John Little retires; Tony Mendez is Solanco’s new wrestling head coach

| September 14, 2018

John LittleWEB

John Little has retired as varsity wrestling coach, ending a remarkably successful 36-year head coaching career. The Solanco School Board has hired Tony Mendez as the new varsity wrestling coach.

Following graduation from Solanco and then Millersville University, and a brief stint as the head coach of junior high wrestling at Elizabethtown, Little came home to Solanco and served as an assistant coach under Ivan Steele. In 1982, Little began what would become a long award-winning career as Solanco’s varsity wrestling head coach. Little’s career record was 321-164-1, and his accomplishments as coach and the achievements of many of his wrestlers are highly respected throughout the Lancaster-Lebanon League and beyond. While a student and wrestler at Solanco, Little was District III Southcentral Regional Champion and a qualifier for the PIAA State Tournament. He graduated from Solanco in 1974, and at Millersville University he earned Division III All America wrestling honors in 1977-1978. Little was also a long-time teacher in the Solanco School District.

Tony MendezWEB

Tony Mendez was Solanco’s assistant varsity coach for 18 years, and also has two years’ experience as junior high wrestling head coach. A 1993 Solanco grad, Mendez was an outstanding wrestler at Solanco and Millersville University. At Solanco, where he was coached by John Little, Mendez was a two-time qualifier for the PIAA State Tournament. Mendez’s Millersville career included undefeated dual meet seasons in 1997 (14-0) and 1998 (13-0), and recognition as the Millersville University Male Athlete of the Year in 1998. “I am excited to be the head wrestling coach of the Solanco High School program, which carries a very strong tradition,” Mendez said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue this tradition and reach ever higher goals.”

Mendez is the multi-media technology lead teacher at Solanco High School. In 2014 he was inducted into Solanco’s Distinguished Teacher program which is a prestigious award that honors a teacher’s instructional excellence, extraordinary success working with students, and professional leadership.

Category: Athletic News, Featured Stories

About the Author ()

Keith Kaufman is the Director of Community Relations for Solanco School District. 786-5617.

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