U.S. Olympian and World Champion Elena Pirozhkova Named New Jersey City University’s First-Ever Head
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Former World Champion and two-time United States Olympian Elena Pirozhkova has been selected as the first-ever head coach of the New Jersey City University women's wrestling program. Pirozhkova, 32, one of the most decorated American women in the history of the sport, will have the unique opportunity to develop the first-ever collegiate program in the state of New Jersey or the tri-state area, from the ground floor. Pirozhkova, a 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympian, was crowned the 2012 World Champion. A 2010 and 2014 World silver medalist and a 2013 World bronze medalist, she finished fifth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. She wrestled for Team USA for 10 years (2007-17), wrapping up her competitive career in 2016-17 ranked No. 1 in the United States at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. "Having a women's program at NJCU is very exciting and I'm looking forward to being a part of this momentum in women's wrestling in the NCAA," said Pirozhkova. "NJCU is a great place to build a women's program due to its location and resources. It's exciting to start a new program and be part of history in the making." Pirozhkova was a member of Team USA world championship and Olympic teams for nine straight years from 2008-16 and won an eight-time U.S. Open champion (2009-15, 2017). She captured the 2008 and 2010 University World championship, was a four-time Pan American Championships champion and a three-time Golden Grand Prix Finals champion. Pirozhkova was the 2010 USA Wrestling Women's Wrestler of the Year. At NJCU, Pirozhkova will serve as a head coach for the first time. During her competitive career, she has coached for Team New York at the Fargo Junior Nationals and has trained younger girls at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She has also served as an instructor at numerous clinics throughout her competitive years and worked with Beat the Streets as a coach. "Having this program so close to home is an amazing opportunity for me as a coach and for the women on the East Coast," Pirozhkova noted. "I'm excited to build a great, high-level program here in Jersey City." Pirozhkova has been a board member for Beat the Streets New York for nearly two years. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Bridgeport and is currently completing her PhD in Bridgeport's Doctor of Chiropractic program. A native of Greenfield, Massachusetts, she attended Greenfield High School where she was a 2005 ASICS High School All-American Second Team member and the 2005 United States Girls' Wrestling Association (USGWA) national champion. She placed third in the 2003 and 2004 USGWA Nationals. She started wrestling at the age of 13, competing primarily against boys in high school. Born in Russia, she moved to the United States at the age of three.