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Cal Poly Wrestling Coaching Staff

  Brendan Buckley

Head Coach
Fourth Season

Brendan Buckley, head wrestling coach at Ivy League member Columbia University in New York for the last 11 seasons, was named Cal Poly’s head wrestling coach on June 21, 2011. 

“Brendan has an excellent record in developing student-athletes,” said Mustang director of athletics Don Oberhelman. “Brendan has demonstrated that he knows how to fulfill his first responsibility as a coach, which is to make sure we honor our commitment to our student-athletes’ academic achievement. We’ve hired the right coach to ensure we continue to honor those ideals.

“Brendan also believes, as I do, that all of our student-athletes should strive to leave Cal Poly with a diploma and a championship,” Oberhelman added. “I’m very excited about what he will accomplish at Cal Poly.”

Buckley, who earned a 14-3 win at 142 pounds in Fresno State’s 24-16 dual meet victory against Cal Poly in 1997 at Mott Gym, praised Cal Poly’s reputation for athletic and academic excellence.

“Cal Poly athletics has a rich tradition that I am well aware of. My goal is to add to those traditions,”  Buckley said. “I am really excited to be here and I can’t wait to begin working with the team. We will strive for excellence on the mat and in the classroom.”

Buckley received the Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Award for NCAA Division I on May 31, 2011. Presented by the National Wrestling Coaches Association the award recognizes an outstanding coach who epitomizes the qualities and characteristics of a role model and mentor for developing young student-athletes.

In his first season at Cal Poly, Buckley guided the Mustangs to a 6-7 overall dual meet record, including a 3-2 mark in Pac-12 duals. Four Mustangs qualified for the NCAA Championships, with Boris Novachkov placing third at 141 pounds and Ryan DesRoches earning an eighth-place finish at 174 pounds.

The Mustangs struggled in dual meets in the 2012-13 season, posting a 2-11 mark, but freshman Devon Lotito captured a Pac-12 title at 133 pounds and qualified for the NCAA Championship. The 2013-14 squad went 3-9 in duals and Lotito placed second at the Pac-12 finals and again qualified for the NCAA Championship.

In his last year at Columbia, Buckley led the Lions to a 9-6 overall record and a third-place finish in the Ivy League. The team placed seventh overall at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships in March and two wrestlers advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Division I National Championship.

Off the mat, Columbia shined in the classroom as well, ranking third nationally with a 3.2917 team cumulative grade-point average. The Lions were named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic Team each year under Buckley's guidance and ranked in the top 10 in five of those 11 years.

Buckley’s accomplishments at Columbia include five years of nationally ranked recruiting classes, 20 NCAA qualifiers and a school-record eight EIWA placewinners in the 2006-07 season. He was named EIWA Coach of the Year in 2005.

In the last six years under Buckley's guidance, Columbia earned 26 All-Ivy League selections, 16 NCAA qualifiers and the program's first All-American in 23 years. Matt Palmer finished eighth in the 2005 and 2007 NCAA Championships at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively. In the 2008-09 season, Buckley coached Columbia's first EIWA champion in 13 years.

Buckley was named EIWA Coach of the Year as he led the Lions to a fourth-place finish at the 2005 EIWA Championships, the team’s best finish at the meet since 1931. The Lions also won the EIWA Wrestling Officials Sportsmanship Award.

Columbia made further improvements in 2007, as the team earned its first-ever top 25 ranking, eight wrestlers placed at the EIWA Championships, four team members qualified for nationals and Palmer earned his second All-America honor.

Buckley, 71-84-1 in 11 dual meet seasons with the Lions, came to Columbia from the University of Virginia, where he was the top assistant coach from 1998 to 2000. He helped lead the Cavaliers to two straight top-25 finishes in the NCAA Championships, while helping develop three All-Americans and seven NCAA qualifiers, including national finalist Steve Garland at 125 pounds.

Prior to Virginia, Buckley was the chief assistant coach at UC Davis as well as at Sacramento City College. During his tenure at Sacramento CC, five wrestlers earned All-America status.

Originally from Long Island, Buckley lived in Buffalo, N.Y., before moving to Orlando, Fla. He was a high school All-American and Florida state champion at 135 pounds for Lake Howell High and then starred at Clemson where he made the freshman All-American team his first year and reached the NCAA Round of 16 as a 142-pound sophomore.

When Clemson dropped wrestling after the 1994-95 season, Buckley transferred to Fresno State, where he wrestled under Dennis DeLiddo. Buckley was a Western Athletic Conference champion for the Bulldogs and earned All-America status with a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championship at 142 pounds in 1997.

Buckley graduated from Fresno State in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and completed his master's degree in sports management at Columbia. Buckley and his wife Julia celebrated their third wedding anniversary Aug. 28.

 

Brandon Hatchett

Assistant Coach
First Season

Brandon Hatchett, a three-time Florida state high school champion and twice an NCAA Division I All-American while wrestling at Lehigh University, was hired as an assistant wrestling coach at Cal Poly in September 2014.

"We are excited to bring aboard a great coach to the Mustang wrestling family in Brandon Hatchett," said Mustang head wrestling coach Brendan Buckley. "I got to know Brandon firsthand when he was a high school senior and then witnessed him have an outstanding career at Lehigh.

