The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Coaching champions; head wrestling coach retires after nearly four decades of success

(left to right) Raul Ezekiel Ortiz, marketing major; Michael Mello, business management major; and wrestling Head Coach David Pacheco during spring training in the North Gym at City College April 25. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Jason Reed| Sports Editor| [email protected]

This month City College will bid farewell to one of its longest tenured and most successful coaches as David Pacheco retires after 37 years of coaching wrestlers at City College, having led his squads to eight consecutive Big 8 championships and racking up 301 career wins as head coach.

“When I first started off, I wasn’t ready,” said Pacheco while in his office full of trophies and photos of past championship teams he’s coached. “I took over this job when I was 26 years old, and I had to do a lot of learning.”  

“All of the stuff behind the scenes, such as getting [athletes] into class and keeping them on a straight path—you become so many things other than just a coach,” Pacheco said. “Some of these kids you become a father to.”

Pacheco remembered the days when he had to do more than coach wrestling because when he first started, he wasn’t yet a full-time employee at City College.

“I was teaching full-time during the day at a middle school, and I was coming here to put in as much time as I [could], and you only have so much time in a day,” Pacheco said during the the times before becoming a full-time employee at City College.

Pacheco’s goal was not only to coach wrestling but also to use his platform to help his wrestlers in other areas as well.

Pacheco was brought into City College as an assistant wrestling coach in 1982 by former Head Coach Bill Hickey, who died in late 2018. Pacheco said when Hickey contacted him, he told Pacheco that he was planning to stay on at City College for at least five more years.

“So I started my master’s degree, and I came in that first year and assisted, and the next year he dropped the bomb and told me he wasn’t coaching the following year,” Pacheco said, adding that he didn’t think he was ready to be a head coach. But he took that job in 1984.

It turned out that he grew into the job. In November 2018 Pacheco reached a milestone when he logged his 300th career win as the head coach of the City College Panthers wrestlers. In that same season, the team won 17 total meets, the most in a single season at City College.

Brian Horn (top), biology major, sprawling to counter the shot from Jacob Hiller, business major, during spring training in the North Gym at City College April 25. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

“In retrospect, it means a lot, [but] when it first happened, it was just another win,” Pacheco said about his 300th career win. “It also means that I’ve been around a long time. I also see it as I didn’t get 300 wins. My wrestlers, my assistant coaches, the staff around me—I’m just a piece of the puzzle. When something like that happens, you just tip your hat to everybody that’s involved in it.”

Pacheco will retire having led his student athletes to win eight straight Big 8 Championships.

Pacheco said in 1996 when the Panther wrestlers won their first state championship, 13 years after he started as head coach, he showed his appreciation to all the coaches who helped him in previous years by getting a championship ring for each of them.

“Just because they weren’t there that year—whatever they did with me before that year helped me get there,” Pacheco said. “I took something from each of them to help guide me.”

When recalling  some of his finest teams during his tenure as head wrestling coach, Pacheco pointed out three squads, adding, “There is always something different about each team.”

The 1996 team was the first to win a state championship, though it had fewer wrestlers than in following years. “We had a small team, and by the end of the year we only had, like, 11 guys left on the team,” Pacheco said.

His team in 2000 also won the duals state championship. In 2015 Pacheco’s wrestlers won the  fourth and final state championship for their coach.

“But if I really had to put my thumb on the team that was really the team of all teams, it will have to be the 2013 team,” he said.

Be always ready whenever the moment levitra online is set. Low energy and stamina level can contribute towards a number of physical and mental disorders in men with erectile cost of prescription viagra dysfunction should be considered before prescribing this drug .The safety of this medicine has not been perhaps that will take care of what on earth is fully satisfied with his sex life. So, we can see that there are valid reasons behind a Man’s Inability to Get It Up Erectile dysfunction has become recurring issue that loses their potency to keep or sustain erections that used to give you sexual pleasure earlier? Have these problems wrecked peace of your life? If yes, then you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction. buy generic levitra All that are mentioned here are made of numbers of pure and potent natural cialis tabs herbs. The ’13 state championship team had six wrestlers make it to the finals compared to the ’96 team’s four wrestlers advancing to the finals. Four wrestlers on the ’13 team became first-place champions in their respective weight classes.

