Olympic Sports Strength & Conditioning Roundtable - Wrestling
Explosive Hips - A Key Ingredient in Elite Wrestlers
Gary Calcagno is an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Oklahoma State University where he has been for the past 18 years. Gary assists Rob Glass, Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning, with Football, and Coach Calcagno is responsible for the strength and conditioning of Cowboy Wrestling. Since taking over the strength program for John Smith, Head Wrestling Coach at OSU, the wrestling team has won 4 NCAA team National Championships, 2 NCAA Runner-up finishes, 21 NCAA individual National Championships, 14 Big 12 team Conference Championships, 79 Big 12 individual Conference Championships, 3 NWCA National Duals Championships, 2 Dan Hodge Trophy winners, 6 Big 12 Conference Outstanding Wrestler Awards, 2 Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Year Awards, 1 National Duals Outstanding Wrestler Award, 1 Wade Schalles Award winner, and has had 84 All-American selections. In addition, 3 Freestyle wrestling team members for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, 2 Freestyle wrestling team members for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and 1 Freestyle wrestling team member for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, were former Oklahoma State wrestlers. Out of those Olympic wrestlers, Jamill Kelly won silver in 2004 and Coleman Scott won bronze in 2012. In 2008, Gary was awarded the Bob Dellinger Distinguished Service Award from Oklahoma State Cowboy Wrestling.
Before coming to OSU, Gary spent 6 seasons at Washington State University as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. At WSU, Gary assisted with Football and was in charge of training Men’s Basketball, Volleyball and Baseball.
Gary graduated from the University of Tulsa with his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, while serving as the Student Assistant and Graduate Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach.
During the spring and summer of 2000, Gary served as a Strength and Conditioning Intern with the Dallas Cowboys for Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Juraszek.
Calcagno’s coaching career has allowed him to be associated with 19 bowl teams including, OSU’s Fiesta Bowl Championship team and WSU’s 1998 Rose Bowl team. The OSU Women’s Golf Team won 3 Big 12 Conference Championships and enjoyed an NCAA runner-up finish in 2004. The TU Men’s Basketball and WSU Volleyball Teams made numerous NCAA tournament appearances, including TU basketball’s run to the Sweet Sixteen in 1994 and WSU volleyball’s run to the Elite Eight in 1996. Coach Calcagno has also had the opportunity to work with 11 National Award winners, 10 NFL First Round Draft Picks and 1 Major League Baseball First Round Draft Pick.
In February of 2017, Gary was named a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach Emeritus from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, which is the highest distinction a strength coach can achieve. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct from the medical, dietetic, athletic training, and sport coaching fields, RSCCs consult with and refer athletes to these professionals when appropriate. Gary also is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In May of 2008, Calcagno was named a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. He also is a Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified through the CSCCa.
Other certifications Calcagno holds include Level I, Level II, and Sports Performance Coach through USA Weightlifting, MMA Conditioning Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and Certified Speed Specialist through the National Association of Speed and Explosion. Calcagno has also been a presenter on strength and conditioning at the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association National Conference (twice), National Wrestling Coaches Association National Convention and the Oklahoma Coaches Association Convention. In addition to his public speaking, Calcagno released a coaching DVD through the company Championship Productions, titled “Training for Power & Explosiveness”. Calcagno also was a presenter for the event, PLAE Wrestling xLAB and has authored several articles on wrestling strength and conditioning for Stack magazine.