On Saturday, Oct. 27, alumnus Noel Torres received his national wrestling championship ring from his performance in March 2018.
The Jets held the annual Red and Blue Dual in Fugate gymnasium and afterward hosted a social hour for wrestling alumni. Torres first laid eyes on his ring at the event that evening.
He said, “This means the world to me. There’s only one ring, one bracket, one trophy, but without all of you guys, none of this would be possible. So thank you to my family, my teammates and my coaches.”
Last season, Torres won the 184-pound national championship at the 2018 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. During that time, he was working on his master’s in business analytics at Newman University.
“Juggling my time wasn’t new to me,” said Torres. “I’ve been working, wrestling and going to school since 2015 so that wasn’t an issue. What was new was January to March I stopped working. I declined my internship offer that semester to focus on wrestling.”
That decision paid off for Torres.
After becoming Newman University’s first and only NCAA national champion, Torres graduated and began working, but he couldn’t stay away from college wrestling for long. Torres now works as a cloud solutions analyst at Koch Industries and also helps assist the Newman Jets on the mat.
“My teammates, now my wrestlers, made me want to come back to Newman,” he said.
During the season last year, he hadn’t really considered coming back to coach. “After (wrestling) season, the idea grew on me. I’m so invested in this program and the guys that I wrestled with last year that I feel like if I would have left and moved on to the next chapter in my life, I would have cut them short or something. So I want to help that group of guys get to where they want to be.”
Torres doesn’t miss the parts of college wrestling that required him to run two miles with a teammate on his back but he is excited to join the team again and help the guys improve as wrestlers.
“My main goal is just to have every single one of my guys improve … on the mat and off the mat, and just as a person overall,” he said.
“Some of these freshmen coming in, if I stay on I will get to see them throughout their whole career, so I think that will be very special just watching them accomplish what they’re after.”