Rivera Named Virginia Assistant Wrestling Coach
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia head wrestling coach Steve Garland has announced the hiring of Manny Rivera as an assistant coach with the program. Garland also announced that former Cavalier Brent Jones will serve as the team’s volunteer coach this season.
Rivera is a former All-America wrestler at Minnesota and still is an active wrestler at the international level.
“We couldn’t be happier that Manny will be joining the UVa wrestling family,” Garland said. “He possesses all the qualities of a great mentor and coach for our student-athletes. We feel like we have brought in a very special person and we are excited to see what the future holds.”
Rivera comes to Virginia after working as an administrative assistant wrestling coach last season at Minnesota, where he assisted in training, motivating and directing student-athletes. He also assisted in structured practices, weight training and conditioning.
“I am very excited to join the University of Virginia community,” Rivera said. “I am looking forward to working with the Cavalier wrestling program.”
Rivera also served for two years as an assistant director at the School of Champions in Minneapolis and was a volunteer wrestling coach at Rosemead High School.
Rivera had a standout wrestling career at Minnesota. He was a four-year starter for the Golden Gophers and a three-time NCAA qualifier, earning All-America honors in 2008 when he took seventh place at 141 pounds. He also was a member of Minnesota’s 2007 NCAA Championship team.
Rivera finished his Minnesota career with a 113-40 record and 27 falls. As a senior, he was a team captain. As a junior, he carried a 35-match winning streak at one point during the season – the sixth-longest winning streak in school history.
Rivera has been successful at the international level as well. He was a bronze medalist at the 2010 Pan-American Games as a member of the Mexican National Team.
A native of El Monte, Calif., Rivera earned a psychology degree from Minnesota in 2008.
Rivera replaces Scott Moore, who moved closer to home and accepted a coaching position at Lock Haven.
Jones wrestled at Virginia from 2005-10 and finished his UVa career as the school’s all-time leader in pins (45) and ranks fourth in career victories (106).
“Brent has been around our program for a long time,” Garland said. “We are very happy that he has decided to stay in Charlottesville and help our student-athletes. We feel his wealth of competitive experience at the NCAA and especially the international levels will help our program immensely.”
Jones earned the 2010 Gorrarian Trophy at the NCAA Championships. The award is presented to the wrestler who pinned the most opponents in the least amount of time at the championships. Jones recorded a pair of pins in the competition and needed just one minute, 33 seconds to do so.
He also was the ACC champion at 197 pounds in 2009 and was named the ACC Championships’ Most Outstanding Wrestler that year. Jones was a two-time NCAA qualifier who also won the 2008 University National Freestyle Championship at 211 pounds and the 2006 FILA Junior Freestyle National Championship at 211 pounds.