HEAD COACH – JESSE CASTRO “81”
Head coach Jesse Castro enters his 7th year as head wrestling coach of the Liberty wrestling team. His newly reinstated program in 2006 quickly ascended to one of the state of Virginia’s top NCAA Division I programs by winning 5 East Region championships and qualifying 24 individuals to the NCAA Division I national championships. Voted East Region “coach of the year”4 times, coach Castro had established a prominent program that produced teams that were competitive against some of the best programs in the country. In 2010 Liberty defeated two-time ACC champion University of Maryland in a dual meet that placed Liberty as a premier program. Since the reclassification of the Liberty program to the NCWA Division Liberty has this past year produced a 18-1 dual record, winning the National Dual meet championship in Dalton, GA, placing 1st in the Mid Atlantic Conference, and placed third in the NCWA national championship producing 7 All Americans including 2 individual national champions.
Prior to coaching at Liberty coach Castro coached at Kingsway Regional high school where he amassed a 128-32 record, 4 time district champions, 5 time conference champions and winning a New Jersey state championship along the way. Coach Castro’s experience in building programs from the “ground up” began at Norwich University in Vermont where he took a nominal team to a New England perennial power and an 11th place finish at the NCAA Division III national tournament producing 9 All Americans which included a national champion and national runner-up. As an assistant coach here at Liberty in the 80’s he was mentored under then head coaches Bob Bonhiem and Don Shuler taking Liberty from the NAIA division the NCAA Division II producing 16 All Americans which included a national champion and 2 runner-ups. The Liberty team placed as high as 5th as a team in the 1986 NCAA Division II tournament.
As an athlete, coach Castro came to Liberty establishing several precedents along the way including the first athlete in the program to earn over 100 career wins, becoming the first NAIA All American by placing 4th in the national tournament, and by becoming the first athlete in the history of the NCCAA Division to win 4 national titles in that division. Coach Castro now resides in Monroe Virginia with his wife of 24 years Elizabeth, and four children; Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, and Jesse. Coach Castro is currently in the doctoral program at Liberty