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Air Force’s Sam Barber, USA Wrestling’s Craig Sesker On The Mat guests

On The Mat: Your go-to source for wrestling talk every Wednesday
On The Mat: Your go-to source for wrestling talk every Wednesday
Logo courtesy of, used with permission

Sam Barber, head wrestling coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Craig Sesker of USA Wrestling, will be the guests this week for the “On The Mat” show for Wednesday, August 20, the weekly broadcast announced via email Monday.

Barber, who had been assistant coach at Air Force for the past six years, was promoted to head up the Falcons wrestling program in mid-May, replacing Joel Sharratt, who left the Colorado-based academy after eight years to take the helm of the Navy program in April.

Barber joined the Falcon coaching staff in 2008-09 as a volunteer assistant. The following season, Barber became a full-time assistant and recruiting coordinator. During his time on the Air Force coaching staff, Barber has coached 11 national qualifiers.

Barber’s wrestling roots run deep in the heartland. Prior to his coaching stint in Colorado, Barber has served as a head coach at his alma mater, Upper Iowa University, then at Augsburg College of Minnesota. In addition, Barber brings valuable international-level coaching experience, having headed up the 2012 FILA Cadet Pan American freestyle team and the 2013 FILA Junior Pan American freestyle team, which both captured gold medals.

Sesker is the manager of communication at USA Wrestling. In addition, he authored the book titled “Bobby Douglas: Life and Legacy of an American Wrestling Legend” about the pioneering wrestler and coach. Sesker, a native of Iowa, will provide an update on the upcoming World Championships in Uzbekistan on September 8-14.

On the Mat" is a presentation of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. The show can be heard live on the Internet at or locally in Northeast Iowa each Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Central on AM 1650, The Fan.

For those outside Iowa, a podcast of the show is available on

Listeners are invited to e-mail with any questions or comments about the show.

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