New McKendree Women's Head Coach Alexio Garcia (photo courtesy of McKendree Sports Information)
LEBANON, Ill. (May 26, 2022) - McKendree University Athletics Director Anthony Francis has announced the hiring of Alexio Garcia as the school's new women's wrestling head coach.
"I am very excited to be able to add Alexio to the McKendree Athletics family as our new women's wrestling head coach," Francis said. "Alexio is extremely passionate about women's wrestling and comes in with a positive attitude and will make a nice addition to our staff and continue the strong tradition that our three-time national champion women's wrestling program has already established."
Garcia comes to McKendree after having success coaching at the club, national and high school levels.
For the past six years, Garcia has served as an assistant coach with USA Women's Wrestling and has also coached his Empire Wrestling Club that was established in 2017.
In his time with USA Wrestling, he has coached five Women's World Team members, was an assistant coach for the Junior Women's World Team in 2019 and coached four women at the 2021 United States Olympic Trails. He was also an assistant coach on the 2016-17 Washington Women's National Team that won the Women's Fargo Team title. Has coached eight Fargo finalists and four Fargo National Champions.
Garcia's Empire Wresting Club has had one Women's World Team member, five WIAA State placers in 2018, three Fargo Champions and one runner-up finisher, won two National Team Championships in 2021 at the Arizona Rumble and Supreme Summer and has had eight Fargo All-Americans.
Along with his success coaching at the club and national levels with USA Women's Wrestling, Garcia spent nine years in the high school coaching ranks, including serving as the head women's wrestling coach at Toppenish High School in Toppenish, Wash., during the 2021-22 school year.
In his one season at Toppenish, he led the school to a 2022 WIAA State Team Championship as the team set a record with the most points ever scored at the State Championships and also set a record for the most falls and most finalists from one school. The school also had two individual WIAA State Champions and eight State placers. Along with being the head women's wrestling coach, Garcia was an assistant on the men's wrestling team that had a state record 14 State finalists and 10 State Champions.
"It is an honor to be selected as the next head women's wrestling coach at McKendree University. To know the level of expectation from myself and from the school as a whole is something that is an ideal situation. Just coming off a record-setting season in the state of Washington with my previous high school team, the expectation is to be perfect both on and off the mat," Garcia said.
"I am up for the job, and the family and I are looking forward to new challenges and continued success at McKendree."
Prior to going to Toppenish High School, Garcia spent eight years as an assistant women's and men's wrestling coach at A.C. Davis High School in Yakima, Wash. During his time at Davis, the school had five Top 10 finishes in the WIAA State Tournament and he coached current McKendree two-time National Champion Cameron Guerin at Davis.
He graduated from A.C. Davis High School in 2011 and stayed in his home state of Washington, attending Walla Walla Community College in 2012 and is now working towards his degree at McKendree University.
What Others Are Saying About Garcia:
"The thing I appreciate about Alexio is not so much what he has done up to this point, but because of how he has done it. He has been a self-starter and has made a lot of great decisions to move his career forward. He has grown into one of the great young coaches in the country and he is a tireless worker and is always a team player. Alexio will be a great success in any venture he chooses as he not only holds himself to a high standard, but he lifts those around him to a high standard. That is the true sign of a leader."
Terry Steiner, USA Wrestling and Women's Freestyle National Team Coach
"Alexio has been an integral part of wrestling here in Washington. I have personally seen first-hand his determination to help our athletes achieve their goals, not only on the mat, but in their personal lives. I have had the privilege of working with him on a number of occasions, from duals to tournaments throughout the state, as well as at the national level, his leadership ability and willingness to roll up his sleeves and get to work are traits that will help any program. It should go without saying that Coach Garcia is a remarkable wrestling coach, with an eye for not only developing talented athletes, but also those who are new to the sport. Beyond his passion for driving performance, Alexio is a natural leader and fights hard for his beliefs and he will bring a unique energy, optimism, passion and tireless drive to the wrestling room."
Justin Newby, Executive Director, USA Wrestling - WSWA