Saddoris, who produced a 35-12 record in his rookie campaign. Saddoris' 35 wins are the most by a freshman since Tyrone Neal's 37 victories in 1998-99 and ranks 12th on the Mids' single-season wins list. This year's rookie class has several outstanding prospects, including Pat McCaffrey (125)?and Luke Rebertus (174) who are the projected starters at the onset of the season. The nation's 25th-ranked recruiting class also features four-time state champions Bailey Whitaker (Tenn.) and Tyler Sackett (Neb.), as well as three-time West Virginia state champion and 2006 Schultz Award winner Dustin Haislip.
In August of 2005, Antonelli left the Marine Corps and earned his first coaching position when The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey hired him as its head wrestling coach. There he helped mold two New Jersey Prep State Champions and one of his pupils garnered All-America recognition at the national tournament. In addition to his wrestling duties, he served as quarterback and special teams coach of the football team.
A New Jersey native, Antonelli graduated from the McDonogh School in 1992 where was was the Maryland State Wrestling Champion at 160 pounds and a two-time all-state football player. He went on to spend a year at Blair Academy in 1993, winning the 160-pound prep state title and was the quarterback of the undefeated state championship football team.
As a member of the Midshipmen wrestling team, he earned letters in 1996 and '97. As a senior, he was the recipient of the H.McCoy Memorial Award, given to that midshipmen that displays the "highest degree of athletic leadership and competitive spirit." Antonelli graduated from the Naval Academy in 1997 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Marine Corps.
Prior to receiving his first assignment in the Marine Corps as Production Control Officer for MALS 26 in 1998, he spent five months wrestling for the Marine Corps team in Quantico. Between August of 1999 and '02, he was the MMCO for HMM-266 and for the 24th MEU. In the summer of 2001, he participated in Operation Rapid Cheetah where he patrolled the borders between Kosovo and Bosnia.
In August of 2002, Antonelli returned to the Naval Academy where he served as an Admissions Officer for three years and was a USMC Green Belt instructor. In addition, he returned to his wrestling roots and served as the officer representative for the Midshipmen wrestling program.
Antonelli's older brother, Jay, is a 1992 graduate of the Naval Academy and was a two-year letterwinner for the Midshipmen wrestling team. He has continued his involvement in the wrestling community serving on the Greco-Roman coaching staff at the 2000, `04 and `08 Olympic Games, as well as many other U.S. international tour teams. In 2006, it was announced that he was selected to assist USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser at the 2007 World Championships held in late September. In addition, he served as the head coach of the 2002 World Cup team and four CISM World Military Championship teams. In 1998, he was named the USA?Wrestling Greco-Roman Coach of the Year. A Major in the Marine Corps, he is currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Va.
Antonelli and his wife, Susie, are the parents of two daughters, Katie (7) and Samantha (4) and two sons, Christopher (3) and Michael (1).
1976 Olympic Silver Medal winner
1975 Pan-American Champion
1973 World Champion
Two-time All-American, 3x EIWA Conference Champion
2000 Olympic Silver Medalist
1998 World Champion
Two-Time NCAA Champion
Two-Time NCAA Champion
106 NCAA Pins
Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame World Champion
Two-Time NCAA All-American
U.S. National Team Freestyle Member
Asst. Coach Columbia University
2007 NCAA Champion
Three-Time NCAA All-American
Asst. Coach American University