Ellis Coleman's family moved to Oak Park when he was in elementary school, and he began the sport at age 9 with area youth wrestling clubs. He was a key member (along with his brother, Lillashawn) of the Oak Park & River Forest High School wrestling team. In 2009 the team won state Class 3A team championship. In addition, he won two 3rd place and one 5th place individual honors during his high school career. Following his 2009 graduation be began training in Greco-Roman wrestling at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. In 2011 he won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships. At age 20, Ellis Coleman was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team at the 2012 London games. His signature "Flying Squirrel" takedown move became an internet sensation on YouTube.