Michael Lujan has been a staple for the last three decades, in the wrestling community in the state of New Mexico’. His coaching career, however has made the greatest impact on the sport of wrestling.Lujan’s determination and perseverance led him to becoming one of the greatest high school wrestling coaches the state of New Mexico has ever seen.
An educator for 39 years in the Santa Fe Area, Lujan coached track and field, football, and wrestling. from 1975-2002. He became the head coach in 1981 and would lead the Santa Fe High School Demons’ wrestling program to great success for the next 19 years. He coached several wrestlers that combined for 28 individual state championships over the years, including 11 All-Americans in college, most notably an NCAA Division II National Champion in Jason Tapia. In all, Lujan coached 10 AAU national champions during his time with the Santa Fe High Junior Wrestling program.
Lujan’s love for wrestling started at an early age. He began his wrestling career in 1960 for the YMCA in Albuquerque under the direction of Mr. Jack O’Neil. He then went to wrestle at Ernie Pyle Junior High from 1964-65. Lujan attended Rio Grande High School from 1966-1970 and was a member of the Ravens’ wrestling squad. He placed third in the New Mexico State Championships in 1969 and 1970.
Lujan wrestled in college at Trinidad state Junior college from 1970-71 before the program was dropped during the 1971-72 season. He earned his Associates Degree from Trinidad State Junior College and his B.A. in Education and Psychology from Southern Colorado State College. in June 1972, Lujan was a National Olympic Trial qualifier in Anoka, Minnesota. He continued to wrestle Freestyle through 1977.
Lujan was also the founder and CEO of the Santa Fe Junior Wrestling Program, running the program for 35 years. He was also an assistant coach for the USA Wrestling New Mexico National Team in the mid 1980’s, guiding kids at regional and national events for many years.
He was instrumental as a legislative lobbyist from 2007 to present raising funds to start an NCAA Division II wrestling Program at the New Mexico Highlands University. He continues to be part of the program to this day.
Over the years, Lujan has earned several local, regional and National Awards, including being listed in America’s Who’s Who of High School Wrestling 1988. He was the recipient of the Franklin Select Coaching Circle award and the Scholastic Coach Magazine Award in 1989, Lujan received the National Jefferson Award, presented by the Pentagon to seven selected coaches worldwide and also received the USA Today Weekend Most Caring Coach Award.
In 2001, he was honored by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association as Wrestling Coach of the Year and the AAU Wrestling Man of the Year. That same year. Lujan was the AAU Grand Nationals tournament Director. He continues to support AAU activities in his State, serving as the New Mexico District’s AAU Wrestling Sports Director since 2007.
Lujan earned the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame “Promotion of the Year” Award and the Albuquerque Convention and Bureau Ambassador Award in 2002. In 2003, the Santa Fe Board of Education presented him with the Silver Zia Award.
Lujan was honored again by the Santa Fe Public Schools and the Board of Education in 2004, naming the Santa Fe High School Wrestling room the “Mike A. Lujan Wrestling Room.” He was also given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Santa Fe Junior Wrestling Program. Mike conducted the Lujan Summer Wrestling Camp for youth of all ages for the past 34 years.
He was inducted into the New Mexico Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006 and the AAU National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007. He was honored with the Dan Gable American Needs Wresting Award N.W.C.A in 2007.
year in 1998.
Keith’s greatest pride in is the fact that the Bulldawgs have qualified for the state tournament 28 years in a row, which is the only high school in the state in volleyball who can claim this record streak. Leupold led Las Cruces to a Class 6A state quarterfinal appearance last season and a 15-9 overall record.