St. Mary’s Ryken is thrilled to welcome alumnus Josh Llopez to the community as the new head wrestling coach. He brings extensive wrestling experience and years of personal wrestling success to the team.  

“Coach Llopez is one of the most decorated athletes we have ever had coach at St. Mary’s Ryken in terms of his ability in the arena,” said Athletic Director Jon Lombardo. “He is passionate, energetic and has a true vision for how to develop the student-athlete through holistic growth. As a graduate of SMR, he understands our mission and vision – in academics and faith life. I look forward to working with Josh to continue to build a strong culture and identity within our already successful wrestling program as we come off the 2019 WCAC Championship!” 

As a SMR student-athlete, Coach Llopez was a two-time state champion, National High School Coaches Association national champion, two-time Ironman All American, Fargo Junior National Champion and Fargo Cadet All American. Later, he was a Beast of the East All American, National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Champion and an Olympic alternate (2020 games) representing Puerto Rico in the 163 pound weight class. 

“I’ve wrestled my entire life at the highest level, and I realize the level of discipline it takes,” said Coach Llopez. “My goal is to have an atmosphere where we can have fun but also thrive through our hard work. I’ve won national titles in both freestyle and folk style. I have competed against and won many matches against other Division I NCAA All Americans. I want to spread my knowledge and skill to the student-athletes at St. Mary’s Ryken and help them achieve their personal and team best.” 

For more information about the 2020-21 wrestling season, please contact Coach Lombardo at

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