Princeton University Wrestling Camps

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ 08544


The Princeton Wrestling Camp offers a unique design that allows wrestlers to learn high percentage techniques from some of the best coaches in the country. Campers then apply these techniques in “college style” live wrestling situations. The design of the camp sessions will consist of technique sessions in the morning and afternoon, and a live/competition session in the evening. Unlike so many other camps, we use a systematic, cumulative approach to ensure our wrestlers master the high percentage techniques that win big matches. All training sessions are conducted on Princeton University’s iconic Ivy League campus.

Princeton Wrestling’s motto is: “A Higher Standard” because we work to operate at a level which exceeds our competitors. This distinction is especially clear with our camps. Instead of taking as many campers as possible, we limit enrollment in our camps and clinics to ensure each individual gets the attention they need to have an outstanding experience. Additionally, all sessions are led by the experienced and highly decorated Princeton University coaching staff. These coaches will go to great lengths to provide instruction that is technically innovative but also individualized.

“A Higher Standard” Intensive Prospect Camp is special in that we not only give campers an inside look at the Princeton Wrestling approach to technique and training, but more importantly, through our “Higher Standard Sessions”, we examine the principles and philosophies that have led to Princeton’s meteoric rise through the ranks of Division I wrestling. Every wrestler that attends Princeton is given an abridged Princeton Wrestling “Higher Standard” manual similar to the one given to the Princeton University wrestlers, which, lays out, in detail, the tools for success on the wrestling mat and beyond.

All training sessions are conducted on Princeton University’s iconic Ivy League campus. The “Higher Standard” Camp is an immersion into the culture of our program. We will clearly outline our systematic, explicit approach to success.
The “Higher Standard” camps are intensive and designed for very serious wrestlers who have aspirations of competing on the Division I level after high school.

About Our Coaches

Chris Ayres

His first nine years at Princeton were a grueling, uphill journey that Chris Ayres traveled with a combination of work ethic, dedication and relentless positive energy.

He has enjoyed several fruits from that labor over the last three years, and he is looking for even more as he enters his 13th season during the 2018-19 academic year.

In the last three years, Ayres has seen Princeton:
• coached Matthew Kolodzik to a third-place finish at the 2018 NCAAs, a journey that saw him defeat the #2, #3, #4 and #6 seeds along the way
• send two wrestlers (Brett Harner, 2016; Matt Kolodzik, 2017 & 2018) to the NCAA All-American podium
• send a program-record seven to the NCAA Championships (2017)
• place in the Top 5 at EIWAs three times (third in 2017, 2018)
• win four EIWA individual titles (Harner, 2016; Kolodzik, Jordan Laster, 2017; Kolodzik, 2018)
• earn EIWA Co-Head Coach of the Year honors (2017)
• earn Ivy League Coach of the Year honors (2016, 2017)
• place second in the Ivy League three times; prior to 2016, it hadn't wrestled for the Ivy title since 1986

Ayres has had multiple team and individual successes even prior to 2016, including coaching Jonathan Schleifer to Princeton's first Ivy League Rookie of the Year award and bringing the EIWA Championships back to Jadwin Gym (2012, 2016). But the nation has taken notice over the last three years, and should continue to pay attention in the near future.

How far has the program come? In Ayres' first two years, Princeton went 0-35 and rarely had to worry about the postseason beyond Day 1 of the EIWAs.

Of course, this isn't a solo venture. Ayres has brought in one of the most credible staffs in the nation; Sean Gray, a two-time All-America wrestler at Virginia Tech, spent seven seasons as the top assistant at Boston University. Joe Dubuque is a two-time NCAA champion and one of the finest wrestlers ever produced in New Jersey. Nate Jackson, a former All-American at Indiana, just completed his first year as volunteer assistant.

But the constant all along has been Ayres, whose combination of positivity and passion for the sport carried Princeton through several tough years and into potentially one of the most exciting eras in a century of Tiger wrestling.

A former EIWA champion and two-time recipient of Lehigh's "Outstanding Athlete" honor during his undergraduate career at Lehigh, Ayres spent five years as a Lehigh assistant before taking over at Princeton. During his tenure, the Mountain Hawks claimed five straight EIWA team championships and produced 12 All-Americas and two national champions. Ayres worked specifically with five of the All-Americas in all aspects of training.

Ayres came to the Lehigh wrestling program as an undergraduate walk-on, but ended his career among the best in Mountain Hawk history. While at Lehigh, Ayres established a new school record with 120 career victories, and in 1998 he amassed the most wins in a single season for a Lehigh wrestler with 39. He won the 150-pound EIWA championship as a junior and earned All-America honors at 157 pounds as the NCAA sixth-place finisher during his senior season. Over his four-year career, he never missed a dual match. In the summer of 2001, Ayres placed fourth in the U.S. Senior Open Nationals and fourth at the U.S. World Team Trials. He also finished fifth at the 2002 Team Trials.

Prior to wrestling for Lehigh, Ayres wrestled at Newton High School and Blair Academy in New Jersey, where he won 69 bouts. In his senior season Ayres was a District Champion and a regional runner-up at 135 pounds. With a model work ethic, Ayres was the first Lehigh Wrestler in 38 years to become an All-American without earning a medal at the state championship level.

Camp Details

Technique & Live Camp Session I -
Grades 4-12 -
Check-In: Friday, June 21, 2019 at 12:00pm
Check-Out: Monday, June 24, 2019 at 10:30am and 11:30am

Technique & Live Camp Session II -
Grades 4-12
Check-In: Sunday, July 7, 2019 at 12:00pm
Check-Out: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 10:30am and 11:30am

A High Standard Intensive Prospect Camp -
Grades 9-12
Check-In: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 12:00pm
Check-Out: Friday, July 12, 2019 at 3:30pm