Mario Wilson enters his second year at New Mexico coaching men's and women's combined events, vertical jumps and throws after five years as an assistant coach at Bucknell University (2002-07) and four years at Saint Francis University (1998-2002).
Wilson made a dramatic impact during a sensational first year in Albuquerque. Four of his athletes - javelin thrower Katie Coronado, pole vaulter Robert Caldwell, high jumper Tiyana Peters, and heptathlete Sandy Fortner - advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships with Coronado (second) and Caldwell (sixth) earning All-America honors.
Coronado's silver medal performance (school record 179-06) was the highest in UNM women's history at the NCAA meet. She went on to place sixth at the U.S. Olympic Trials and represent Team USA internationally during the summer.
Four of Wilson's athletes qualified for the NCAA regionals with Coronado (first) and Peters (fifth, 5-10.50) earning all-Midwest Region honors. Coronado became the first regional champion in UNM women's history.
Fortner, meanwhile, enjoyed a historic season. She was the first multi-event athlete and first woman from the state of New Mexico to compete for the Lobos at the NCAA Indoor Championships (12th) and first UNM multi-event athlete ever to compete at both NCAA meets in the same year.
Fortner set school records in the pentathlon (4,005) and heptathlon (5,641) en route to MWC titles in both competitions. She was the Lobos' high point woman at the MWC Indoor and Outdoor meets, including a 21.5-point outburst indoors.
Fortner was one of four athletes under Wilson's watch to win MWC gold medals in 2008, along with Peters (indoor/outdoor), Coronado, and Caldwell (outdoor). Wilson's jumpers, throwers and multi-event athletes combined for a remarkable 10 all-MWC medals during the indoor/outdoor seasons with runner-up performances by high jumper Josh Cosio (indoor/outdoor) and javelin thrower Anthony Fairbanks.
Coronado (176-01) and Caldwell (18-01.00) swept the MWC Most Outstanding Performer awards at the Outdoor Championships, while Fairbanks set the conference record earlier in the season with a throw of 224-11.
While at Bucknell, Wilson coached an NCAA finalist in the women's pole vault (Outdoor 2004, Indoor 2005), 11 NCAA East Regional qualifiers and four Patriot League record holders and 25 individual conference champions. The Bison men's and women's teams also posted a 3.25 and 3.42 GPA, respectively, and featured an Academic All-American last year under his watch.
Wilson was equally successful at Saint Francis, training an NCAA provisional qualifier in the javelin, 12 IC4A and six East Coast Athletic-Conference (ECAC) qualifiers. Red Flash athletes also set 32 school records and four Northeast Conference records during his tenure.
Wilson began his coaching career in 1998 as the head coach at Holy Cross High School in Flushing, N.Y.
Wilson earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Marist College - where he was also a standout football player - in 1998 and received his master's in Education from Saint Francis in 2003.
THE MARIO WILSON FILEAlma Mater: Marist, `98
Collegiate Athletic Experience: Marist (track & field/football - 1994-98),
All-Americans Coached (2):
1998-2002: Assistant Coach (sprints/jumps/throws/combined events), Saint Francis
2002-07: Assistant Coach (jumps/combined events/throws/sprints), Bucknell
2007-current: Asst. Coach (combined events/vertical jumps/throws), New Mexico