Staff
State Chairman
Bill Swink

Bill Swink recently stepped down as the head coach of Colonial Forge High School. The 2016-17 school year will be the first year Bill has not been both coaching and teaching since 1984. He now serves as the Athletic Director at Spotsylvania High School.

Swink was a junior high coach in his hometown of Connellsville, Pa., from 1984–91. He was an assistant coach at Stafford, North Stafford, Hylton and Louisa through most of the 1990s, and was the Wolverines’ head coach in the ’94–95 season, and the head coach at Osbourn Park in the ’95–96 season.

In 1999, Swink became Colonial Forge’s first head coach. The Eagles finished 23rd in the state that season. They haven’t been worse than sixth since, with three straight team titles from 2007–2009, a fourth title in 2012, and two more the last two seasons in 6A.

In 2015, USA Wrestling's Board of Directors recognized Bill as the 2015 State Chairperson of the Year. In 2016 he was inducted into the Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2017, Bill was awarded the President's award from USA Wrestling.

Executive Director
Jack Harcourt

Jack Harcourt was Hired as the Executive Director August 2017. During his career he was recognized as a Lifetime Member of the National Hall of Fame in 2011. He started wrestling as an 8th grader in 1964 at Norview HS, Norfolk Va. He competed through High School and as a freshman at Old Dominion University. After a stint in the Marine Corp Reserved, Jack returned to the mat as a High School official working through college. In 1973, Jack began his teaching and coaching career mixing in officiating from time to time. I 1982, He reached out to the USWF to find out how he could bring this organization to Virginia. In 1983, he founded the Virginia Wrestling Federation began and late was changed to Virginia USA Wrestling and now the Virginia Wrestling Association. Jack was often seen officiating Greco and Freestyle in local and National events, along with organizing teams to compete in national events. In 1987 he was named the USA Wrestling National State Chairman of the year.

Jack earned the first USA Wrestling Gold Coaching Certificate in 1991. During the late 80’s through mid 90’s, he had the opportunity to coach at several USOC Sports Festivals and several USAW Cadet World Teams. From 1992-94 he served as the Virginia State Rules Interpreter for the National federation.

After retirement in 2012, Coach Harcourt continues to be involved with many wrestling endeavors including the VAWA Executive Director, Founder and CEO of the Virginia Beach Nationals Wrestling, 1st Vice President of Virginia Challenge Wrestling, Tournament Director for the VAWC National Holiday Duals and the Director for many other wrestling events. He continues to provide guidance and leadership to many state and local programs to help promote wrestling.

National Team Coach
Sonny Close

Sonny Close has been an integral part of the Christiansburg HIgh School, Virginia Elite Wrestling Club and the Blue Demon Wrestling Club since 2011. Originally from New York, Sonny wrestled under Virginia legend Dick Glover at the Woodberry Forest School in Orange, VA. He was captain of his high­school team, earning the most falls award and making First Team All Central Virginia. Coach Close attended the University of Virginia, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Before coming to Christiansburg in 2011, he served as an assistant coach with Woodberry Forest’s wrestling team. A true student of the sport, Coach Close is a very technical coach who has produced Fargo All­Americans, Fargo champions, age level world team members and Division one All­Americans. No stranger to USA Wrestling, Coach Close has served as the Junior Director and member of the VAWA National team coaching staff since the summer of 2010.

VAWA Coaches Coordinator
Roy Hill

Head Coach at Hayfield Secondary School- Alexandria, VA

Coach Hill has been a loyal son of Hayfield Secondary School since 1980. As a student­-athlete (Class of ’84), he excelled in three sports, as an All­District performer in football and baseball and a district champion/state qualifier in wrestling. He then became a three-­sport VMI Keydet, receiving his B.S. degree in 1988. Returning to Hayfield, he was a full ­time biology teacher and head wrestling coach by 1992. He proceeded to build one of the dominant wrestling programs in the Northern Region: his Hawks won 11 district/conference championships, 6 regional championships, and 4 top­ five finishes at the state level. In 2013, he won his 300th dual ­meet victory. For his sustained excellence, resulting in many of his wrestlers winning scholarships at dozens of colleges, Roy has been recognized throughout the years with honors too numerous to list completely, including the Washington Post All­Metropolitan Coach of the Year (2004) and the VHSL Order of Merit Award (2006). Finally, Roy Hill is a terrific teacher. He was the 1997 Teacher of the Year at Hayfield, and most impressively, a finalist for Fairfax County Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2002.

National Team Coach
Mark Strickland

Mark Strickland was a 2x State Champion and a High School All-American for national powerhouse Great Bridge High School in Virginia. From there he went to Garden City Junior College, where he was an undefeated National Champion his first year. He then went on to wrestle for John Smith at Oklahoma State University. After OSU, Mark returned to finish his career at ODU where he won the CAA Conference and the Most Outstanding Wrestler award (1998). After college graduation, with Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Old Dominion, Mark went back to his Alma Mater, serving as an assistant for three years at Great Bridge. He then moved to New Orleans, where he was an assistant for one year before taking over the reigns as head coach at Jesuit High School. Leading Jesuit to win 3 state championships and a top 25 team national team ranking by WIN Magazine.

Coach Strickland’s former pupils have gone onto enjoy successful careers at all levels of collegiate wrestling, most notably Joey Dance and Brandon Jeske. Few coaches teach their athletes to respect and embrace the process as much as Coach Strickland. Known for his passion and intensity, Mark Strickland will continue to bring positive energy to the Virginia national teams.

COLLEGE AGED WRESTLERS WILL ALSO ASSIST AT ALL EVENTS.