Lewis named Trinidad State Men’s Wrestling Coach

Courtesy of Trinidad State Athletics – Link

TRINIDAD, Colo. – Trinidad State College recently announced that in the coming 2023-24 academic year, the department will be bringing back the men’s wrestling program and adding women’s wrestling for the first time in school history. The men’s program, which was extremely successful in the 1960’s, was ended in the early 1970’s the same year as football program came to an end. Now wrestling is set to return, and John Lewis has signed up to lead the program.

“It’s a tremendous blessing to bring another college program back to Southern Colorado and the Trinidad community” Lewis commented. “It creates an amazing opportunity to both build and grow men’s and women’s wrestling for the state of Colorado. I’m truly excited to add to the culture and deeply rooted traditions of Trinidad with the rebirth of the wrestling programs.”

The NJCAA recently added women’s wrestling to its list of championship sports, and this season there are 14 teams competing across the country. Trinidad State plans to join their ranks next fall.

“Being one of the first NJCAA institutions, not only in Colorado but across the country, to have women’s wrestling makes Trinidad State a true pioneer,” Lewis added. “Having the addition of a women’s wrestling program will help pave the way for generations to come, as the sport continues to rapidly grow at all levels.”

Lewis comes to Trinidad with a strong wrestling background as well as experience coaching in Region 9. He spent last season at Otero College, first as their assistant coach and then as the interim head coach. Prior to his time in La Junta, Lewis worked as a high school coach in the Pueblo area. He has his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University Pueblo where he wrestled for the ThunderWolves.

“We are excited to see wrestling back at Trinidad State and I think we found a great coach to lead the way,” commented Athletic Director Mike Salbato. “John’s wrestling knowledge is apparent, and he has tremendous drive to make these teams into instant successes. He is already recruiting, and we should be signing our first wrestlers very soon. I received a great deal of help from former Trojan wrestler and New Mexico wrestling legend Mike Lujan, as well as David Luna throughout this hiring process. I am very thankful for them, their passion for the program and sharing their wrestling knowledge.”

Wrestling history at Trinidad State College

NJCAA Champions

1962 – Runner up – Velasquez
1967 – Champion – Ray Stapp
1968 – Champion – Tom Clardy

1962 – Runner up – Micky Seery
1968 – Champion – Terry Anders

1962 – Champion – Alvin Sampson

1968 – Champion – Jesse Rawls

1967 – Champion – Mike Sparaco


NJCAA Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame
1993 – Jesse Rawls Sr.


NJCAA Wrestling All Americans
1969 – Don Evans – Honorable Mention – 123lbs
1969 – Bob Shelby – Honorable Mention – 177lbs
1968 – Tom Clardy – 1st Team – 115lbs
1968 – Terry Anders – 1st Team – 145lbs
1968 – Jesse Rawls – 1st Team – 167lbs
1968 – Steve Arnold – Honorable Mention – 123lbs
1967 – Ray Stapp – 1st Team – 115lbs
1967 – Mike Sparaco – 1st Team – 191lbs

Share this article:
Categories: News, NJCAA Men

Comments are closed here.