Pat Coffing

Host coach, Elk Grove’s Pat Coffing, sported his high school letterman’s jacket as he greeted 16 wrestling teams from around northern California for the annual Curt Mettler Memorial Tournament. Coffing will step down as Elk Grove's wrestling coach at the end of this season after 21 years.

The Citizen has learned that Pat Coffing, the wrestling coach at Elk Grove High School the past 21 years and a former Herd wrestler himself, will step down at the end of the current season. In fact, he was not in attendance Tuesday for the double dual matches with Franklin and Sheldon. The team was coached by assistant coach Nick Jordan who will succeed Coffing as head wrestling coach next season.

That night Elk Grove wrapped up its 20th consecutive Delta League championship. The Herd has not lost a dual match since 2004 when they lost to Woodland, who was a member of the Delta League at that time.

Under Coffing Elk Grove has won the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I Team Dual championships three times and finished second 10 times. Twenty of Coffing’s wrestlers have placed at the CIF State Championship and two, Michael Drake in 2005 and Lefi Letuligasenoa in 2010, won a State championship. His 2005 team finished third at State.

“I attribute it to that (wrestling) room and the culture that we bring into that room,” Jordan told the Citizen Tuesday. “Then you have Pat Coffing who wrestled in college at Cal State-Bakersfield and later at Chadron State and he brought that Bakersfield culture to the room and the kids are grinding every single day, putting in the work, we’re making them uncomfortable and they're rising to the occasion every single day. We think that’s a difference-maker.”

Coffing himself wrestled for Curt Mettler at Elk Grove, placing third at 135 pounds at the State meet in 1991. His brother Adam is Elk Grove’s most successful wrestler with a state championship in 1995 and two second place finishes, in 1994 and 1996 along with a third-place medal in 1993.

“Pat set that culture up and it’s my job now to take that torch and not let that culture die,” Jordan said.

Coffing had told the Citizen he’s been a bit hands off this season, allowing Jordan to come in and work his way in. Jordan said Coffing will still be around the wrestling program in future seasons.

“Which is what I wanted,” Jordan said. “It’s pretty special that I was a part of one of his best teams-ever, and arguably one of the best teams to come out of Elk Grove. It’s been great to go on to wrestle at Cal State-Fullerton and come back, take that torch and start giving back to that next generation.”

email: egsports@valleyoakpress.com

Twitter: @EGCSports

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Sports Editor

John Hull has been with the Citizen sports department since 2007. His background is in radio and television then spent 15 years as a media production teacher at Cosumnes River College and Luther Burbank High School, retiring in 2019.