LEBANON, Ill. (May 26, 2022) – McKendree University athletic director Anthony Francis has announced the hiring of Alexio Garcia as the school’s new women’s wrestling head coach.
“I am very pleased to be able to add Alexio to the McKendree Athletics family as the new Women’s Wrestling Head Coach,” Francis said. “Alexio is extremely passionate about women’s wrestling and comes with a positive attitude. He will be a great addition to our staff and will continue the strong tradition that our three-time national champion women’s wrestling program has already established.”
Garcia comes to McKendree after coaching success at club, national and secondary level.
For the past six years, Garcia served as an assistant coach for USA Women’s Wrestling and also coached her Empire Wrestling Club, which was established in 2017.
During his time with USA Wrestling, he coached five members of the World Women’s Team, was an assistant coach for the World Women’s Junior Team in 2019, and coached four women at the 2021 United States Olympic Trails. He was also an assistant coach of the 2016-17 Washington Women’s National Team that won the Fargo Women’s Team title. Has coached eight Fargo Finalists and four Fargo National Champions.
Garcia’s Empire Wresting Club had one World Women’s Team member, five WIAA State Placers in 2018, three Fargo Champions and one runner-up, won two National Team Championships in 2021 from Arizona Rumble and Supreme Summer and had eight Fargo All-Americans.
In addition to her success coaching at the club and national level with USA Women’s Wrestling, Garcia spent nine years in the high school coaching ranks, including serving as head coach of women’s wrestling at Toppenish High School in Toppenish, Washington during the 2021-22 season. school year.
In his only season at Toppenish, he led the school to a 2022 WIAA State Tag 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 the most finalists from a school. The school also had two WIAA Individual State Champions and eight State Placers. In addition to being the head coach of women’s wrestling, Garcia was an assistant on the men’s wrestling team which had a state record of 14 state finalists and 10 state champions.
“It’s an honor to be selected as the next women’s wrestling head coach at McKendree University. Knowing the level of expectation from myself and the school as a whole is something that is an ideal situation. I just finished a record breaking season at Washington State with my old high school team, I expect to be perfect both on and off the mat,” Garcia said.
“I am ready for the job, and the family and I look forward to new challenges and continued success at McKendree.”
Prior to attending Toppenish High School, Garcia spent eight years as an assistant women’s and men’s wrestling coach at AC Davis High School in Yakima, Washington. While at Davis, the school had five Top 10 finishes at the WIAA State Tournament, and he coached McKendree’s current two-time national champion, Cameron Guerin, at Davis.
He graduated from AC Davis High School in 2011 and stayed in his home state of Washington, attending Walla Walla Community College in 2012 and is currently working toward his degree at McKendree University.
What others are saying about Garcia:
“What I appreciate about Alexio is not so much what he has done so far, but rather how he has done it. He has been on his own and has made a lot of good decisions to make advance his career. He has become one of the great young coaches in the country and he is a tireless worker and always a team player. Alexio will be a great success in any company he chooses because not only does he hold himself to a high level, but he lifts those around him to a high level.This is the true sign of a leader.
Terry Steiner, coach of the U.S. National Women’s Wrestling and Freestyle Wrestling Team
“Alexio is an integral part of wrestling here in Washington. I have personally seen his determination to help our athletes achieve their goals, not only on the mat, but in their personal lives. I had the privilege of working with him time and time again, from duels to tournaments across 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. Coach Garcia is an outstanding wrestling coach, with an eye to not only developing talented athletes, but also those new to the sport.Beyond his passion for performance, Alexio is a natural leader and fights for what he believes in and he will bring unique energy, optimism, passion and tireless drive to the wrestling room.”
Justin Newby, Executive Director, USA Wrestling – WSWA