Three soldiers named USA coaches for Summer Olympics

Three soldiers named USA coaches for Summer Olympics
Sgt. Terrence Jennings coaching Sgt. Charles Buset at 2019 Taekwondo Open in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jennings was named one of two taekwondo coaches for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo credit U.S. Army

Staff Sgt. Spenser Mango, Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Bowsher, and Sgt. Terrence Jennings, all Soldier-coaches with the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), have been named as Team USA coaches for the Summer Olympic Games.

Mango, Bowsher, and Jennings will be coaching wrestling, modern pentathlon, and taekwondo, respectively, at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 23-Aug. 8.

“This is a tremendous honor; it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mango, who will coach on the Team USA wrestling delegation.

Mango, a two-time Olympian, will be coaching WCAP wrestlers who qualified for the games, Sgt. Ildar Hafizov and Spc. Alejandro Sancho. “It is an awesome opportunity to help them on their journey to becoming Olympic medalists,” said Mango.

Bowsher, a 2012 Olympian and 2016 assistant Olympic coach for modern pentathlon, will be the head coach for the sport this year.

“It is a big honor to be a part of this, especially with our team being all Soldier-athletes,” said Bowsher, an 11-time World Team member. “It is great to represent Team USA and the U.S. Army at this stage.”

Bowsher will be coaching both Team USA athletes, who are also WCAP Soldiers, Sgt. Samantha Schultz and Sgt. Amro Elgeziry.

Jennings, an Olympic medalist, is one of two coaches for taekwondo. Jennings will be coaching Paige McPherson, an athlete he has competed and trained with since 2012.

“I have seen her at every level of the game, and I am very fortunate it all worked out and I am in a position where I can help Paige win,” said Jennings.

Jennings joined WCAP as Soldier-athlete in 2016 and became a coach in 2018.

“It will be great to be there, show the world the Army from the inside and that we have programs like WCAP,” said Jennings. “We work with Soldiers who chase their dreams. We want to win for our team and the U.S. Army.”

WCAP currently has 11 Soldier-athletes qualified for the games: Staff Sgt. Naomi Graham, boxing; Staff Sgt. Sandra Uptagrafft, 1st Lt. Amber English and Staff Sgt. Nickolaus Mowrer, shooting; Sgt. John Wayne Joss and Staff Sgt. Kevin Nguyen, para shooting; Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, para swimming; Sgt. Ildar Hafizov and Spc. Alejandro Sancho, wrestling, and Sgt. Amro Elgeziry and Sgt. Samantha Schultz, modern pentathlon.