MISSOURI VALLEY COLLEGE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, LONG-TIME MEN’S WRESTLING HEAD COACH INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME
Current Missouri Valley College Athletic Director, and long-time men’s wrestling head coach, Mike Machholz has been inducted into the Missouri Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and is receiving the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award.
Machholz retired as head coach of the Missouri Valley men’s wrestling program after more than 30 years following the 2021-22 season. He helped build the program after being dormant for nearly 20 years in 1991, and took over as head coach in 1994. During his tenure, the Missouri Valley men’s wrestling program was one of the most successful in all of collegiate wrestling. His program won three NAIA National championships (1996, 1997, 2003), was National runner-up an additional four times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2005), won 11 regional team championships, produced 168 NAIA All-Americans, had 17 individual National champions, and 40 individual National finalists.
In addition to his team’s accomplishments, Machholz was recognized as the NAIA Men’s Wrestling Coach of the Year three times (1996, 1997, 2003) and was a ten-time Regional Coach of the Year. He was also named the National Rookie Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News in 1995. He finished his coaching career with a 224-115-2 record in duals.
He was also instrumental in helping develop women’s wrestling as a collegiate sport, as he was at the forefront of building women’s wrestling by pioneering the first-ever women’s collegiate wrestling program to offer scholarships in 1999. Machholz guidance helped the Missouri Valley women’s wrestling program win one National championship (2001) and two National runner-up finishes (2000, 2002).
Machholz was also an influential member of the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association during his tenure as head coach at Missouri Valley. He was the NWCA President from 1997-1999, then again from 2007-2009. He also served as a member of the executive committee for 25 years.
“This is a very special award for me and our program,” said Machholz. To be inducted into the National Hall of Fame means that your peers have recognized your accomplishments over the years, which is very special. I am truly humbled by this honor. To be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is something, even as a youngster, I never dreamt would ever happen. We as coaches certainly don’t get into this profession thinking something like this would ever happen, but to be inducted in front of your former wrestlers, assistant coaches, family, friends and peers made this truly an amazing day!”
Machholz was promoted to Athletic Director at Missouri Valley on July 1, 2022. He served as Assistant Athletic Director from 2003-2013, Associate Athletic Director from 2013-2018, then Senior Associate Athletic Director from 2018 until his most recent promotion.
He received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Missouri Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum, which goes to those who have spent their life making a significant impact on wrestling, leaving behind a legacy that others admire.