Patterson High Principal Dave Stubbs and athletic director Dave Klein made the announcement May 24.
“I’m excited for the opportunity and look forward to creating a program that Patterson High School can be proud of,” Canseco said. “I will work to create a coaching staff that our kids will be excited to wrestle for, and will be proud of when they wear that ‘P’ on their back.”
Canseco has taken over the duties previously held by Lee Scoles, who after eight seasons of leading the Tigers and more than 30 seasons in all, stepped down at the end of the 2012-13 campaign to spend more time with his family.
“Virgil brings his strong organizational skills and a passion for the sport to the program,” Scoles said. “His commitment to the kids is one of his biggest assets. He’s in the wrestling room almost year-round working with them.”
Canseco knows that he’s stepping in for a local coaching favorite, and the community has expectations for its grapplers to compete favorably in the Western Athletic Conference.
“You don’t replace somebody like Coach Lee. What you do is embrace his knowledge and friendship and learn from it,” Canseco said. “You incorporate things that have worked in the past and change things that haven’t to start building a program.”
Canseco, 40, has been a presence in the Tigers’ wrestling room since 2009, when his family relocated to Patterson from east San Jose. He is married to Rosie Canseco, and is the father of three children: Brenda, 20, Jordan, 17, and Sarah, 13.
Canseco said the chance to coach the Tigers was just too good to pass up.
“I think this was a natural progression. I have been involved with the program in one way or the other since we moved here four years ago,” Canseco said. “I helped create a competitive off-season wrestling program that we did not have before. Seeing the kids grow every year makes you feel like you’re making a difference.”
The 1990 Overfelt High of San Jose graduate wrestled under coach Adam Cuesta, who was inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002.
This season, Canseco will lean on 2012-13 Sac-Joaquin Section Masters qualifiers Jordan Canseco (113 pounds), a junior, Daniel Cota (120), a sophomore, as well as junior Manuel Cruz (120).
“All three wrestlers have been putting in the time during the off-season,” Canseco said. “The goal is (the California Interscholastic Federation tournament). If we are not striving for that, then we are selling ourselves short.”
Also contributing to the Tigers’ stockpile of experience are returning grapplers freshman Sean DeOcampo (106), and sophomores Eloa Chadwick (162) and Francisco Plascencia (195).
While Canseco will oversee the entire wrestling program at Patterson, he will continue to work full time as an assistant vice president merchant specialist with Bank of America, a position he has held since 2009.
“I would say my style of coaching is disciplined, controlled aggression. We will focus on attacking for six minutes,” Canseco said. “I will work to build a program that not only makes our wrestlers better, but helps them build skills that they can use in everyday life.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.