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National Wrestling Coach of the Year Now Earning Doctorate

09/08/2011 -

“It’s always been my goal to get my doctorate,” says Petty, a former All-American wrestler at Fresno City College and a five-time U.S. National Open Champion in the Master's Division. “I always tell my athletes to aim for the top. It was time for me to step up and take my own advice.”

Petty also has served as a head wrestling coach at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., and Georgia Tech University in Atlanta. However, he would like to work in sports administration in the future.

That’s why he came to the Academy where he was selected from more than 100 applicants to become one of five new doctoral teaching assistants. Petty, a former U.S. Army captain and helicopter pilot, received a full ride Dr. Marino J. Niccolai Scholarship, plus an annual stipend. He earned his bachelor’s in Business Administration from Cal State University, Fresno, in 1991 and master’s in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University in 2006.

At the Academy, Petty will earn valuable experience teaching, writing and developing new courses, doing research, learning how to become a better coach and training for a sports management career among many other challenging and rewarding projects. He is currently working on helping improve institutional effectiveness at the Academy as it prepares for renewing its regional accreditation.

“Mr. Petty is part of a very talented group of TAs,” says Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. “We will ensure our residential doctoral program is meaningful and productive for them. We expect great things from them while they are in the program and in their future careers.”

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit