Jessie Reyes enters his 14th season at the helm of the Purdue wrestling program. Last season, Reyes' Boilermakers produced an All-American for the fifth consecutive season, the longest streak in Purdue wrestling history.
Reyes has posted a 160-102-3 dual meet record during his 13 seasons and coached 14 All-Americans and four Big Ten champions during his tenure. The Reyes-led Boilermakers have won at least 10 duals in nine of the last 11 seasons.
His 2003-04 squad had a record-setting campaign, including an All-American and a No. 27 national finish. Purdue posted an 18-6 dual mark during the season, establishing a record for the most dual victories during a single campaign. At the Big Ten Championships, the Boilermakers placed sixth, the best finish by a Purdue squad at the tournament during the Reyes era.
The 2002-03 Boilermakers posted a 15-6 overall record, tying the second-highest win total in Purdue wrestling history. Purdue placed seventh at the Big Ten Championships and boasted eight qualifying wrestlers for the NCAAs, including junior Ryan Lange and sophomore Chris Fleeger. Both Lange and Fleeger won Big Ten individual titles, the second and third titles won by Purdue wrestlers under the tutelage of Reyes.
In 2001, Reyes posted his 100th career coaching victory at Purdue to surpass Claude Reeck as the school's all-time wrestling victory leader. Reyes reached that plateau in just nine seasons.
The 2001-02 Boilermaker wrestlers finished the season with a 15-5 mark. The season was capped with a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and two All-Americans. With two All-Americans the following season, Purdue has produced five All-Americans in the past three seasons.
Reyes' 1997-98 squad finished 24th at the NCAA's and featured a pair of All-Americans in Tim Dernlan and Eric Douglas. The team posted a 16-3 dual meet record during the season.
In just his second season as head coach, Reyes guided the 1993-94 Boilermaker wrestling squad to a 16th-place finish at the NCAA's. The team featured All-Americans Aaron Moran and Tony Vaughn, who placed third at the national championships.
Reyes' first Boilermaker team finished seventh at the 1993 Big Ten Championships after winning nine regular season dual meets.
As a wrestler, Reyes compiled an exceptional four-year record of 151-22-1 at Cal State-Bakersfield. As team captain from 1982 to 1984, he led the Roadrunners to three Division II national titles after the team finished second at nationals during his freshman campaign. Reyes captured the Division I national championship in the 142 pound weight class in 1984, as well as Division II titles in `83 and `84. He earned the Most Valuable Wrestler award at the 1983 Division II National Championships.
Reyes served as an assistant coach at Michigan State for three seasons before his hiring as Purdue's head coach in 1992. Prior to coming to the Big Ten, he was an assistant coach at Arizona State and Oklahoma State and a graduate assistant at Cal State-Bakersfield.
Arizona State and Oklahoma State posted three top-five finishes during Reyes' association with their programs. In addition, Reyes has appeared as a guest clinician at the NCAA Division I Championships, instructed wrestlers at the university, high school and youth levels, and organized and directed several camps.
Regarded as one of the top coaches in the country by student-athletes and peers, Reyes has also been involved in coaching on national and international levels. During the summer of 1998, he helped coach Team USA to a third-place finish on the final day of competition at the 1998 Junior World Freestyle Championships with 61 points (five medallists and two champions). It was first time since 1977 that there had been multiple American champions at that age level. The major international competition featured athletes from 17 to 20 years old, representing 33 nations.
Reyes graduated from Cal State-Bakersfield with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1984. He furthered his education by taking classes in physical education and athletics administration while at Michigan State.
Reyes and his wife, Yolanda, reside in Lafayette with daughters Brisa (11) and Maya (9).
Purdue All-Americans Coached By Reyes:
2005 ~ Ben Wissel (184), 8th
2004 ~ Ryan Lange (174), 5th
2003 ~ Chris Fleeger (125), 2nd
2003 ~ Ryan Lange (174), 8th
2002 ~ Chris Fleeger (125), 3rd
2002 ~ Jake Vercelli (Hwt.), 4th
2001 ~ Jake Vercelli (Hwt.), 8th
1999 ~ Jason Silverstein (125), 8th
1998 ~ Tim Dernlan (118), 6th
1998 ~ Eric Douglas (158), 8th
1996 ~ Frank Laccone (134), 8th
1995 ~ Frank Laccone (134), 7th
1994 ~ Tony Vaughn (Hwt.), 3rd
1994 ~ Aaron Moran (158), 6th
The Jessie Reyes Coaching Style
"The motto I stress is `live in the present.' What have you done today to better yourself? I want all my wrestlers to come to practice ready to learn and work hard. I stress the importance of the transformation process from the locker room to the wrestling room. Once you step on the mat, practice is the only thing that matters.
