Mike Mendoza hired as Northeastern Junior College head wrestling coach

Photo credit Boise State University


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Article by Journal-Advocate Staff

Before coming to Northeastern, Mendoza was the head coach at Boise State, and prior to that, spent six seasons at CSU-Bakersfield.

While at CSU-Bakersfield, he took over the Roadrunners’ program in 2010-11 after spending eight years (2002-10) as the head assistant coach for the Roadrunners. Mendoza guided a program that went 3-7 in his debut season to the top 25 of the USA Today/National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll in 2015-16, the school’s first ranking in 15 years.

During his six years as head coach, Mendoza produced 17 qualifiers to the NCAA Championships and four individual Pac-12 champions.

Under his watch, CSU Bakersfield also excelled in the classroom, finishing three seasons ranked in the NWCA Division I All-Academic Top 30. Two of his wrestlers, Dalton Kelley in 2014 and Ian Nickell in 2016, were named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Kelley was also named second-team Academic All-America in 2014, the first Roadrunner student-athlete to earn the accolade since the program joined Division I.

Additionally, 23 of his student-athletes garnered Pac-12 All-Academic accolades and nine were named NWCA All-Academic, and his teams recorded perfect single-year scores of 1,000 in each of the last two releases of the Academic Progress Rate.

During his time as head assistant coach, CSU Bakersfield produced five All-Americans, six Pac-12 champions and 38 qualifiers to the NCAA Championships.

A four-year starter while wrestling for CSU Bakersfield during his collegiate career, Mendoza, who was team captain and a member of the Pac-12 All-Academic Team in 1999, qualified to the NCAA Championships three times (1996, 1998-99), one of only 14 wrestlers in school history to accomplish the feat. He was a member of a pair of conference-championship teams (1996 and 1999), and his 1996 squad finished third at the NCAA Championships.

Prior to rejoining his alma mater, Mendoza worked as a graduate assistant at Adams State in Alamosa. He helped produce four Division II All-Americans and a national champion during his two seasons with the Grizzlies (1999-2002).

Mendoza adds, “NJC Wrestling has a rich history of success that goes back and I am looking forward to being a part of its future and the rebuilding process. There is an impressively strong alumni and community support along with a great administrative support, which was evident when the program was resurrected last year after a 37-year hiatus. That support system is important for building a successful program and was an attraction for me and I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to help these Plainsmen wrestlers achieve their academic and athletic goals in the future.”

In addition to his bachelor’s in public administration (CSUB, 1999), Mendoza also earned a master’s in health, physical education and recreation from Adams State in 2001. He and his wife, Lori, have two children, son Isaac and daughter Alexa.