The Coming of Champions Clinic Series


The Coming of Champions Clinic Series

 May 14.    Lehigh NCAA DIVISION I RUNNER UP  Nate Brown 149-13 hs record 3x Fargo AA
3x state place winner Pa state champ ...College   NCAA aa NCAA Runner Up 2x midlands placer   Midlands finalist Southern scuffle 3rd Eiwa champ
6pm to 8pm.


John Hughes  June 18   Associate Head Coach

John Hughes enters his seventh season on the Mountain Hawks’ coaching staff, and his third as Lehigh’s associate head coach.  A three-time All-American and former NCAA Champion at Penn State, Hughes helped guide the Mountain Hawks to 86 dual wins in five seasons in Bethlehem, plus top ten NCAA finishes in 2011 and 2012, after spending the previous five seasons at his alma mater. 

Hughes works with wrestlers from almost every weight class, but the development of Lehigh’s middleweights under him was evident over the last three seasons. In the 2011-12 season, Shane Welsh won a three-man battle for the starting spot at 149 and went on to win an EIWA title as the No. 6 seed. Welsh, Brian Tanen and Brandon Hatchett all qualified for the NCAA Championships at 149, 157 and 165 respectively. Hatchett also won an EIWA title and earned his second All-American medal after reaching the NCAA finals as the No. 11 seed. Two seasons ago, Hughes worked closely with Joey Napoli, who came back from a deferred year to post an 18-4 record at 157, capturing an EIWA title and earning the No. 3 seed at the NCAA Championships. Last year he helped Mitch Minotti to an outstanding freshman campaign that included a Midlands title, an EIWA runner-up finish, a berth in the NCAA semifinals at 149 and All-America honors. 

Hughes is regarded as one of the toughest wrestlers in Penn State history. He won an NCAA Championship at 142 in 1995 and added All-American honors with a seventh place finish in 1994 and a runner-up finish in 1996. Hughes ranks eighth in Nittany Lion annals with 121 career victories. In addition to his national title, Hughes was the 1995 Big Ten Champion and also won a gold medal at the 1994 Pan-Am Games and a University National Freestyle Championship. 

In five seasons on the coaching staff at Penn State, Hughes made a profound and immediate impact in the training room. Working predominantly with the Nittany Lion middleweights, Hughes helped guide Bubba Jenkins and Dan Vallimont to All-American honors in 2008, while as a team, Penn State crowned four All-Americans and finished third in the team standings, the program’s best finish since 1994. Hughes also played a major role in Penn State’s recruiting efforts which have produced recruiting classes that were among the nation’s best over the last several years, and continued that tradition in each of his first six years at Lehigh as the Mountain Hawks have brought in nationally ranked recruiting classes, including one of the nation’s top three classes entering in the fall of 2012.

A native of Stillwater, Pennsylvania, Hughes won four PIAA state championships wrestling for Benton High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in landscape contracting from Penn State in 2002. Prior to joining the Penn State coaching staff on a full time basis, Hughes served as head coach for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. He also enjoyed a stint as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Wrestling Club and worked as an environmental technician for Groundwater and Environmental Services, Inc.   

Hughes and his wife Melissa have a son, Riley and a daughter, Morgan.

High School: Benton H.S.  College Career: Penn State 1992-1996  College Degree: B.S. Landscape Contracting, Penn State  Coaching Career: Asst. Pittsburgh Wrestling Club (2000-2001), Asst. Nittany Lion Wrestling Club (2001-2003), Asst. Penn State (2003-2008), Asst. Lehigh (2008-present)

Career Highlights: National champion at 142 in 1995… three-time All-American… University National Champion…Pan-Am Games gold medalist.


  Head Coach of the 1996 Junior World Team to Poland and was awarded as a co-recipient, “The Espior/University Person of the Year for 1996.”  He was the Head Coach of the U.S. World Cup Team in1997 and is the founder of the Colorado Open (renamed the Dave Schultz Memorial International) and the Winter Classic International.  Estrella was Head Coach of the Inaugural Nations Cup Challenge (USA VS Korea) in 1998 and one of the Head Coaches of the 1999 Concord International.  In 2000 he was Head Coach for the "Granma Tour" to Cuba and was the Head Coach for the 2000 FILA Olympic Qualifier in Colorado Springs.  In 2001 he coached Team USA to a second place finish in the Pan-Am Championships.  In 2000 and 2002 he was invited to Micronesia (Palau and Pohnpei) as a part of the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Program to teach wrestling to developing nations, as a result Federated States of Micronesia wrestlers have competed in the Games of 2004, 2008 and 2012!  He was Head Coach of Team USA to Iran and Bulgaria for 2002 and was the Assistant Coach of Team USA for the World Military Championships in Estonia in 2002.  In 2004 he was assigned as Head Coach for Team USA to Sofia, Bulgaria and to the Pan-Am Championships in Guatemala where he finished second in the team race.  Estrella was one of five finalist considered to coach the 2004 US Olympic Team in Athens, Greece.