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.
OWNER / HEAD COACH
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.
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
University of Iowa, BA
Mercy College, MS / Education
MEET THE TEAM
Head Coach Horace Greely
D1 Team Captain Hofsta University
4 Year Letterman
Masters Degree in PE & Spec. Ed.
HEAD YOUTH COACH
NJCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION
2013 New York State Champion
2X All State Wrestler
Top 10 All-time Best Section 1
Assistant Coach Horace Greeley
2x All Section Wrestler