cleveland.com: Former Michigan wrestler Andy Hrovat makes smooth transition from olympic competitor to coach
The 2012 London Olympics won't be the first for former University of Michigan wrestler Andy Hrovat, but it will no doubt be much different than his 2008 trip to Beijing.
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Outside of the injuries that caused Hrovat to switch from competitor to coach, Hrovat told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the transition has been a smooth one.
Hrovat listened to his body, and let his mind take over when deciding to make the switch. That moment of honesty last year enabled him to make what he says is a seamless transition from 2008 Olympic wrestler to 2012 Olympic coach.
A balky right knee was one thing, but a partially torn rotator cuff that would have required surgery for him to keep wrestling at age 32 ended the conversation for Hrovat. Always a very analytical athlete, coaching was a logical next step.
"I love it," Hrovat said. "It was an easy transition for me. I wrestled as long as my body would let me. I had a few injuries, and it was time to call it quits. I was able to accomplish a lot in my career and travel the world. I'm proud of myself. I don't have doubts about what I did training and competition-wise, and that makes it easier for me."
Hrovat coaches at Cliff Keen Wrestling Club in Ann Arbor, which shares the Michigan team's facilities at the Bahna Wrestling Center. Hrovat's main responsibility with Team USA will be to prepare former teammate and competitor Jake Herbert, who trains with the Cliff Keen club and will compete in the 84 kilogram weight class for Team USA.
"He's finally just maturing," said Hrovat of Herbert. "When he took second in 2009, he was small for the weight class. Now he's starting to physically mature. You can feel the difference."