Vice President

Rich Bender is the Executive Director of USA Wrestling, the National Governing Body for Amateur Wrestling in the United States.  Rich earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.  He has lived in Colorado Springs since 1988 and has worked for USA Wrestling for the past 35 years.  He is currently a member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Board of Directors.  He also serves on the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Board of Governors, the National Wrestling Coaches Association Board of Directors, and is a member of the National Board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Wrestling. He is past Chairman of the National Governing Body Council for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Rich has been actively involved in The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, serving as the Board President in 2016, and now serves as the Pikes Peak Rodeo Foundation Board Vice President.  He participates in the Colorado Springs Regional Leadership Forum, is a member of the Olympic City USA Task Force and is involved in various other community initiatives.

In 2016, the International Wrestling Federation awarded Rich with its highest honor, the Gold Star, for his work to advance wrestling worldwide.  He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as Distinguished Member in June of 2023.

Rich and his wife, Michelle, have three daughters and one son-in-law.