"He is a superb athlete with high level wrestling technique and all of our middle and upper middle weights will benefit greatly by working out with him every day," Buckley added. "Even more important, Brandon is a fine young man that will serve as a terrific mentor for the young men on our team."

Hatchett was national runner-up at 165 pounds in 2012 and placed seventh in the 2011 NCAA Division I National Championship, also at 165 pounds. He compiled a 74-29 career mark at Lehigh with 10 falls, claiming an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association title in 2012 and placing second in 2010.

"Having known Brendan and Scotti for quite some time, I was eager and excited when this opportunity presented itself," said Hatchett. "After touring the facilities and meeting with the team, I gladly accepted the position without hesitation.

"The team has a great group of guys on it," Hatchett added. "They seem hardworking which makes me even more passionate about helping them achieve their goals. As for the staff, all three of us grew up in Florida and went on to accomplish great things in college. So not only do we have three great technicians, but three great coaches who have similar coaching philosophies that all revolve around being more than just a great athlete.  We are shaping these guys into well-rounded individuals: "The Full-Package."

A graduate of Oviedo High School in Winter Springs, Florida, Hatchett captured three state prep titles and won the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award for the state of Florida, presented by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and based on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship and community service.

He was a Fargo All-American in freestyle and Greco-Roman, a FILA Cadet All-American and trained at Lehigh under two-time NCAA national champion Wade Schalles. Hatchett was a finalist for the Lehigh University Athlete of the Year Award in 2012.

A four-year varsity letter winner at Lehigh, Hatchett was a team captain, promoted community service activities and wrestling club functions with fans and alumni, and was training for a spot on the USA Olympic Wrestling Team before the sport was dropped in early 2013. It has been reinstated for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Hatchett earned his bachelor of arts degree in architecture at Lehigh in 2013 and currently is pursuing an associate of science degree in drafting and design technology at ITT Technical Institute. Prior to his hiring at Cal Poly, Hatchett was a project coordinator for Interplan LLC. He served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Lehigh wrestling team for the 2012-13 season.

 

  Scotti Sentes

Assistant Coach
Second Season

Scotti Sentes, a two-time NCAA Division I All-American and four-time national qualifier while wrestling at Central Michigan, was named assistant wrestling coach at Cal Poly in August 2013.

"In looking for an assistant coach, we wanted to hire someone that not only was good on the mat but also someone that could relate well to our student-athletes and help us promote the Mustang Mission," third-year Mustang head coach Brendan Buckley said in announcing the hire.

"We feel strongly that we accomplished this in hiring Scotti Sentes," Buckley added. "He is a great technician and will be a terrific asset for all of our wrestlers."

Sentes twice won Mid-American Conference titles (2009 and 2011) and placed third in 2010 and 2013. He finished his Chippewas career with a 108-33 overall record, including 55-12 in duals (17-1 in MAC dual meets) and 53-21 in tournaments. Among his 108 career wins were 23 falls.

Sentes placed fourth in the NCAA finals at 133 pounds as a junior in 2011 and seventh at 125 as a freshman in 2009.

While wrestling at Central Michigan, Sentes also was involved in numerous camps and club teams. He was a clinician for wrestling clinics and camps at Central Michigan and throughout the country under Chippewas head coach Tom Borelli.

Sentes also was founder and head coach/clinician for Team Anaconda Blood and was a coach for National Team Florida, preparing wrestlers for national competition during the high school offseason. He also was an instructor for the Riverdale Wrestling Club during his high school career.

Sentes was a four-time Florida state high school champion while attending Riverdale High School, compiling a 213-3 career prep record and winning his last 140 matches. He also finished runner-up in the state finals at 103 pounds while competing with the varsity as an eight-grader in 2004. He was 51-0 with 36 falls as a senior. Sentes also won a senior nationals title in 2008.

Sentes earned his bachelor of science degree in English at Central Michigan in May 2013.

 

 Kyle Gilchrist

Volunteer Assistant Coach
Third Season

Kyle Gilchrist, a two-year team captain and four-year letter winner in wrestling at Columbia University in New York City, was hired in September 2012 as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at Cal Poly.

Gilchrist compiled an 81-52 career record at Columbia, wrestling under current Mustang head coach Brendan Buckley in his first three seasons with the Lions.

As a senior, Gilchrist was 27-15 overall, including a 3-2 mark in Ivy League matches, and was an All-Ivy League honorable mention. Among his victories were two pins and six major decisions. He placed sixth in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships.

Gilchrist was 18-11 as a junior, 24-12 as a sophomore and 12-13 in his freshman season. He was in the national polls at 125 and 133 pounds as both a junior and senior.

Gilchrist is a 2008 graduate of Jefferson Area High School in Jefferson, Ohio, where he was a three-time Ohio state medalist (one second-place finish and two fourth-place finishes), two-year team captain and two-time AAU All-American. In recording 175 career prep wins, Gilchrist was a three-time Ashtabula County Wrestler of the Year honoree, class valedictorian and three-time Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association academic All-Ohioan selection.

Born in Painesville, Ohio, Gilchrist earned his bachelor's degree in history in 2012 at Columbia with a concentration in 20th Century U.S. History. He currently is pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Cal Poly.

Gilchrist has served as a senior counselor at the U.S. Military Academy Wrestling Camp and is coach of the Meathead Wrestling Club in San Luis Obispo.