WCIA — Former Illinois two-time national champion wrestler Isaiah Martinez is heading west, accepting a job as an assistant coach at Oregon State, the school announced on Monday. Martinez has been a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater for the past two seasons, while continuing to train.
“My time at Illinois has been nothing but exceptional,” Martinez said in a statement. “It has shaped so much about me. The experiences have given me some of my best friends and life-long relationships. Thinking about my time fills me with immense gratitude. The coaches, the teammates and the people have taught me what high-level wrestling and community is all about. Lastly, I can’t stress how important the Illini RTC was to my development post-college. It provided the chance to travel the world and gather invaluable experience in pursuit of a dream. Thank you so much to coach (Bryan) Medlin and to the amazing donors.”
Martinez was a four-time All-American for the Illini, making four straight title match appearances. The California native is also one of just 16 wrestlers in the 108-year history of the conference to win four individual Big Ten titles.
“Representing that Block I on my chest has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” he said. “I am proud to have been an Illini.”