About Northern Delaware Wrestling Academy
Mike Ciaffi, Founder & Head Coach
Mike has a lengthy and deep history in wrestling. He competed in scholastic, collegiate and open tournaments for over 14 years. He has demonstrated experienced in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman styles of wrestling. He competed collegiately at Delaware Valley College, perennially one of the top wrestling programs in the nation.
He is a certified USA Wrestling Bronze Level Coach and is a member of AAU Wrestling Positive Coaching Alliance.
Mike also gives back to the community by dedicating much of his volunteer time to coaching wrestling, baseball, and flag football. He has a strong commitment to the physical and mental development of our youth and their preparation for competition.
He is an avid pool player, fisherman, scuba diver and all sports connected to the City of Champions – Pittsburgh (Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins).
He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Gina and his two sons, Nick and Anthony.
Joe Bond, Head Coach
Joe is a long time Delaware resident and former 2X Delaware state champ. He enjoys coaching scholastic, freestyle, and Greco wrestling. In his spare time he can be found volunteering in his community. He resides in Middletown with his wife and three sons.
Rich Killingsworth, Founder
Rich has been coaching for over 25 years and has wrestled at the scholastic, collegiate and club levels. He is a certified USA Wrestling Bronze Level Coach and a certified USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach. In addition to coaching at Northern Delaware Wrestling Academy, he also serves as the Head Coach of Wrestling for Appoquinimink High School in Middletown, DE, and is a youth wrestling coach at the U.S Military Academy – West Point summer wrestling camps. Some of his accomplishments in wrestling include: Gold Medalist – 1992 Missouri State Games – Open Division 157 lbs., 2nd Place – 2000 Georgia Tech Invitational – 165 lbs., and Bronze Medalist – 2001 Georgia State Games – Open Division 165 lbs.
Rich is currently the Director of the Center for Public Private Partnerships in Health at the University of Delaware where he is also an Associate Professor in the College of Health Sciences. Rich has also served as the Chief of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for the Delaware Division of Public Health. He was also appointed to serve as the inaugural Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the congressionally-chartered National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, the philanthropic arm of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
Rich is a veteran of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps, he received both the French Armed Forces Commando Badge and the German Armed Forces Military Efficiency Badge with bronze distinction. In 1996 he received the Department of Army Superior Service Award (the Army’s third highest civilian award).
In 2015 he received the W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University School of Public Health. This is the oldest and most prestigious alumni recognition award bestowed to a graduate who has demonstrated outstanding personal and professional achievement in his or her career. In 2012, Rich received the Cadence Cycling Foundation’s highest award – the Maguire Award for leadership and service in advancing the mission of the Foundation in promoting bicycling among youth. In 2002 he received the League of American Bicyclists highest award – the Paul Dudley White Award – for his work to promote bicycling and physical activity.
Rich is an avid outdoor recreation enthusiast. He has cycled portions of the longest rail trails in the U.S. – the Great Alleghany Passage, Katy Trail and Cowboy Trail. He has also hiked portions of the longest three hiking trails in the U.S. – Appalachian, Continental Divide, and the Pacific Crest, and has hiked portions of Denali, Rocky Mountain and Shenandoah National Parks, and recently completed a hike with his son above the Arctic Circle.
He is a single father and has one son (Eric) who is in middle school. Rich attends Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Middletown, DE, and volunteers much his time to coaching various sports – cross country, flag football, baseball and wrestling.
The Northern Delaware Wrestling Academy was formed to grow and develop the sport of wrestling. We believe the Academy is much more than just a place to learn about wrestling. We believe the Academy is an environment where youth learn to appreciate and embrace our motto – Duty, Honor, Team and what it means to apply it in their daily lives to become Champions in Life.
The Academy is place that enables character development to take precedent over wins and losses, it is a place that emphasizes the desire to achieve and excel. We do this by using the Be – Know – Do leadership model that encourages development in fitness, academics, personal relationships, community involvement and spiritual formation. For these reasons this is why the Academy is not just any typical wrestling club.
