Avila Eagles name new Head Men’s Wrestling Coach

With a healthy dose of gratitude and feeling thankful Eric Mateo is ready to lead the Avila University men’s wrestling program. On July 3rd Mateo was named the new Head Men’s Wrestling coach at Avila. Mateo, who was serving as interim head coach at the time, officially becomes the second head coach in program history. 

Coach Mateo says he “practices gratitude, is thankful for people and positive things”. Mateo would like to have a team who practices this same theme of gratitude. Mateo  hopes that as his teams “Chase down titles” Mateo would like to have team members who will become good sons & good brothers”.  

Mateo follows Graham Karwath the program’s founder who left for Central Methodist earlier this summer. A native of St. Robert, Missouri, Mateo was a standout wrestler in High School winning the State Class Four title at Waynesville. Mateo went on to wrestle at University of Central Missouri where he qualified for the NCAA D-II championships as a redshirt sophomore. 

The outlook for the 2023-24 Eagles looks good as Mateo admits “everyone is coming back” from a year ago. Mateo is adding 8 to 10 new members to the team which Mateo states “is a mix of freshman and transfers”. Last season Avila had two conference champions and three national qualifiers in the second season in team history. 

After serving as an assistant coach Mateo has the advantage of already knowing most of his team and aware of the competition they face in the KCAC. Mateo feels “Already having a relationship here is a huge asset & seeing those other teams in KCAC”.  Mateo understands that “Ottawa leads the pack” in the conference but intends to see the Eagles be “Right there in the pack”. 

Due to the returning talent on hand and recent team additions no one will be surprised to see Coach Mateo and the Eagles feeling thankful for reaching the team’s goals. 

What do you think?


Written by Fred Liggett

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