Inducted Class of 2016
Thomas A. Ortiz is a Tucson native and attended Sunnyside High School where he began his wrestling career. He wrestled varsity from 1982-1985. During that time, he was two-time state champion, a two-time 2nd place and three-time High School All-American. He was voted most outstanding wrestler and Arizona Republic’s wrestler of the year.
In 1985 Ortiz received a full scholarship to Arizona State University. He was a four-time starter from 1987-1990. He was a three-time NCAA All-American, three-time PAC-10 champion, an Academic All-American and a member of the 1988 NCAA Championship Team.
Ortiz received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance in 1990. He began his coaching career as the Interim Head Coach for Arizona State University for the 1991-1992 season.
From 1992-2001 Ortiz was the Head Assistant Coach for Iowa State. During that time, he coached numerous NCAA champions and Big 12 Conference Champions, including four time National champion and undefeated, Cale Sanderson. He received his Masters Degree in Industrial Relations at Iowa State.
In 2001, Ortiz was the Head Wrestling Coach at Arizona State University. He was Pac-10 coach of the year three times and won three Pac-10 Championship Team titles. He coached Pima County native, Eric Larkin to a NCAA title and numerous Pac-10 champions, Anthony Robles, the first one-legged title champion and UFC Champion, Cain Velasquez.
In 2009, Ortiz co-founded World Fighting Federation and helps young athletes find their way into the professional realm of MMA until this day. He continues to have a passion for coaching and in his spare time he coaches professional fighters in the UFC, including Gold Medalist, Henry Cejudo.