One core tenant of the Academy is that we use wrestling as a method for developing character, self-confidence, and the will to succeed in life. We believe that the skills and principles that young wrestlers gain in wrestling are valuable for their growth and development in academics, sports and tilling the ground to grow up prepared to become Champions in Life.
We invite you to explore the option of having your child participate in the Northern Delaware Wrestling Academy. The Academy operates at Appoquinimink High School (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30-8:00) and is a wrestling program focusing on youth ages 7-17. The normal wrestling season is usually the first Monday in November through the end of February every year.
You may already have your child involved in other sports, but we encourage you to try wrestling. We promise it will complement what you’re already doing and will allow your child to get oriented to a very disciplined sport that will produce very positive results in every aspect of their lives. If your child has not been involved in sports, is operating on the margins, has issues with focusing, is needing to be a part of something positive, needs to develop their confidence and overall self-esteem then I would encourage you to explore what the Academy can provide you to support their overall development.
We encourage you to stop by and explore the possibilities of what this sport and Academy can provide to you. Your child has so much to gain.
Yours in wrestling,
Rich Killingsworth, Head Coach
Northern Delaware Wrestling Academy
Developing Wrestlers into Champions in Life – Duty, Honor, Team
Wrestling is one of the oldest and greatest sports for developing character, self-confidence, and a will to succeed in life. The skills and principles that young wrestlers gain are valuable for their growth and development in academics, sports and eventually becoming Champions in Life. If you’re looking for a program that focuses on excelling on-and-off the mat then the Academy is for you.
Northern Delaware Wrestling Academy’s focus is on the fundamentals of the most effective techniques, mental preparation and physical conditioning. We will use the Be – Know – Do leadership concept for development of wrestlers into Champions in Life.
Be – Know – Do Leadership Model
- BE – This is all about your character, it is foundational to your ability to be a great leader and wrestler. It gives you the courage to do what is right regardless of the circumstances or consequences. This requires being aware of and adopting fundamental values found in the motto of “Duty, Honor, Team”.
- KNOW – This is about the knowledge and skill you need to be competent as a leader and wrestler in four areas: Interpersonal Relationships; Conceptual Understanding; Technical Skills; and Tactical Awareness.
- DO – Just like great leaders, wrestlers must perform and do what’s right and important. They bring together everything they are, everything they believe, and everything they know how to do to provide purpose, direction, and motivation. This involves the following three leader actions: Influencing; Operating and Improving.
Duty – Honor– Team Character Model
- DUTY is the essence of what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it. It is the foundation of supporting a moral and ethical obligation. Duty compels us to do the right thing at the right time, regardless of the consequence.
- HONOR is the virtue of choosing the harder right over the easier wrong. Honor is not so much a thing in itself as much as it is recognition of other things; especially recognition of a life lived well and in accordance with core virtues – patience, kindness, humility. Honor requires that we habitually live to the highest standards, at all times, in all situations.
- TEAM is the characteristic of being a part of something bigger than you – all teams exist to fulfil a higher purpose together. The characteristic of being a team requires something of its members. It holds them accountable to interact and influence each other to be mutually accountable for achieving success. The basic building block of this relationship is selfless service and commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he can add to the effort and be successful on and off the mat.
As an Academy We Are Committed to the Following:
- Supporting coaching principles that demonstrate leadership, sportsmanship, accountability, honesty, trust and effective relationships.
- Providing a safe and nurturing environment for our wrestlers to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually.
- Striving to instill in our wrestlers and parents a love of the sport and an appreciation of the time, skills, and commitment it requires.
- Believing success is measured by much more than wins. We measure our wrestlers on discipline, dedication, and desire to improve and excel.
- Ensuring fair opportunity for our wrestlers to train, develop and compete at various levels throughout the season.
- Active USA Wrestling membership (or will get one)
- Parental authorization/permission
- Wrestling shoes, running shoes, jump rope, headgear
- Mentally focused attitude and strong work ethic