GREAT FALLS — The cliché goes that "life comes full circle." And for the men’s wrestling coaching staff at the University of Providence, that cliché is more of a reality.
Steve Komac left Great Falls High and took over the Argos' program in August, and his assistants are none other than two of his own former Bison wrestlers, Cole Mendenhall and Ty Vinson. Both had successful college careers at the NCAA Division I level before becoming coaches themselves. That experience has been extremely helpful for Komac in his new gig, both on and off the mat.
"They do so much technique in our room. They do so much one-on-one in our room. I don't move very well anymore as an old man and they move really well," Komac said. "They make wrestling look like it's supposed to compared to me, so they're just awesome to have all the way around. They've both been involved in college wrestling the last few years, so they still understand the office side of it. They really are full coaches all the way around."
Mendenhall, a 2012 Great Falls High graduate, wrestled at Wyoming, and is now a third-year assistant for the Argos. He never imagined working under his former coach, but he's glad how things worked out.
"We traveled everywhere. We watched film together. He was a huge part of my life growing up," Mendenhall said. "I was always in his office, always talking with them. So we know each other pretty well."
Vinson graduated from Great Falls High in 2008 and wrestled at Oregon State. He returned to his hometown after his competition days were over to assist at UP (then University of Great Falls). A three-year stint at Eastern Oregon followed. Vinson was set to help Komac with the Bison this year, but instead he’s back in the college ranks after following Komac to the Argos.
"I don't think too many people in the country have the opportunity to coach at the college level in their hometown. So it's definitely surreal," Vinson said. "Being able to do it with a mentor of mine growing up, it's unbelievable and it's something that I'm grateful for every day."