Head Coach Ryan Norton – I was born and raised in Austin, TX. Following in my father’s foot steps, I began wrestling at the age of 4 years old for APAW/Bailey Wrestling Club. Around the age of 7 after some early success in the sport, we decided to break away and form Capital City Wrestling Club. While wrestling with Capital City, I was able to acquire a lot of success at the youth level, which helped prepare me for the High School shift. Combining all styles I wrestled (Folkstyle, Freestyle, and Greco-Roman), I won a combined 13 State Titles (4 Youth Folkstyle, 5 Greco-Roman, and 4 in Freestyle), as well as 6 USA Wrestling National Titles (2 in Folkstyle, 1 in Free-Style and 3 in Greco-Roman). After youth wrestling, I attended Bowie High School in Austin, TX. While attending Bowie, I achieved 4 District Championships, 2 Top 6 finishes at Regionals, 4 Team District Championships, 4 Team-Regional Championships, and 4 Top 5 Team Finishes in the State Tournament, I was also ranked in the Top 6 in the state every year going into regionals before knee injuries ultimately ended my wrestling career. After wrestling, I immediately went into coaching and officiating at the youth level for Capital City Wrestling Club. I have been involved in this sport for over 20 years and have had the good fortune to be able to observe and be a part of wrestling from so many angles and levels. I have now been coaching/officiating the past 7 years for a combination of youth programs located in the Central Texas Region. When I started PitBull Wrestling in 2015, I wanted to give back this beautiful sport of wrestling to the younger generation and help mold them into respectable young men and women. Wrestling taught me so much about overcoming adversity, working hard towards a goal, working together as a team, and so many more valuable life lessons that, when presented with the opportunity to start this program, I jumped at it. My goal is to provide a competitive, educational, and most importantly, FUN environment for those interested in becoming better wrestlers and learning the art of wrestling.
“You have to go to dark places to be successful.” -Mark Perry
Assistant Coach – Matthew Israel Grimaldo – I began wrestling at 6 years old with AAWA Bailey wrestling. Little did I know, I found the sport I would love for the rest of my life—learning values at such a young age led me to becoming the man I am today. I have to thank all of my wrestling coaches I ever had, and of course, the great sport of wrestling. As a wrestler, I learned respect, commitment, discipline, dedication and the will to keep pushing and never giving up. Youth wrestling was so much fun for me—competing and leaving a mark on the mat that made people remember me every time they saw my name in the bracket. I stayed with Bailey wrestling from 6 years old to 14 years old. Placing at the top in most tournaments and placing top 10 in state several times motivated me to keep pushing. The year before I went to high school, I placed 6th in the State Tournament which earned me the opportunity to wrestle on Team Texas in Chicago. In high school I was a District Champ and a State Qualifier Alternate my senior year. Wrestling has been a big part of my life, and coaching the youth and giving back a little knowledge along the way is why I love doing this.
“When my wrestler’s got their hands raised, I jumped for joy!” -Dan Gable
Assistant Coach – Trae Rodriguez – I was born in a small town in San Diego County, California, called Ramona. Ever since I can remember, I was taught to value hard work, and that anything can be achieved through that. So when I started wrestling for The Pound wrestling club in fifth grade, this was the mentality that I would carry with me. After moderate success in the youth level, I would go on to wrestle for Ramona High School. During my campaign at Ramona, I was ranked as high as 19th in the state, in arguably one of the toughest states for high school wrestling. I would finish my senior year with a First Place finish at CIF (districts) and Fifth at Masters (Regionals). Along with my two varsity letters for wrestling, I would also letter two years in football. My senior year I was captain for both teams, and earned All-League honors in both sports. Once high school was over, I chose to move to San Marcos, Texas, and attend Texas State University. I would join the wrestling team, continuing to be involved in the sport I have come to love over the last 11 years. At the college level, I am a conference champ and two two-time finalist, finishing top 12 in the country at the NCWA national tournament. Along with competing, I have been a referee for two years. I have realized that I truly have a strong passion for the sport of wrestling, and wouldn’t be where I am in life without it. This is the passion that I hope to instill in youth and high school wrestlers for the rest of my career.
“The only thing you deserve is what you earn.” -Tom Brands
Joe Kirksey – Dripping Springs Head Wrestling Coach – PitBull Wrestling enjoys guest coach visits by Dripping Springs ISD wrestlers and their Head Coach, Joe Kirksey. Under his leadership since 2013, the Dripping Springs Wrestling Team has the honor of 2 State Champions, 5 All-State with 2 in 2017, 4 Regional Champions with 2 in 2017, 7 District Champions with 4 in 2017, and 20 State Qualifiers with 6 in 2017.
“Anyone can wrestle until they are tired.” – Cael Sanderson