Class of 2017
Evanston | Lock Haven
A 1989 graduate, Shannyn Gillespie wrestled at Evanston Township High School where he compiled a 96-26 record for IWCOA Hall of Famer, Elias George, as well as Richard Townsell and John Wilson. Shannyn started wrestling as a freshman and by his senior year became a Junior National Freestyle runner-up, Greco-Roman state champion, Greco-Roman Prairie State Games champion, 2 time Freestyle state champion, Freestyle Prairie State Games champion as well as an Illinois High School Association state champion in 1989.
After high school, Shannyn wrestled at Lock Haven University where he amassed 130 career victories and an NCAA Division I 3rd place finish. After college, Shannyn spent two years as a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was here that Shannyn began to truly learn the different styles of wrestling as well as methods of high performance training for coaching. His international experiences have been a huge asset for Shannyn to be able to apply highly effective coaching methods and strategies for various levels of both male and female athletes. In post college competition, Shannyn was a University Nationals runner-up as well as a 4th place finisher at the Espoir Nationals.
Shannyn’s coaching career has included positions with Evanston Township High School, Northern Illinois University, California University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, the Overtime School of Wrestling and Northern Michigan University and U.S. Olympic Education Center. He has an extensive background in High Performance Training and has coached teams at 34 National Championships, 12 international tournaments and camps, 4 World Championships and 1 Pan American Championship. He has also coached individuals to 29 National Championship Gold medals, 14 World or Pan American medals, 5 USA Wrestling Outstanding Wrestler Awards and 1 Olympic Bronze Medal. Shannyn is a current assistant at Lincoln Junior College where he helped the wrestling team move from a last place finish in the NJCAA Midwest District Tournament in 2016 to 1st place in 2017 with 8 champions.
Shannyn has previously been inducted into the Evanston Township High School Hall of Fame, the Eastern Wrestling League Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. He is an avid supporter of wrestling and specifically, female wrestling. Since 2004, he has created two websites (www.therealcircle.com and www.coachshannyn.com) that advocate for high performance training in the sport of wrestling with a focus on the advancement of female wrestling. Because of these efforts, Shannyn has been asked to write a proposal for the creation of a women’s wrestling team at his current employer, Lincoln College. Shannyn is also currently working on two books that highlight his experiences as coach at the U.S. Olympic Education Center and the many high performance training symposiums, books and lectures provided by the U.S. Olympic Training Center.