After 25 years as Pueblo’s Wrestling Coach (2 as an assistant under John Mulay), Steve Lopez decided to step down at the end of the 2015-2016. With our wrestling season starting today, we want to show how much we appreciate his service & dedication to our school by publishing an interview we conducted with him on June 3, 2016.
Coach Lopez: I wanted to coach because I loved the sport of wrestling and what it taught me.
Q: Can you share some of your first memories of coaching at Pueblo?
Coach Lopez: I remember that it was hard. Teaching and motivating kids was hard but yet fun. You get closer to your athletes than you do in any other sport.
Q: Can you explain your coaching philosophy?
Coach Lopez: My philosophy is and will always be, get [the kids] to trust you and like you, then love the sport, then they will move mountains for you.
Q: Can you share some your highs & lows as a coach?
Learning how to coach, being patient, losing and losing bad at times and the kids being disappointed at you for no reason, those were some of the lows. Having a string of successes, wining multiple region titles and a state title & coaching my son would have to be up there as highs.
Q: Please share some of your most memorable moment(s) of your coaching experience?
Coach Lopez: Winning a state title and my son being a part of it. Coaching a bunch of fine young men and still having some of them in my life as I have grown older.
Q: What will you miss most about coaching especially the start of next season?
Coach Lopez: I will miss the grind. Hanging out everyday with these boys and motivating them and encouraging them to do their best. Telling them they will be better young men for doing this, participating in the hardest sport.\
Q: How did you know it was time to walk away from coaching?
Coach Lopez: I knew it was time because we have the guys here and in place to take over and are poised to do a great job. No better place to leave [program] in the hands of other former Pueblo Wrestling State champs who love the sport.
Q: Any advice to future coaches here at Pueblo?
Coach Lopez: Continue to motivate guys to do their best and never give up.
Q: Is there anyone you want to thank for their support of your coaching career or the program?
Coach Lopez: Thank you to Dr. Richardson for hiring me at first, Mr. Nuñez who supported me for many years, Frank R. for always supporting me in every way possible, Ms. Rimmell who supported us from start to finish, and many teachers and administrators who were always there. You have always been a fan and have supported the wrestling program. For that I am indebted to you. Ms. Boone has always been there to support. So many, many people…
Q: How will you spend you free time now?
Coach Lopez: I will probably volunteer and help. I will spend more time with my family and my new granddaughter Callie, working on my Lowrider and just enjoying my time.
On behalf of the entire Pueblo Family: Thank you Coach!