LIMA, Peru – At this week’s Pan American Games, Team USA will be led by a trio of successful volunteer coaches handpicked by USA Wrestling including new North Dakota State University head assistant wrestling coach Obenson Blanc. Herb House (Greco-Roman), Troy Steiner (women’s freestyle) and Blanc will guide American athletes alongside the U.S. National Team Coaches.
Wrestling at the Pan Am Games begins at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 7, and available on ESPN3. The tournament runs through Saturday, Aug. 10, at Miguel Grau Coliseum.
Prior to making the move to North Dakota State in July 2019, Blanc spent four years at North Carolina State as an assistant coach under the direction of Pat Popolizio.
While at NC State, Blanc mentored a pair of NCAA champions, 10 All-Americans, and 10 ACC champions, as well as 18 NWCA Scholar All-Americans. Under his watch, NC State placed fourth at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships and also captured ACC tournament titles in 2016 and 2019.
Blanc was also heavily involved in coaching the Wolfpack Wrestling Club, which put multiple athletes on World Teams across several age-groups. He played crucial roles in helping Nick Gwiazdowski win Senior World bronze medals in 2017 and 2018 and Sean Fausz win a U23 World silver medal in 2018.
As an athlete, Blanc had a successful freestyle career that included making five consecutive U.S. National Teams from 2009 to 2013. He was a three-time Pan-American finalist, two-time U.S. Open and U.S. World Team Trials Champion in 2010 and 2013, and an alternate for the 2012 London Olympic Games. At the 2010 World Championships in Moscow, Russia, Blanc finished ninth in the world at 55 kg.
Collegiately, Blanc wrestled at both Lock Haven and Oklahoma State. In 2007 at Lock Haven, he earned All-America honors after finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships. And in 2009, Blanc fell in the round of 12 at the NCAA tournament competing for Oklahoma State.