Perry Azevedo to serve as co head coaches for 2010 11 season at Cal Poly

By Eric Burdick | July 06, 2010, 5:36 p.m. (ET)
Mark Perry, who recently completed his first season as assistant wrestling coach at Cal Poly, and seven-year Mustang head coach John Azevedo will serve as co-head coaches beginning with the 2010-11 season.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Cal Poly director of athletics Alison Cone.

"This move further strengthens our wrestling coaching staff," said Cone. "Mark's strengths combined with John's attributes will provide us with an unbeatable coaching combination."

With Perry as his assistant last season, Azevedo guided Cal Poly to a third-place Pacific-10 Conference finish and produced a pair of NCAA All-Americans. He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year by

"I think this will be great experience for Mark and his future as a head coach," said Azevedo.

When Perry was hired as assistant coach last summer, Azevedo said, "I believe his passion for wrestling and winning will help Cal Poly wrestling go to the next level of becoming the best. Mark brings an extensive amount of individual and team success to the program."

Perry, a two-time national champion and four-time All-American at Iowa, spent the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach at Penn State before coming to Cal Poly a year ago.

"Being promoted to co-head coach is a huge honor for me and I am confident that I will be able to continue to help this program move forward in its quest toward winning Pac-10 titles and NCAA trophies," said Perry. "The future of Cal Poly wrestling is going to be exciting. I guarantee our fans and alumni we are going to be one of the top programs in the country on a consistent basis in the near future.

"Wrestling fans in California are excited about what is going on at Cal Poly and our wrestlers will continue to work toward winning NCAA titles," Perry added.

The Mustangs rebounded from a tough 2008-09 campaign by finishing just seven points shy of Pac-10 champion Oregon State. Chase Pami finished second at 157 pounds in both the Pac-10 and NCAA finals while Boris Novachkov won a Pac-10 title at 133 and placed seventh nationally.

Their finish marked the first time in six seasons that multiple wrestlers finished as All-Americans at Cal Poly. Azevedo led the Mustangs to an 8-4 dual meet record, including a 5-2 mark in Pac-10 matches.

Azevedo, 45-61 in dual meets as Mustang head coach, has guided nine Mustangs to All-American honors and seven Pac-10 champions.

He was an assistant under Lennis Cowell for two years before taking over the head job with the Mustangs in 2003. His coaching career also includes one year as a graduate assistant at Arizona State (1980-81), three years as assistant coach at Cal State Bakersfield (1981-84), two years as an assistant as Notre Dame (1984-86), five years as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (1986-91) and 12 seasons as head coach at Calvary Chapel High in Santa Ana (1991-2003), leading the wrestling program to seven state championships and one runner-up finish.

Calvary Chapel also garnered 11 league titles, 10 CIF-Southern Section team championships, and posted a 183-18 dual meet record under Azevedo's direction. The program also spawned 23 NCAA Division 1 wrestlers. Azevedo was named National High School Coach of the Year in 1993 and California Coach of the Year seven times.

As a collegian, Azevedo won an NCAA title in 1980 while at Cal State Bakersfield, after two runner-up finishes and three NCAA Division II titles. He amassed a 122-2 collegiate record and was named team captain three times. He is also a member of the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Azevedo was also a member of the 1980 United States Olympic team (the United States boycotted those summer games in Moscow) and won a national freestyle championship in 1981. He placed fourth at the World Championships in 1982.

Azevedo earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Cal State Bakersfield in 1981.

Perry was the NCAA individual national champion in 2007 and 2008 while helping the Iowa Hawkeyes to a team championship in 2008.

With his title in 2008, Perry became the 17th four-time All-American and 14th two-time national champion in NCAA history. During his 2007 NCAA run, Perry defeated two-time NCAA champion Johny Hendricks in the finals on his way to a 32-5 record.

Both his NCAA titles came at 165 pounds.

As a sophomore at the NCAAs, Perry placed third at 174 pounds, earning the Gorriaran Trophy for pinning four opponents at the championships. As a freshman he placed second at 165 pounds, posting a 32-5 overall record.

Perry was a team captain all four years at Iowa and was a Big Ten Conference finalist four times as well, capturing one title in 2007. He also was a four-time finalist in the prestigious Midlands Wrestling Tournament, earning two titles.

Perry was named National Wrestling Coaches Association rookie of the year in 2005 and University of Iowa athlete of the year in 2007.

Perry was a two-time prep national champion while attending Blair Academy, located 60 miles west of New York City, in rural Warren County, New Jersey. He was a three-time AISCS High School All-American while posting a career 169-7 record.

Perry earned his bachelor of arts degree in art from the University of Iowa in 2008.