Hired as the new head coach of the Oregon State wrestling program back in late March, new program director Chris Pendelton announced two new additions to his coaching staff on Monday, with the additions Stanford assistant coach Nate Engel and Illinois assistant coach Isaiah Martinez.
Engel comes from fellow Pac-12 school Stanford, where he was instrumental in the growth of the Cardinal program, specifically on the recruiting front. Prior to his time in Palo Alto, he worked from 2014-2018 at Navy. Pendleton noted that Engel is heralded within coaching circles as a rising collegiate coach in the sport.
“Speaking with other head coaches across the country, a name kept coming up as someone I should look at immediately and that was Nate Engel. I had the pleasure of getting to know Nate and his wife McKayla last fall in Estonia at the world championships, and knew that he was someone I would love to work with one day. His strengths as a recruiter, technician, and mentor is exactly what our program needs.”
Martinez, who graduated from Illinois in 2018 as a two-time National Champion, had an illustrious career on the mat which included four-straight Big Ten titles, as well as an 116-3 overall record. He has been working with the Fighting Illini program since the completion of his collegiate career as a volunteer assistant coach. Pendelton commented on the hiring below.
“Isaiah is a unique hire because we both come from a blue collar town in the Central Valley of California. I previously had the distinction of being the best wrestler from Lemoore until he showed up. As a 2x NCAA Champion and 4x All American, Isaiah has been a force on the world level and will be a great guide for our athletes to follow. Personally, I’ve loved seeing his development as a scrappy young kid in the youth program to the man he is today.”
The Beavers program has yet to release their 2020-2021 schedule, but completed the 2019-2020 campaign under former head coach Jim Zalesky with an 8-6 record. The program expected to return 2020 NWCA Second-Team All-American Devan Turner (133) and Grant Willits (141) to campus this season.