Aug. 15, 1997

Sammie Henson Named MSU Assistant Wrestling Coach

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State Head Wrestling Coach Tom Minkel has announced that Sammie Henson will join the Spartan program as an assistant coach.

Henson spent the 1996-97 season coaching the Oklahoma Freestyle Club and was an assistant coach at the University of Missouri during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. During his stint at Missouri and the Oklahoma Freestyle Club, he coached five All-Americans, one NCAA Division I champion and one Big Eight titlist.

A native of St. Charles, Mo., Henson was a two-time NCAA champion at Clemson (1993 & 1994) in the 118-pound division, posting a 71-0 won-lost slate in that span. In 1994, he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference's Wrestler of the Year and Clemson University's Athlete of the Year. He originally started his career at Missouri where he captured All-America status. He returned to Missouri and earned his bachelor's degree in parks and recreation tourism.

"Sammie is one of the elite young wrestlers in the nation," said Minkel. "I am looking forward to the contributions that he will bring to the Michigan State wrestling program."

Still an active competitor, Henson, 26, will travel as an alternate on the USA Team that will compete in the World Championships later on this month in Russia. Earlier this year, he claimed second place in the United States Open Freestyle Championships.

"Being able to coach at Michigan State and work in the Big Ten is something special because both the school and conference are highly respected," said Henson. "Coach Minkel is truly a great coach who will be able to help me reach my goals of becoming a head coach one day and winning an Olympic medal."