The National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Colorado Chapter selected Golden Eagles Wrestling Coach as their 2019, Youth Coach of the Year. This is a tremendous award for Coach McDoniel.
The mission of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, OK is to honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary achievements and inspiring future generations. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame established its State Chapter program in 1993 to help honor and recognize individuals, at the state level, who have positively impacted the sport of wrestling. The Colorado Chapter pays tribute to those coaches, officials, and contributors who represent the best qualities of what the sport of wrestling has to offer and who share those characteristics with young people day in and day out.
Coach Scott McDoniel is originally from Derby, KS and started wrestling when he was 9 years of age and wrestled through high school. He was a 3-year varsity wrestler for Derby High School and qualified for the Kansas State High School Championships his Junior and Senior years helping his team place 2nd and 5th respectively in the 6A High School Division. He left the sport of wrestling after High School to pursue his academic interests. During his college years (1992-1994) he was a volunteer assistant H.S. coach for the New Mexico Military Institute. After NMMI, he graduated from Wichita State University with a B.A and M.S. degree in Exercise Science. He continued his education obtaining a PH.D in Health/Sport Psychology from Capella University.
In 2010, Coach McDoniel returned to the sport when his oldest son, Jackson, started wrestling. After a few years volunteering with local wrestling clubs and with Mountain Vista's High School wrestling team, Coach McDoniel started the Golden Eagle Wrestling Club in September 2014. Their wrestling club started with 22 wrestlers in their inaugural year and lost half these wrestlers before the end of the wrestling season. "We had to evaluate why kids did not stick with the sport. This is one of the hardest sports for kids since there is no team to help you if you make a mistake" said Coach McDoniel. Since their first season, Coach McDoniel has worked diligently to improve wrestling participation. This past winter season the Golden Eagles grew to 107 wrestlers and had their first girls team with eight brave girls. In addition to having a traditional wrestling program, Coach McDoniel implemented two additional programs for wrestlers. The Golden Eagle Wrestling Club offers an introductory program for kids desiring to try the sport and an Olympic development program for more advanced wrestlers desiring to progress to the international style of wrestling.
"What makes us a little different is how we approach the sport with our kids. We are more interested in developing our wrestlers vs. throwing them into competitions" says, McDoniel. "We looked at other forms of martial arts and how they retain their participants and decided to implement similar aspects into our club" continued McDoniel. The Golden Eagle Wrestling Club utilizes a band system for advancing their wrestlers. Similar to other martial arts, Golden Eagle Wrestlers will start at an entry-level color band and can be promoted based on developmental progression, practice attendance, positive behavior and character development, and competition experience. "To be honest, I had no idea if it was going to work. However, the kids love it! It provides them something to work towards without gauging their success on wins or losses. It is a little more work on me to keep track of who and when to promote but it is worth it to me if I can keep kids on the mat and coming back” says McDoniel.
While growing wrestling participation in Highlands Ranch, CO, the Golden Eagle Wrestling Club has become one of the top wrestling programs in the State of Colorado. The Golden Eagles are currently ranked 14th in the United States per Trackwrestling.com. Coach McDoniel has coached several wrestlers to placements at National and State competitions. Since 2014, Coach McDoniel has coached 29 Youth State Wrestling Champions & 64 State Placers, 31 National Champions, and 73 National Placers. Some of the team's accomplishments under the leadership of Coach McDoniel include winning 2019, Colorado Rookie State Championship; 2018, Wild West National Championship Team; 2019, Who's Bad National Classic Runner-up Team, and 2018, Rocky Mountain Nationals Runner-up Team.
Coach McDoniel is married to Debbie Henry McDoniel and they have two boys; Jackson (12 years) and Henry (8 years). Both boys are active in the sport of wrestling. The McDoniel family resides in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Coach McDoniel will be recognized at the 21st Annual Hall of Fame Honors Banquet on May 11th, 2019 at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel. Coach McDoniel will be recognized along with several top Colorado wrestlers including the #1 (Andrew Alirez) and #2 (Cohlton Schultz) ranked high school wrestlers in the United States, High School Coaches, and service members to the sport of wrestling. The Banquet will begin at 4:00 pm. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Colorado Chapter cordially invites members of the Golden Eagle Wrestling Club to come and celebrate the success of Coach Scott McDoniel. You can purchase tickets ($60/attendee) through the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Colorado Chapter @ https://co-nwhof.ticketleap.com/2019/details .