Joe Vivian traded his years as a football guard at Albuquerque High and UNM for 37 seasons as head wrestling coach, assistant football coach or athletic director at Albuquerque High, Cibola High, St. Pius X, La Cueva High and Albuquerque Academy.
Through it all he has taught boys (young men) the art of wrestling and the facts of life. The 289-88-1 record in 37 seasons, four-time pick as New Mexico Coach of the Year and 2000 National Federation Coach of the Year accolade shine bright on is acumen.
But Vivian's deep interest in serving as mentor and volunteer for Young Life Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Special Olympics, Senior Olympics, Meals on Wheels and committees seeking to improve the quality of physical education for tomorrow's youth reveals why he was also chosen recipient of the Ralph Bowyer Coaching for Character award.
Vivian came to UNM in 1959, played in the 1961 Aviation Bowl and was a member of UNM's first Western Athletic Conference football championship in 1962.