MOSES LAKE — Big Bend's next wrestling coach, Mark Geary, will bring 35 years of wrestling and coaching experience to campus with him this fall as he takes over the reins of both the women's and men's program at the college.
Geary will be arriving in Moses Lake by way of Kingsbury County in South Dakota where he was most recently an assistant wrestling coach and Dakota State University where he worked as an associate professor.
"I am incredibly excited, honored, and humbled to become part of the Big Bend Academic and Athletic Community," Geary said. "Coaching wrestling is something I have always loved doing, and to get to do that as my full-time job is a dream come true. I look forward to making the most of the opportunity."
Geary's wrestling background began as a high school freshman where the coach admits he went 0-9 and not winning a single match. However, the slow start made the coach very self-aware and he learned that his successes would only equal the amount of hard work he put in — a mind set that he tries to instill when coaching young athletes.
"Wrestling has four major components: Strength, Speed/Technique, Endurance and Mental Toughness (the will to train, and ability to recover from setbacks, on and off the mat)," said the coach. "We will move the program forward by looking at where each individual is in these aspects of wrestling while helping them to love the sport and recognize the life value of participation."
After high school, Geary initially was a walk-on at Northern Iowa University before transferring to the University of Central Florida and earning a wrestling scholarship. During his time at UCF, he was 3-time National Qualifier and a 2-time Regional Champion. He went on to become a graduate assistant at UCF and wrestled in the Southern Region Olympic Trials in 1984. While assisting at UCF, Geary helped develop multiple All-Americans.
Geary has continued to coach at the middle, high school, and collegiate levels in some capacity since that time while also taking a few years off to concentrate on coaching his own daughter and sons. He now says he wants to introduce as many wrestlers as possible to the Big Bend campus.
"I want to throw open the doors to everyone, men or women, that love wrestling. Whether they are a pretty good high school wrestler that just needs a little more technique or a struggling student that wishes to wrestle while earning their AA degree, we can help student-athletes be successful at Big Bend," Geary said.
"Big Bend offers a wealth of opportunities for wrestlers that wish to improve athletically and academically. Whether they are looking to compete in the sport they love or wish to develop skills to be successful at a 4-year college or in MMA or as a coach, our wrestling program can help them achieve their goals. It's all here, ready for those that want to step up and take it."