"High-intensity drilling is a big part of our workouts. I want the wrestlers to simulate their drilling as though they were wrestling a live match. Drilling is the time to work on weaknesses and strengths. I strive to bring an aggressive style of wrestling on our feet. I want the Boilers to be well known for their takedown skills.
"I like to stress that effort is the only thing that matters in anything you do in life. If you work hard on a daily basis and stay positive, success will follow."
"I strongly believe in weight training. We have a variety of programs that we use at different times during the year as we approach nationals. We are fortunate to have some excellent strength and conditioning coaches here at Purdue to help our wrestlers with their training."
"The key to being a winning wrestler is mental preparation. The ability to focus on your opponent during the match is crucial. Off the mat, weight reduction, lifting and conditioning are constant concerns that require careful planning."
Role as Coach
"Coaching at the college level is very enjoyable because you are working with young men who are highly motivated individuals. It's great to watch these young men mature during their stay at Purdue. I feel that I have a responsibility to help them become solid individuals who will be ready for the challenges that await them. I want them to know what hard work is all about, and put them in roles that will develop and strengthen their leadership skills. The wrestlers do volunteer work in several community projects as a way of giving back to our community. By the time they finish their career at Purdue, hopefully we have helped them reach their potential on and off the mat."
This Coaching Staff
"Scott Hinkel and Tom Erikson bring experience along with intensity. All of our coaches are active in live wrestling and demonstrating techniques. I have always felt that in order to keep good coaches, you must involve them in the decision process. This makes them have a stronger commitment to what we are trying to achieve at Purdue and hopefully prepares them in becoming head coaches. Personally, I enjoy it when they run team workouts, because it gives me an opportunity to wrestle and feel the progress our wrestlers have made.
"Tom has competed at the Olympic level, which provides the wrestlers with an opportunity to learn how an elite wrestler thinks and trains. Scott was an All-American for Purdue, so he understands what it takes to be a successful student-athlete at Purdue. I am very fortunate to have such a loyal staff that strives to put our athletes' needs first, without compromising the team's goals. Our coaches understand that all wrestlers are unique and may need to be approached differently."
The Purdue Package
"One of the most exciting things about Purdue is that it sells itself. The faculty and staff, coupled with the tremendous educational opportunities, make it easy for me to sit down and let prospective student-athletes know that they are going to get a quality education. And when they leave Purdue, their degree will mean something. I also think Purdue and the Greater Lafayette community espouse a valuable blue-collar work ethic that surrounds the university and makes it a great atmosphere to play in and live in."
"I do not pay attention to preseason polls, which are based on last year's results. Polls do not take into consideration the time that our wrestlers devote during the summer or the redshirt wrestlers who have had a year to mature. Besides, the only ranking that I give credence to is the one after the national tournament. However, I do believe in trying to achieve personal goals. I meet with all wrestlers prior to the season and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. We identify the areas that they will work on on a daily basis. I preach the importance of adaptability in goal-setting. I believe that goals are reached by those who cope with and adjust to change. If everyone gives me their best effort and we concentrate on performance factors, success will come. We must attack first, pressure all seven minutes and, most importantly, believe in ourselves."
Recruiting For Purdue
"We are looking for athletes who enjoy competing at a high level. Hard work and proven commitment to competing year-round is a must to make it through the rugged Big Ten Conference. The Junior Nationals is a tournament that all high school wrestlers should attend. We tend to look at athletes that are aggressive on their feet and are fierce competitors. We seek those wrestlers who understand the basis for drilling and welcome change. We are also looking for quality individuals who have the desire to be role models in our community."
The Big Ten
"The Big Ten Conference is exciting to compete in because any team can beat you on any given day. The conference produces more national champions and All-Americans than any other conference, year in and year out. The team that wins the Big Ten Conference is a strong contender for the national title. It's not uncommon to have all eleven schools in the conference ranked in the top 25, year after year."
Maintaining A Strong Fan Base
"Fans are very important to our program. They create energy that helps our wrestlers during meets. We understand that winning is not enough; that is why we have recruited kids that are aggressive. We welcome everyone to attend our home meets as we take on several highly ranked teams in the nation."