Jon Sioredas (left) and Evan Wick at the 2023 Pac-12 Championships (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Jon Sioredas is coming off his most impressive season yet at Cal Poly. The head coach of the Mustangs won the Pac-12 Coach of the Year award in his seventh year in San Luis Obispo.
"I think it was really cool for me and our institution, especially being a mid-major program," Sioredas said.
The first reason Sioredas won the award was Cal Poly's undefeated record in the Pac-12 dual season.
"That was the first time we were wrestling to our potential," Sioredas said. "We were wrestling fearlessly and just going out there and letting it fly with no expectations."
The Mustangs had some close matches, beating Arizona State 19-18, Stanford 18-15 and Oregon State 19-15.
"We were focusing on three things," Sioredas said. "We were gonna put our best guy out, wrestle the guy in front of us no matter who it is and wrestle hard for seven minutes and whatever happens, happens."
Since landing at Cal Poly seven years ago, Sioredas has helped make Cal Poly compete like it is a blue blood program.
"It's a very methodical process over these past seven years with the main focus being continuous improvement," Sioredas said. "We've had a lot of the right pieces in the right place and hit some cool milestones over these last couple of years."
Although Cal Poly did not win the Pac-12 Championships or placed high at NCAAs, Sioredas was pleased with the potential of his squad.
"We're literally one takedown away from finishing second at PAc-12s," Sioredas said. "We were in the conversation and our guys were able to reverse a lot of matches."
Cal Poly is only graduating one senior and will build around a similar lineup from last year. However, the Mustangs lost its key piece, Bernie Truax, to the transfer portal. Despite losing the portal, Sioredas is not worried. Instead, he believes Cal Poly is doing very well in the portal.
"A lot of times when these blue-chippers are coming outta high school, it's hard for us to get them out of the gate," Sioredas said. "But, it's a little different from what they anticipated for and they enter the transfer portal. They're a little bit more mature and understand what's truly important and that's the people. They see value in our education, athletics and quality of life."
Even though Cal Poly's recognition is rising, their ultimate goal has not changed.
"What's our purpose?" Sioredas said. "Our purpose is to help create remarkable men for life after wrestling, that would never change."