US Naval Academy graduate. Former West Point Head Assistant. Stevens Institute of Technology ( Hoboken , NJ ) Head Coach Mike Clayton helps wrestlers set goals, focus, gain confidence, organize and prioritize their training to help them reach their goals on the mat and in life!
From the Coach
My goal with Session 6 is to work with young people and coaches around the country to help them realize their full potential in wrestling, and in life. I want to share in the excitement of their success and help them learn by turning setbacks into opportunities. I want them to feel the excitement that surged through my veins as I coached in the NCAA Finals of 2005. That is when Session 6 came to life.
What is Session 6?
Session 6 (the sixth and final session of the NCAA Wrestling Championships) is a feeling like no other: it's that moment when you're competing for the championship. That's really what it's all about: the thrill of 17,000 fans cheering for you in the stands and millions of people watching you on TV! It's the excitement of knowing that within a few minutes you could be standing atop the most prestigious award stand of your career.
Born in Brooklyn , Iowa , Mike Clayton started wrestling competitively at an early age. Clayton posted his 500th career win by the time he was in 8th grade. Posting a 116-15 high school record at BGM of Brooklyn, he won 79 of his 116 wins by fall (68%), placed 3rd as a senior and won the Iowa Freestyle State Tournament by pinning or tech-falling all 8 opponents.
Clayton moved to Newport , RI in 1990 for a year at the Naval Academy Prep School , then entered Annapolis in 1991 where he earned four varsity letters, was a three-time EIWA place-winner and qualified for the 1995 NCAA Championships at 126 lbs.
Graduating in '95, Clayton coached at Navy for six months and then trained for the 1996 Olympic Trials with the All-Navy team in Pensacola , FL. While there, he earned a silver medal at the Armed Forces Freestyle Championships and placed 4th at the Chattanooga Olympic Regional at 136.5 lbs.
Mike finished the Navy's business school in 1997 and served in the Navy as a Supply Corps Officer until 2001.
While still in the Navy, he found he couldn't shake the wrestling bug. He started coaching freestyle with the Peninsula Wrestling Association (now the Virginia Duals Wrestling Club) in Poquoson , VA and worked closely with PWA through 2004. He spent one year in 1998 as an assistant coach at The Apprentice School Trade College in Newport News , VA , then took over as head coach from 1999-2004-coaching 30 All-Americans, including 8 national champions.
Clayton served as the Head Assistant Coach at West Point in NY, where he helped them earn top 25 NCAA team rankings in 2004-05 and 2005-06. Their 2006 recruiting class was ranked 22nd in the nation by Wrestling USA Magazine which served as the schools first nationally ranked class in history. Clayton helped train 3X All-American and NCAA Finalist Phillip Simpson and a total of 8 NCAA Division I National Qualifiers at Army.
Currently, Mike is the Head Coach at Stevens Institute of Technology (NCAA Div III) in Hoboken, NJ. He has turned a dormant program into a national power in just three years. His teams have either finished or held rankings in the NCAA's top 30 poll in each of his three seasons. He consistently produces NCAA Qualifiers, All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and top ten team academic rankings. In three years the program has grown from 17 wrestlers to over 35 and facilities, alumni relations and camps have grown into significant resources for the college. For more info, visit www.StevensDucks.com.
COACH CLAYTON'S SUCCESS STORIES
- In three years has posted a 16-5 dual record in the Centennial Conference (the Ducks had previously never won a dual in the Centennial Conference)
- Trained Brandon MacWhinnie (Stevens 2008). MacWhinnie became Stevens first wrestling All-American in history taking 3rd at NCAA's and also earning Academic All-American Honors
- Stevens has earned national academic recognition posting national finishes of 19th, 10th and 6th in NCAA Div III.
- 2 All-Americans, 4 Academic All-Americans and 5 NCAA Qualifiers
- 2009 Centennial Conference Coach of the Year - 2008 NCAA Rookie Coach of the Year
Michael Clayon coaching Army's NCAA Runner-up
- Phillip Simpson 2005 NCAA Runner-up and three-time All-American
- NCAA Top 25 Ranked Team: 2004-05 and 2005-06
- 2006 Recruiting Class named #22 in the nation by Wrestling USA
- NCAA Qualifiers: Phillip Simpson, Patrick Simpson, Jon Anderson, Charles Martin, William Simpson, Matthew Kyler, Fernando Martinez and Nathan Thobaben
30 National Collegiate Wrestling Association All-Americans including 8 individual National Champions:
- Jon Peters (1x champ)
- Derrick Walker (2x champ)
- Sinque Holmes (2x champ)
- Sean Gillispie (1x champ)
- Maurice Lacy (1x champ)
- Reuben Waites (1x champ)
Coach Clayton was twice named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year and was nominated four times for National Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA).