Zach Coffman’s quest to repeat as a 3A state wrestling champion in 2013 took a vicious turn when he was knocked out of state competition with a knee injury in the district tournament one week before the main event.
The Tooele High School star grappler won a state championship as a junior at 172 pounds, and was favored to earn a second state title at 182 pounds his senior season.
Coffman, who also played football and baseball, was derailed by injuries his senior season. He sustained a high ankle sprain in football, and his knee injury from wrestling took several months to heal after an operation.
Coffman was unable to cap a spectacular wrestling career at THS, but his outstanding skills earned him a full-ride scholarship at Boise State. The THS wrestling star officially signed with the Broncos on May 8, 2013.
While at Boise State, Coffman will compete in the Pac-12 against Oregon State, Arizona State, CSU Bakersfield, Stanford and Cal Poly. The Broncos have finished first or second in the conference for several years.
The senior season was bittersweet for Coffman.
“I had prepared all season, and actually my whole life, for another state championship and it was hard when that was taken away,” the wrestler said. “But there are still bigger goals ahead at Boise State. I’ve looked forward to wrestling in college since I was little. It was painful to miss the state tournament, but I’m hungry to compete at the next level.”
Coffman has been superb in wrestling since his freshman season. He finished his high school career with a 200-17 record and 149 pins. He was a four-time region champ, and four-time outstanding wrestler at region meets.
He finished first in divisionals this year, and was injured in the final match and missed out on the state tournament. He placed sixth at state his freshman year, second his sophomore season, and won a state title his junior year.
“Zach started wrestling when he was 4 years old and worked at the gym almost daily with me,” said his coach and father Gary Coffman. Zach wrestled folksyle, freestyle and Greco his entire career.
“He would put in a lot of mat time with older kids who wrestled in the junior and youth clubs. He also spent a lot of time at national tournaments with older kids. Even when he wasn’t competing he was watching and studying wrestling matches,” Gary Coffman said.
Former THS wrestling coach Paul Dart, who has helped hundreds of wrestlers over the years, also had high praise for Zach Coffman.
“He’s right up there with the best. I think because he has been so successful at national tournaments is a big reason Boise State recruited him,” Dart said.