Article by Travis Blanshan / Fresno State Assistant Director of Communications
FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno State wrestling head coach Troy Steiner announced the addition of volunteer assistant coach Joe Colon to the Bulldog coaching staff on Thursday.
A 2014 graduate of Northern Iowa, Colon arrives in Fresno State after spending a year at NAIA Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I am exited to have Joe Colon join our staff as a volunteer assistant coach,” said Steiner. “Joe was a fierce competitor in college and brings an exciting style to this team. He is still competing in freestyle at the senior level which will help provide leadership in this aspect as well. I am always looking for guys on this staff that want to be apart of building a program and are hungry for the challenge that lies ahead. I see this is Joe and look forward to working with him in this venture,” added Steiner.
Getting the opportunity to coach his younger brother, Jacob, in his senior season at Grand View, Colon helped Jacob win his second consecutive national championship at 133 pounds. Grand View won its sixth-straight NAIA title and set a new scoring record of 234.5 points as the Vikings became the first NAIA wrestling program to win six-consecutive national titles and only the fourth at any level (NAIA, NJCAA, NCAA) to accomplish the feat. The Vikings had five national championships as they dominated the field as the second place team, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), finished with 74.5 points.
“I am excited to part of a brand new program that is coming back and am looking forward to helping make this program elite,” said Colon.
Familiar with coach Steiner along with assistant coaches Israel Silva and Jason Chamberlain, Colon is excited to join the new coaching staff and work with the Bulldog student-athletes, “”It is going to fun and exciting and it will be a great learning experience for me. I’m going to try to learn as much as I can and help out the team as much as I can. I want to strive to be the best and help all these student-athletes reach their goals,” said Colon.
On the mat, Colon brings outstanding credentials to the Bulldog wrestling room. The Clear Lake, Iowa native was a two-time state champion in high school at Clear Lake High School capturing titles as a sophomore in 2007 and a senior in 2009 while finishing third as a junior in 2008.
After high school, Colon moved on to Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge where he won the 2010 NJCAA national championship at 125 pounds and was named the NJCAA Tournament Outstanding Wrestler as the Tritons won the national championship.
After his time in the junior college ranks, Colon made his way to Cedar Falls where he compiled a 62-6 overall mark in his two seasons competing for the Panthers and head coach Doug Schwab. He went 27-4 as a redshirt sophomore in 2011-12 advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships falling one match shy of becoming an All-American.
After sitting out the 2013 season, Colon came back as a senior in 2013-14 and went 35-2 overall as he finished his career first in Panther program history in career winning percentage (.911) and his senior season winning percentage of .946 ranked third-best for a single-season in UNI history. He finished his career a perfect 24-0 in duals and gave up bonus in only one of his 68 career matches.
Moving on to compete post collegiately with the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club, Colon won the Bill Farrell International championship, finished fourth at the World Team Trials and fifth at the U.S. Open in 2014. The following year, Colon punched his ticket on to Team USA finishing second at the U.S. World Team Trials, third at the Cerro Pelado International meet and fourth at the U.S. Open.
Continuing to strive to reach that elite international level again, Colon plans to continue to train during his time with the Bulldogs and hopes to have a positive influence on the current Fresno State student-athletes and show the proper ways to train at an elite level.
“Not being that far removed from college myself, I hope I can build a relationship with the athletes and can guide them and show them what I did as a student-athlete that made me successful and I can help them believe in the process,” added Colon.
2016-17 – Coach, Grand View University (Iowa)
2014-15 – Athlete, USA Wrestling
2011-14 – Student-Athlete, Northern Iowa
2009-10 – Student-Athlete, Iowa Central Community College
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