Mountain View All-American Marcus Castillo announced his commitment to wrestle for Arkansas at Little Rock on Thursday afternoon. Castillo is part of the program’s first recruiting class.
“Excited to announce that I will be continuing my athletic and academic career at the University of Arkansas Little Rock,” Castillo announced. “Big thanks to my family and all of the people that supported me along the way!”
Castillo earned All-American status in the 126-pound division at the USAW Folkstyle Nationals held in Iowa this past March. He brought home the 2017 AIA state championship in the 138-pound division in 2017 and he helped lead Mountain View to a state championship in 2016 by taking the 132-pound division.
“Little Rock Athletics is thrilled to announce the addition of Division I wrestling to our campus,” said Director of Athletics Chasse Conque in a release. “This serves as an exciting milestone for our department, adding a program that will complement and enhance the profile of our existing 14 sports.”
According to the release, the idea came to fruition after a recent $1.4 million pledge from Greg Hatcher to secure funding to begin the program. The gift from Hatcher, a prominent Little Rock businessman and supporter of youth sports, will help UA Little Rock build a wrestling facility, purchase equipment, and fund operational expenditures.
Neil Erisman was hired to coach the program in June.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com