“No knock against any other team,” Pacheco added. “There’s always appreciation—even for the teams that didn’t do as well.”

Not all seasons went so well. Pacheco remembered that 1990 was his toughest season. “I almost stopped coaching after that year,” he said, citing injuries as a big problem and people quitting the program. That season, City College had only one wrestler place for the state.

“That year was really hard because I was working all day teaching, and I was coming here, putting all my heart into wrestling, and it got nowhere, and I thought about it and said, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this.’ But when ’91 came around, we had a good recruiting year, and we finished fourth in state.”

City College had two state wrestling champions that year, the first time in school history that happened in the same season. “It was just an amazing turnaround for the team,” Pacheco added.

He also reflected fondly about the many coaches he competed against, citing his favorite competitor, Paul Keysaw, head coach for the reigning state champions, Fresno City College Rams. At one point, when Keysaw was coaching at Moorpark College, Pacheco recalled that he managed to upset Keysaw during the 2000 state duals as two of their wrestlers battled for the championship.

“In that match, there was a situation where my 141-pounder tied at the end of regulation, and he was tired,” Pacheco said, remembering that he asked his wrestler if his knee was OK. “So we called a timeout for the injury, and we took care of the knee, and Paul was so mad.”

Using a line that still resonates with the two coaches and their former wrestlers to this day, Keysaw hollered, “Pacheco, you can’t do that!”

That created the beginning of years of tension between the two coaches. “At that point of our careers, he hated me,” Pacheco said. “My guy ended up winning the match, and that [call] was the difference maker.”

Pacheco said that for a long time Keysaw wouldn’t talk to him, but after Keysaw started coaching at Fresno, the two patched up their differences and have become friends.

“I’m really going to miss Dave,” said Keysaw, who recalled his memorable line about Pacheco.  Keysaw credited Pacheco with helping Keysaw become a better coach.

“He’s an old school coach,” Keysaw said, adding that although he has enjoyed competing against Pacheco, Keysaw will always be Pacheco’s friend. “He cares about the kids from the time they walk on the campus and also when they get married and enter their adult life.”

Brian Horn, biology major, with a stack pin on Raul Ezekiel Ortiz, marketing major, during spring training in the North Gym at City College April 25. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

Current U.F.C. fighter and former City College wrestler Josh Emmett reflected on what Pacheco meant to him as a coach as well. When Emmett was about to graduate from high school, he planned to join the Army. He was approached by Pacheco during a tournament, and the two talked about Emmett’s wrestling future.

“Pacheco paved the way for me,” Emmett said. “I was already enrolled in the Delayed Entry Program, and I was going to go into the Army as a Private First Class after I graduated high school. This guy was on me about where I was going to go wrestle.”

Emmett recalled  Pacheco’s advice to let wrestling pay for Emmett’s education and see if he liked it. “I just took a leap and I listened to the guy,” Emmett said. “I really like Pacheco, and we have a connection. He’s just a genuinely good guy and has a heart of gold.”

Though Pacheco will turn over his position to a new head coach, City College will announce its choice for the job late next week, Pacheco said, adding that he plans to help mentor the next coach.

“I feel more comfortable doing it that way because we’ve built this program, and we want it to stay on top,” Pacheco said. “I wouldn’t want it to have it transition to where it bottoms out. I want [the new coach] to win the state championship next year.”

As he looks toward his retirement, Pacheco said he is planning to travel and go on a Mediterranean cruise next year. This summer Pacheco plans to travel with his wife’s softball league to Albuquerque and Atlanta. In Georgia, he plans to attend a Braves and Giants baseball game.

“It’s going to be a change,” he said. “You can’t do something for 37 years and not miss some of it, but you have to retire sometimes and let someone else take the reins. It has been a fantastic ride, but it’s time to get off the horse.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express

Comments (0)

All The Express Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *