FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State Wrestling head coach Obenson Blanc announced the additions of Scott Mattingly and Ceron Francisco to the Bison coaching staff on Friday, Aug. 25.
Mattingly joins the Bison as an Assistant Coach, bringing nine years of coaching experience at the Division I level to Fargo. Over nine years as an assistant, Mattingly has coached 20 NCAA DI qualifiers. He spent the last five years at Gardner-Webb University, where he directly coached six NCAA qualifiers.
“I am excited to have Scott and his family join our Bison Wrestling family,” said Blanc. “Scott has a wealth of knowledge and experience throughout his athletic and coaching career which we will draw from as we continue to build a tradition of excellence. Scott has strong leadership qualities which will impact our student-athletes on and off the mat. Additionally, Scott has strong sense for relationship building and recruiting which will continue to add to our nationally ranked recruiting efforts.”
After four years as an Assistant Coach, Mattingly was elevated to Associate Head Coach last season, and helped guide individual wrestlers at Gardner-Webb to one SoCon championship, two runners-up and a third-place finish, including two NCAA qualifiers.
“I am extremely grateful to join Coach Blanc’s staff at North Dakota State,” said Mattingly. “Obe has a great vision for the program’s future. I’m honored to be a part of it and looking forward to getting to work with our Bison.”
Prior to his time at Gardner-Webb, Mattingly served as an Assistant Coach at Eastern Michigan, where he had a significant impact on the program, coaching 14 NCAA DI qualifiers, including Eastern Michigan’s first All-American in 19 years in 2018. He coached five MAC individual runners-up and coached Eastern Michigan’s first conference champion in eight years in 2017.
Mattingly has helped guide 16 Academic All-Americans in his coaching career and had five teams claim top 15 NWCA Academic Team finishes.
A former standout himself on the mat, Mattingly was a four-time Mid-American Conference Tournament placer during his career as a student-athlete at Central Michigan.
He was runner up at 141 pounds in 2011 and qualified for the NCAA Championships after finishing third in 2012. He finished with 18 wins in his final season on the mat, and was an Academic All-MAC selection twice. Mattingly also earned a spot on the NWCA Academic All-America Team following his sophomore season.
Mattingly graduated from Central Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing. He later earned his master’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan. Mattingly is married to Shea, and they have a one-year-old son, Bear.
Francisco comes to NDSU as an Assistant Coach after wrapping up his freestyle wrestling career with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club at Penn State. As a collegiate athlete, Francisco was a two-time All-American at Concordia (Neb.) University, graduating in 2017.
“Ceron is an amazing individual and I am fired up to have him around our student-athletes,” said Blanc. “His energy, hunger for growth, and competitive mindset will fit in well with our program’s mentality. Ceron has been around some very strong programs in the past and will add to a great mix of coaches in developing the situation for our students to succeed.”
As a Bulldog, Francisco was the 2017 NAIA heavyweight national runner-up and 2017 GPAC Wrestler of the Year. He won two GPAC titles, qualified for nationals three times and had a career record of 100-52. Francisco played a starring role in three GPAC championship seasons at Concordia.
“The North Dakota State Wrestling program is headed in the right direction under Coach Blanc,” said Francisco. “He’s putting together a great staff with wrestling experience that is very widespread and I believe that this will serve as an advantage for our athletes as we prepare them for their spot on the NCAA podium. I’m very excited to be a part of this new trajectory.”
Following his collegiate career, the Fayetteville, N.C. native wrestled a pair of freestyle seasons for the Cavalier Wrestling Club at the University of Virginia. Following his time in Charlottesville, Francisco moved back to Nebraska in 2019 and coached at Doane University under his former head coach at Concordia, Dana Vote. During his time at Doane, Francisco helped coach Baterdene Boldmaa to a NAIA national championship.
Francisco returned to the mat as a wrestler in 2020, heading to Minneapolis where he wrestled for the Gopher Wrestling Club at the University of Minnesota. He spent one season with the Gophers before heading to Happy Valley and the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club in 2021. During his time at Penn State, Francisco has wrestled in several key international events as part of the UWW Ranking Series which included events in Croatia and Bulgaria.
Francisco graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Concordia (Neb.) University in 2017.
The Bison are set to begin their first season under head coach Obenson Blanc later this fall. The season will begin in November with a full schedule announced in the coming weeks.