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ABOUT

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Empire Wrestling Academy welcomes everyone from seasoned champs to novice wrestlers.

At Empire, we teach Iowa-Style Wrestling which has produced champion wrestlers throughout the East Coast—including 42 state title. As a matter of fact, over 100 of our athletes have enjoyed successful collegiate carrers after training with us, and all but two Action-1 New York State champions trained at Empire.

Our training facilities are located in  New York (3 locations) and Connecticut, and rival even the best D-1 gyms in the country. Each boast spacious training areas with towering ceilings and state-of-the-art full-size wresting matts, climbing ropes, saunas and weight rooms.

 

Success is a journey

and YOURS starts here

At Empire Wrestling Academy, our goal is to use wrestling as a vehicle to promote a healthy lifestyle. Wrestling provides young athletes with mental tools to approach life in a positive "can do" manner. Obstacles are looked at as challenges by wrestlers not problems. Excuses are not part of our culture.

We do not measure success with medals or trophies. We believe that an individual is successful when he or she continually commits to close the gap between their performance and their potential and when he or she understands that such a commitment represents a way of life, not merely a means to an end. 

 

Empire Wrestling Academy provides the tools that student-athletes need in order to undertake such commitments.

 
 

john degl

OWNER / HEAD COACH

BIOGRAPHY

In 1992 John Degl was informed by the legendary Coach, Dan Gable, that the Iowa Wrestling team had no space on the roster for him. Refusing to accept the news, John packed up his things and drove from New York City to the famed University of Iowa intent on pursing his academic and athletic career. Once there, John was met by Coach Gable in person who only confirmed the bad news. Undeterred, John showed up for every practice and watched from the sidelines as the team practiced. Three weeks later, an impressed Gable took note of John's tenacity, and he allowed John to practice with the team.  

 

John went on to qualify for and wrestle at the NCAA Championships for the Hawkeyes, and participat in four National Championship teams, and the rest was history.

Today, John brings the same methods and spirit of Iowa wrestling back home where he runs his own club—Empire Wrestling Academy.  From humble beginnings in his parent's barn to the four locations he now has throughout New York and Connecticut, Empire is known as one of the premier wrestling clubs in the country.  

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • 19 years of Coaching experience at the Youth, High School, and Collegiate levels

  • 1991 New York State High School Wrestling Champion

  • 1994, 2001 Empire State Games Champion

  • University Nationals All-American – 1995, 1996

  • 2x Place Winner at Midlands Invitational, Northwestern University – 1994, 1995

  • 1996 National qualifier for the University of Iowa

  • Member of 4 National Championship teams at UI and 5 Big 10 team titles

  • Head Assistant Coach at Hofstra University – 1997. 1999-2000

  • Former Head Coach at Mahopac HS – 2002 Section One Team Champions

  • Currently, Owner of Empire Wrestling Academy and Coach at Iona Prep

EDUCATION

University of Iowa, BA

Mercy College, MS / Education

 

MEET THE TEAM

COACHING STAFF

ANTHONY TORTORA

HEAD COACH

  • Head Coach Horace Greely

  • D1 Team Captain Hofsta University

  • 4 Year Letterman

  • Masters Degree in PE & Spec. Ed.

ALEX DELACRUZ

HEAD YOUTH COACH

  • NJCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION

  • 2013 New York State Champion

  • 2X All State Wrestler

  • Top 10 All-time Best Section 1

KHALAD DASSAN

ASSISTANT COACH

  • Assistant Coach Horace Greeley

  • 2x All Section Wrestler

JOIN THE CLUB

Got questions? Great —just fill out the form below or  

jump to our JOIN PAGE and start today!

contact us

Hours of operation 

EMPIRE WRESTLING ACADEMY

245 NY-100, Somers NY USA

info@empirewrestlingacademy.com

(914) 648-0777

Mon-Thu: 5PM to 9PM

Fri-Sat: Closed

Sun:  10AM-12Noon

JOIN OUR MAILING list

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MEMBERS

© 2020 Empire Wrestling Academy

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