Entering his 14th season as the Cerritos College wrestling coach, Donny Garriott led his team to a fourth place finish at the CCCAA State Championships for the second year in a row. For the third season in a row, Garriott led his team to the Southern California Team Dual Championship, where they were defeated by Fresno City College in the state championship match. Back in 2016, Garriott and the Falcons won the team dual state championship. In 2018, the Falcons had one state champion, while four wrestlers earned All-American honors. They also finished in second place at the Southern California Championships and qualified 11 wrestlers for the state tournament.
Prior to the 2017 season, Garriott had led the Falcons to three straight Southern California championships, but came up a little short and had to settle for second place for the second season in a row. In 2016, Garriott and the Falcons added a team dual state championship to the program’s storied history, while in 2014, they won the CCCAA State Championship. In the last five seasons, they have finished in each of the top four spots in the state championship standings. He has also led his teams to eight conference titles.
In the 2016 team dual state championship match, Garriott led the Falcons to a 23-16 win over Fresno City College. During his tenure, Garriott now has a CCCAA State Championship (2014), CCCAA Team Dual State Championship (2016), five Southern California Championships (2006-07 & 2014-16), three state championship second place finishes and six conference championships, including 2016. He has also coached 16 individual state champions, 54 All-Americans and 29 Southern California champions, while the program ranks second in the state with 65 total state champions.
In 2014, Garriott guided the Falcons to their fourth CCCAA State Championship in school history, and advanced 11 wrestlers to the state tournament. In addition, nine earned All-American honors, with four capturing individual state championships. The finished with 167 team points, edging second place Fresno City College (159) points. He followed the 2014 state championship season with a third place in 2015 and had two individual state champions and six more All-Americans. Garriott also led his team to a second place finish in the state championships in both 2007 and 2010.
A fixture in California wrestling scene for many years, Garriott was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2019, while he has also been inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame and El Camino College Hall of Fame.
Familiar with the Falcon’s winning tradition, Garriott faced it firsthand while he was a wrestler at El Camino College from 1986-88. In his two seasons with the Warriors, Garriott was a two-time All-American while wrestling at 126 pounds and also earned 1st Team All-South Coast Conference both seasons. He moved on to California State University, Chico, where he was a two-time Division II All-American at 134 pounds and won the conference championship both seasons.
His wrestling career continued at the national level, where he was a 1996 Olympic Trials Western Regional Runner-up at 125.5 pounds and was a United States Freestyle place winner. While at West Torrance High School, Garriott was a CIF Champion and placed fourth in the State Meet as a senior.
During the first two years of his tenure as the Falcon head wrestling coach, Garriott was also the head wrestling coach at North Torrance High, a position he held from 1991-2008. In his time at North Torrance, Garriott led his team to five CIF championships, six CIF runner-ups and 12 league championships. From 1995-98, he served as an assistant coach at Golden West College, where they won the 1996 South Coast Conference championships.
Garriott earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Cal State Dominguez Hills in 1994 and earned his Master’s degree in Special Education from National University. Garriott and his wife of 26 years, Deanne, have two sons - 14-year-old son, Cael and nine-year-old Caden.