Jon Mendoza is returning to his college hometown to become head wrestling coach at the local high school.
Mendoza, a national championships qualifier at Central College in Pella, Iowa, has been hired to head up the wrestling program at Pella High School. He replaces Joe Burch, who stepped down following the 2016-17 season to spend more time with his family.
In addition to coaching the Little Dutch wrestlers, Mendoza will also teach third grade at Lincoln Elementary in Pella, a community located southeast of Des Moines which describes itself as "America's Dutch Treasure" and is home to an annual tulip festival in May.
For the past three years, Mendoza has served as an elementary school teacher and tech integrationist -- as well as assistant wrestling coach at Van Meter High School -- in Van Meter, Iowa, just west of the state capital.
As a competitor and coach, Mendoza has made a name for himself in wrestling in the state of Iowa. At Norwalk High School, he was member of the 100-win club at Norwalk, having qualified for the Iowa state tournament twice. In addition, Mendoza was twice a place-winner at the Brute Adidas High School Nationals.
Mendoza started his collegiate career at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa but after one season transferred to Central College. As a Dutch wrestler, Mendoza qualified for the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, and was a three-time Academic All-Conference honoree. He graduated with a degree in Education in 2012.