Fruita Monument wrestling coach Van Hoose retiring

Fruita Monument wrestling coach Dan Van Hoose, center, retired as the Wildcats’ coach on Friday to spend more time with his family. Van Hoose wants to watch his son, Daniel, wrestle at Colorado Mesa and his daughter, Sheridan, play softball at Adams State.

When Dan Van Hoose walked off the mat at the Pepsi Center on Feb. 18, he had his arm around his son Daniel.

It was an emotional day for both dad and son after Daniel came up short in his 138-pound third-place match at the state tournament.

At the time, Dan Van Hoose was pretty sure he was ready to move on.

“I’m thinking about it, I just want to give it a couple of days to make sure,” Dan said then. “Daniel is going to be wrestling for Chuck (Pipher) at Colorado Mesa next year and I have a daughter (Sheridan ) who plays softball at Adams (State), so I want to watch her play, too.”

On Friday, it was announced that Dan Van Hoose was retiring as the head wrestling coach at Fruita Monument after seven successful years.

Family was the No. 1 consideration when Van Hoose made the decision to step down.

The school moved quickly in picking Lucas Archuleta to take over the program. He will become only the fifth coach in school history.

“Fruita Monument is excited to have Lucas coming back to his roots to lead this program,” the school said in a news release. “His experience with working with youth programs and duties with the Central program help to make him the right person for this position.”

Archuleta graduated from Fruita Monument in 1992, and was a two-time state runner-up his junior and senior seasons.

For the past eight seasons, he has been an assistant coach under Laurence Gurule at Central.

“It’s been a great experience,” Archuleta said about his time at Central. “It’s going to be kinda hard for me to leave but I get the chance to go home where I wrestled.”

Archuleta coached at the middle school level in Fruita from 1997-2009 and was also an assistant under Fruita Monument coach Jim Stockert during that time.

He said it’s exciting to take over a program that has such a “great wrestling tradition.” He credited Van Hoose for doing outstanding work with the program.

“He did such a great job getting the numbers up over the last few years,” Archuleta said. “The nice thing I’m looking at is he has a good young group of kids that he’s turning over to me.”

Van Hoose won a state title at Glenwood Springs in 1985, and coached Jacob Seely and Clayton Voytilla to 5A state titles in 2015 and 2016 at Fruita Monument.

Archuleta, 43, said he appreciated being an assistant with Gurule.

“He would let everyone get involved, and let us use our skills to help the kids,” he said.

Archuleta said his philosophy is about using wrestling to get kids ready to move on after graduation.

“My biggest thing is (wrestling) is a way to help them be successful members of the community,” he said. “I love to say, and I’ve heard it from other coaches, as coaches, we have to create men with integrity.”

Fruita Monument had 27 underclassmen on the wrestling team last year.


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