By Collin Breaux | Twitter: @collin_breaux
When he considers the possibilities of students wrestling at Fairmont Schools, Mark Muñoz is excited.
Muñoz, who competed in UFC events and has an extensive wrestling background, is now the wrestling coach and athletic academy wrestling director at the private school’s location in San Juan Capistrano. Muñoz will work as coach with the high school students and serve as the athletic director for junior high students.
He wants to build something special with the kids, with support from the school administration and South Orange County wrestling community.
“I see a lot of possibilities of us being a dynasty,” Muñoz said. “We’re actually on the road to get there.”
Fairmont announced Muñoz’s hiring earlier this year to coincide with the debut of their new wrestling program. He wants to bring in wrestlers and MMA fighters for demonstrations and intends to help the kids refine their skills. Wrestling practice at Fairmont is currently on hold since Orange County is in the most restricted tier of the state’s coronavirus monitoring system amid spiking cases.
Though students won’t be able to work out on the mats for now, Muñoz is considering other fitness options, such as socially distanced outdoor conditioning.
“Now, it’s just building them technically and building them strength-wise, and flexibility as well,” Muñoz said. “Along with that is their perspective, their attitude, their mental toughness, their coachability, their kindness to each other, their respect to each other—you know, all the other things that are important to have, other than being a great wrestler.”
He loves Fairmont and everything the school stands for, including their welcoming of wrestling.
“I love the resources they have here and the things they want to do,” Muñoz said. “They’ve highly expressed they want to have a dynasty, and I have full intentions of building that. With the knowledge and relationships I have with people here, I can definitely do that.”
The Fairmont wrestling program is still accepting applications. Muñoz said he’s also looking to grow his personal Reign Wrestling Club, for students in grades K-12. The club has been around since 2008 and wrestles during the season and offseason.
“I don’t want to build just great wrestlers,” Muñoz said. “I want to build champions on and off the mat—teaching them about character, integrity, and leadership, and using wrestling as a vehicle for that.”
Fairmont held a ribbon-cutting for their new San Juan Capistrano location in August and has other existing campuses in Anaheim Hills and Tustin.