The Defiance College athletic program has named Antonio Guerra to lead the newly refounded Yellow Jacket wrestling program, which will begin competition in the 2018-19 school year.
"We are excited for Tony to join our staff and be the face of our wrestling program," said interim athletic director Jodie Holava. "He has a very decorative background both as an assistant coach and as an athlete and feel he will be a great mentor for our student-athletes."
Guerra comes to Defiance from Ashland University, where he has been the head assistant wrestling coach since September 2015. In his time with the Eagles, Guerra has organized fundraising activities, been the main contact for top recruits, and coordinated practice plans for the Division II institution. In the 2016-17 season, he helped Michael Labry to a national championship in the 133-pound weight class, Ashland's first National Champion since 1996. As a team, the Eagles finished sixth in the country in the final NCAA rankings that season.
Prior to his time at Ashland, Guerra was the head coach at Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio. During his tenure with the Irish, his teams placed in the top three in the state three times in his five seasons at the helm, including a state runner-up finish in 2015. Guerra led five individual state champion wrestlers, as well as 17 state placers, helping him earn two Three Rivers Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors.
His coaching career began as a graduate assistant at the University of Findlay, where he coached from 2008 through 2010. While there, Guerra aided in developing a practice structure and offered help in the recruiting process. He also provided assistance with event planning and chaperoned wrestlers to dual meets and tournaments.
Guerra is a 2008 graduate of the University of Findlay, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in biology. While wrestling for the Oilers, he was a two-time NCAA Division II National Champion, a three-time National Finalist, and a four-time Division II All-American. Guerra was also named Academic All-American and two-time University of Findlay Male Athlete of the Year honoree. Guerra is also a member of the Waite High School Athletic Hall of Fame.