Mike Mendoza enters 2016-17 in his first season as the head coach of the Boise State wrestling team. Just the third Boise State wrestling head coach in the last 44 years, Mendoza had spent the previous six seasons as head coach at his alma mater, 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.
This past season the Roadrunners went 11-4 on the season, including a league-best 4-1 mark in Pac-12 duals. CSU Bakersfield also sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships this past season, including Bryce Hammond (174 pounds), who became one of only five individuals in school history to claim three individual Pac-12 titles, winning his third in 2016. Hammond also earned All-America honors for the Roadrunners in 2014.
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.