World Champion Wrestler Joins Emmanuel Coaching Staff

World Champion Wrestler Joins Emmanuel Coaching Staff

FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. - Athletic Director Nate Moorman announces the hiring of Co-Head Women's Wrestling Coach, Kristie Davis. Coach Davis brings with her a plethora of knowledge and skill and will be a huge asset to the Women's Wrestling Program. 

Coach Davis has a very impressive resume, coaching Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and the Oklahoma Women's National Teams. Kristie also served a year as a volunteer coach at Oklahoma City University, and two years as the volunteer coach at Emmanuel.

Along with her coaching experience, Kristie also bring some wrestling experience of her own - Nine World Medals, the most of any women's wrestler in U.S. history.

Coach Nate Moorman had the following to say, "We are extremely fortunate to have Coach Kristie take the position as the Co-Head Coach here at Emmanuel. Her knowledge and skill can take her anywhere she wants, and she chooses to coach here alongside her husband Link. I'm excited to see our already successful women's wrestling program improve even more under Kristie's leadership."

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To learn more about Kristie Davis, you can read her story below:

Kristie Davis (née Stenglein, later Marano) (born January 24, 1979) is an Olympic wrestler from Albany, New York.

She has won nine medals at the Women's World Championships in wrestling, two of which were gold. In 2004, Davis (who was competing as Kristie Marano at the time) received the James M. Cooke Memorial Award as the New York Athletic Club's (NYAC) Athlete of the Year. She is the third woman in NYAC history to receive this award.

In 2002, she was awarded Women's Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling ([1]).

Kristie married Link Davis, the head coach of the Emmanuel College wrestling team, and went by Kristie Davis in 2016. She is an alumna of Colonie Central High School and Hudson Valley Community College and Pikes Peak Community College. She has a daughter named Kayla from her first marriage.

Davis came out of retirement in 2016 in an attempt to make the U.S. Olympic team in the 75kg class, the only accomplishment she never achieved.

Most World medals by a U.S. women's wrestler with nine

Like some of the top stars in American women's wrestling history, Kristie Stenglein had a background in judo. She also came from a wrestling family from Albany, N.Y., and Kristie became involved in wrestling, competing on the boys wrestling team at Colonie High School.

Also, while a teenager, Stenglein entered the major women's wrestling competitions in the United States. In her first year competing on the Senior level in 1996, Stenglein not only made the U.S. Women's Senior World Team, but she came back with a Senior World silver medal.

From that point on, winning a World medal became a habit for her. After getting married and competing as Kristie Marano, she continued to win a medal every time she made a World Team. In her first nine World Championship appearances, Kristie won nine World straight medals. Two of them were World gold medals (2000 and 2003). There were five World silver medals (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2007). Also on her list are two World bronze medals (2002 and 2006).

Her nine medals tied her with Bruce Baumgartner for the most World medals won by an American wrestler, regardless of gender. Although very skilled technically, it was her amazing toughness and competitive nature that made Kristie one of the all-time greats in the sport. When it came down to winning a tough match with a medal at stake, Kristie was one of the best.

Many wrestling fans remember her second World title vividly, because they saw it in person. As a native New Yorker, Kristie was excited that she made the 2003 U.S. World Team at 67 kg/147.5 lbs., when the Freestyle World Championships were hosted in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Kristie was dominant the entire tournament, winning her first four bouts by pin or technical fall. She pinned Jodeen Macgregor of New Zealand in 2:18, beat Martina Zyklova of the Czech Republic in a 10-0 technical fall, then pinned Japan's Nori Saito in 2:13. In the semis, she pinned Canadian rival Shannon Samler in 2:15. With family and friends in the stands, she won the gold medal, handling Ewelina Pruszko of Poland, 7-1.

She was the only American to win a gold at the 2003 World Championships, and it was Kristie Marano who was on the top of the podium as American wrestling fans were able to hear the U.S. national anthem on their home soil. The U.S. women's team won seven medals in seven weight class, and finished in a tie for first place with Japan, losing the tie-breaker. The U.S. men's team was led by silver medalists Cael Sanderson and Kerry McCoy, also placing second.
She was also able to share this emotional victory with her young daughter Kayla.
"For myself, (winning this year) is different because I am only an hour and 45 minutes from my home. Team-wise, we have done tremendous. This team is great. We have worked really hard and we deserve every medal we get. My daughter enjoys it. She loves it. She's my number one fan," said Marano after her win.
Kristie later went on to complete college at Oklahoma City University, where she wrestled on the women's varsity team, won two WCWA national titles and was married to assistant coach Link Davis. She made a 10th World Team competing as Kristie Davis in 2010, but did not win a medal that time. Kristie did not reach her goal of competing in the Olympic Games, falling just short at the Olympic Trials in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Yet, no other American athlete has as many World medals in her trophy case as she does, nor has shown her level of consistent excellence throughout a long and amazing career.

1) Kristie Davis (Marano), 10

Davis holds the American records for most world teams, most medals, and most finals appearances in women's freestyle after a sparkling career that began when she was just 17. She had a pair of silver medals at the Senior level before she won a Junior World Championship in 1998. Davis would go on to earn another Senior silver that year and push her streak to four in a row the next year, losing to Japan's Kyoko Hamaguchi in every final from 1997-99. After being so close at 75 kg, Davis dropped to 68 kg in 2000 and finally won a world championship. Instead of settling in for a long reign at the new weight, Davis was knocked off the team in 2001 by Toccara Montgomery who would proceed to win a world silver of her own that year. That wouldn't keep Davis down long as she returned to win bronze in 2002. The Albany, New York native made the most of an opportunity of a lifetime in 2003, wrestling in her home state and winning her second world title in front of family and friends.

With two more world medals and three more teams (06, 07, 10) after that, Davis resume is amazing. However, she never made an Olympic team. In 2004, there were just four weights for women's freestyle and Davis' attempt to make 63 kg did not go well. After getting within a pound or two in her attempt before her body shut down, she moved up to the next weight, 72 kg, and fell to Montgomery once again. In 2008, at 72 kg, Katie Downing knocked off Davis in the challenge tournament before falling to Ali Bernard. Davis would even come out of retirement to try one last time to make the Olympic team in 2016 but fell short. Regardless, Davis stands alone as the most decorated American women's freestyle wrestler of all-time. She is a legend and well deserving of sitting atop this list.