March 29, 2022
Missouri Valley College

Missouri Valley College President Dr. Bonnie Humphrey has promoted longtime Men’s Wrestling Head Coach Mike Machholz to Athletic Director for the college.  Machholz will retire from his duties as men’s wrestling head coach with the promotion.

Machholz has been a coach with the men’s wrestling program for more than 30 years, and helped resurrect the men’s wrestling program in 1991.  He took over the head coaching position in 1994, and led the program to tremendous success during his tenure.  Machholz became assistant athletic director in 2003, was promoted to associate athletic director in 2013, and then to senior associate athletic director in 2018.  He will take over the role of athletic director for the college effective July 1, 2022, replacing Tom Fifer, who announced his retirement after 31 years of service to Missouri Valley.

“I am excited for Mike to take on this new role at Missouri Valley,” said Dr. Humphrey.  “His dedication and loyalty to Missouri Valley College will set him up for much success as he takes the lead of the athletic department in the coming months.”

Machholz will lead an athletic department at Missouri Valley that offers 19 sports, with 30 varsity teams, and nearly 1,000 student-athletes on-campus.

“As a youngster growing up here in Marshall, Missouri, I’ve been able to watch over 50 years worth of Missouri Valley College athletics,” said Machholz. “I’ve witnessed many of the great moments in our history as an institution.  This is all a bit surreal for me.  I am truly humbled and excited about this opportunity to lead the Athletic Department.  I would like to thank President Humphrey for her institutional leadership and faith in me.  I look forward to the challenge of continuing to elevate Missouri Valley College as one of the primary leaders in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.  I realize that I have large shoes to fill following Tom after his long tenure here as Athletic Director!  I certainly owe him a great deal for his guidance and mentoring over the years!  I look forward to continuing the excellence that he has established throughout our Athletic Department.  We have a rich tradition of athletics here at Valley and I will do my best to make sure it stays that way…Valley Will Roll!”

With the move to Athletic Director, Machholz will be retiring as head coach of the men’s wrestling program after a successful tenure that stretches more than three decades, creating one of the most accomplished athletic programs in the NAIA and school history.  Missouri Valley men’s wrestling produced three NAIA National championships (1996, 1997, 2003), four NAIA National runner-up finishes (1998, 2000, 2001, 2005) and 11 regional team championships under the leadership of Machholz.  The program also produced a total of 168 All-Americans, 17 individual National champions, and 40 National finalists.  Machholz has a career record in duals of 224-115-2, which includes victories over teams across multiple collegiate divisions.  He was inducted into the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.

Machholz has been recognized many times for his excellence in coaching.  He was named NAIA Coach of the Year three times (1996, 1997, 2003), and was a ten-time Regional Coach of the Year selection.  He was also named the Rookie Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News in 1995.  Machholz served as President of the NAIA National Wrestling Coaches’ Association from 1997-99, and 2007-2009, and was a member of a number of coaches committees over the past 30 years.

In addition to his success with the men’s wrestling program at Missouri Valley, Machholz was at the forefront of building the sport of collegiate women’s wrestling, not only at the college, but across the country.  In 1999, he pioneered the first-ever women’s collegiate wrestling program to offer scholarships, and coached a USA National Women’s Freestyle National Championship in 2001, along with two National runner-up finishes (2000, 2002).  In 2002, he was also head coach and director of one of the first Women’s Exchange Freestyle tours to China, as a preview to the Beijing Olympic Games.

“I want to congratulate Coach Machholz on an unparalleled coaching career of over 30 years here at Missouri Valley,” said Fifer.  “I look forward to his continued work as the new Athletic Director, leading the department into the future.  When I think about Coach Machholz’s coaching career, I am reminded of my favorite quote about coaches: ‘A coach’s worth is not found in the wins and losses, or their resume, but in the impact made on their sport and in their players’ lives’.  Mike Machholz has certainly made a huge impact at Missouri Valley College.  Congratulations on an excellent coaching career, and on your much-deserved promotion to Athletic Director.”

Machholz graduated from Missouri Valley College in 1984 with a bachelor’s in business administration, and earned a master’s of business administration from Lindenwood (Mo.) in 1994. He and his wife, Janine, have been married for 33 years.