Image and release courtesy of Cal Poly Sport Information.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Chris Chionuma, heading into his fourth season with the Cal Poly wrestling team, has been promoted to Associate Head Coach, beginning Thursday.
“Coach Chewy has made an extraordinary impact on the Cal Poly student-athletes’ development over his first three years as Head Assistant Wrestling Coach,” said Mustang head coach Jon Sioredas. “Our purpose at Cal Poly is to help develop and shape remarkable men for life after wrestling. Coach Chewy not only consistently champions our core values, but he has a sheer focus on our character development with his passionate approach to our sport and to life.”
Chionuma, a former Oklahoma State wrestler and Big XII Conference champion, was hired as Cal Poly’s Head Assistant Wrestling Coach in July 2018. He had spent the previous three years at Army West Point, helping guide the Black Knights, who qualified 12 student-athletes to the NCAA Championships in that time. He also served as head coach at Ouachita Baptist University, an NCAA Division II school, which finished fifth at the NCAA Division II National Championships under his leadership.
“He truly raises the level of everyone around him, including myself,” Sioredas said. “He is one of the most genuine people I have had the pleasure to work alongside and I am proud and excited for him to receive this much-earned promotion to become our Associate Head Coach.”
Chionuma is a meticulous recruiter with a keen eye on targeting student-athletes who can also handle the academic rigors. His recruiting experience has transitioned nicely to Cal Poly, where the average incoming GPA exceeds 4.0.
Chionuma’s primary focus has been on the mid to upper weights. His experience in developing the big guys is apparent as nine of the 12 NCAA Division I national qualifiers at Army West Point from 2015-18 were at weights 157 and above.
“Coach Chionuma brings an energetic and big personality to the Mustang wrestling family at large and that has been vital to the improved team culture and essential to continued successes,” said Sioredas. “Chionuma’s tremendous work ethic and passion for success led to a top-25 team finish at the 2021 NCAA Championships, the highest term GPA on record this past fall, and rapid growing support from our alumni and supporters.”
Chionuma enjoyed a successful collegiate wrestling career that included three separate NAIA All-America honors while wrestling at Lindenwood University from 2008-11. He also earned an individual national title at 174 pounds at Lindenwood in 2011.
Chionuma transferred to Oklahoma State following the 2010-11 season, eventually earning a Big XII championship at 184 pounds during the 2012-13 season. He compiled a 28-10 record with four falls and was a national qualifier on the Oklahoma State team that placed second at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
A graduate of Blue Springs High School in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he was a state champion during his senior season and placed third at state as a junior, Chionuma earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Oklahoma State in 2012.
Chris Chionuma File
Associate Head Wrestling Coach at Cal Poly
Head Assistant Coach at Cal Poly
Assistant Coach at Army West Point
12 National Qualifiers at the NCAA Division I Championships
Head Coach at Ouachita Baptist (Arkadelphia, AR)
Team finished 5th at the NCAA Division II Championships
Graduate Assistant Coach at Ouachita Baptist
Team finished 4th at the NCAA Division II Championships
Big XII Champion and National Qualifier at Oklahoma State University
Team finished 2nd at the Division I NCAA Championships
NAIA National Champion at Lindenwood University
3X NAIA All-American
Blue Springs High School, Blue Springs, MO
2007 — Third in state; 2008 — State champion