FARGO, N.D. – On Tuesday, the North Dakota State Wrestling program and head coach Roger Kish announced the passing of incoming freshman Damian Mendez over the weekend.
“It is with sincere sorrow that we have to announce the loss of one of our Bison family members, as we learned of the tragic passing of Damian over the weekend,” said Kish.
Mendez signed with the Bison in March of 2022. He was set to join the Bison this fall and was intending to major in Sport Management at NDSU.
“It is a time of sadness for Damian and his family, as well as our Bison family and the wrestling community,” added Kish. “At this time, we just ask for support and prayers for his family and friends in such a difficult time.”
Mendez was a highly decorated athlete out of Dodge City, Kansas, including being a three-time state champion on the mat. He went undefeated as a senior and set the Kansas high school state record for the most takedowns in a single season.
“We were excited to welcome Damian into our family when he committed to us and he had a bright future ahead of him,” said Kish. “He was such a bright young man and certainly made an impact on our coaching staff and his Bison brothers. He will be truly missed by those that knew him.”