By ANDRE’ MORGAN
What ever happened to Mario Morgan. Rio as his Harvey Twisters teammates often called him, piled up 565 wins over an 18 year career.
A very quick, technical and high scoring wrestler, the slight built Mario had the flair for exciting moves with dramatic endings. He was always a crowd favorite with plenty of must watch matches.
Dominating at the kids level for the legendary Twisters, with 3 state titles he moved on to state high school power, Mt. Carmel. Mario had national tournament success while with the Caravan as well as freestyle and greco championships, but the state folkstyle title eluded him.
At the collegiate level he returned to dominating fashion as a 3x team and individual national champion for the University of Nebraska (Omaha) closing his career with 29 straight wins and 130 overall. When UNO moved to eliminate the powerhouse program an hour after Mario won his title, the senior captain became the national media spokesman for the program’s fight to save wrestling.
Mario is currently in his 6th year as a college wrestling coach for NCAA DII power, Maryville University (St. Louis) as well as their Assistant Director of Admissions.
Name: Mario Morgan
Where do you live today? St. Louis, MO
Married: Yes, Kate
Children: Yes, Jayden (4)
Your Kids Team: Harvey Twisters
Your High School Team: Mt. Carmel (Chicago)
Your College Team: University of Nebraska (Omaha)
What years did you wrestle kids: 1995 – 2002
What years did you wrestle H.S. Varsity & Weight Classes: 2003 (103), 2004 (112), 2005 (125), 2006 (125)
What years did you wrestle College & Weight Classes: 2008 (133), 2009-’11 (141)
Highest Placement in Kids: 3x State Champion (2x IWF, 1x IKWF), 2x USA All American
Highest Placement in H.S.: 1x All State, 2x All American
Highest Placement in College: NCAA DII National Champion, 3x All American, 3x Team National Champion
Did you Freestyle & Greco: 2x FS State Champion, 3x Greco State Champion
Your Kids Coach: Quintroy Harrell
Your High Coach Coach: Bill Weick, Ben Gerdes
Your College Coach: Mike Denney
Greatest accomplishment in wrestling: Winning an NCAA National Championship
Why did you start wrestling? My Crazy Dad
Who influenced you the most in wrestling? Harvey Twisters Head Coach Quintroy Harrell
Do you still compete in wrestling? Only in team practice
What other sports are you doing? None
What do you weigh today? I don’t get on a scale
Do your kids wrestle? Not Yet
If you could change one thing in your wrestling career it would be: Not cutting weight in H.S.
What do you do professionally for a living: College Admissions Assistant Director and Assistant Wrestling Coach
Do you coach or officiate? Coach at Maryville University (St. Louis, MO)
How did wrestling change or better you? Provided access to a higher education
Name one match that you lost that you should of won? 2010 NCAA National Championship Finals Match
Who was your biggest rival in h.s.? Kyle Hutter (Providence)
Who was your biggest rival in college? Myself Mentally