Mike Garcia Jr.

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  • January 12, 2024
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Mike Garcia is considered one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of our area. Very few have ever produced at such a high level over an extended period of time as Mike, not only on a state-wide basis, but nationally and internationally as well. Mike burst onto the scene as a freshman grappler for Coach Bucky McCollum at Mount Carmel Area High School. Wrestling mostly at 130 pounds, Mike would win 44 matches, losing only 6, and wrestling back to finish with a 5th place medal at the PIAA Championships.

He won his first state championship as a sophomore, going 35-0 at the 130pound weight class. Bumping up to 140 as a junior, Mike would go 34-1, winning his second state title by avenging his only loss in the Regional Finals to returning state champion Brett Werkheiser. During his senior season in 1994 at the 145 pound class, Mike faced defending state champion Scott Kurtz of Shamokin in the Schuylkill League final, winning an 8-3 decision and the Outstanding Wrestler Award. He went on to win his third AA state title with a 34-0 record, while Kurtz would win the AAA state title. He finished his career with a 147-7 record, still the MCA all-time best, registering 97 pins along the way.

Garcia also competed in the tough USA Wrestling Circuit where he was a 5-time State Champion and All American in both Greco Roman and Freestyle events. The highlight of his career at the time was defeating the Russian Champion in an International meet in 1992. Garcia added a European Championship for good measure in 1992.

Mike received a scholarship to wrestle at Bucknell University and as a sophomore in 1996 won the East Coast Wrestling Championship at 150 pounds. He would wrestle in the 66th NCAA Tournament in Minnesota and eventually lost to the 8th place medalist Uker from Iowa.

Mike assumed the head coaching position at MCA from 2000-2003, where he immediately got the program heading up going from 1 win in 1999 to 10 in 2003. He also placed four wrestlers into the PIAA State Championship meet in 2002 – Eric Lupotsky, Eric McAndrew, Vince Yasenchak, and Bob Bilder – the first and only time in MCA history.

Mike now makes his home in the Mystic Mountain section of Numidia with his wife Melissa and their four boys – Gaige, Gavin, Garrett, and Grady. He is a supervisor with Waste Management and owns Garcia Trucking and Towing

Categories: 2017 Hall of Fame