Emiliano Hernandez

Maine East

In 1977, Maine East wrestlers started the takedown revolution and no one knew what the outcome would be. The program never thought about national records, and definitely didn’t do it to humiliate anyone. It was done because it was the only way a good athlete could catch up to a good wrestler. No one on the varsity had ever wrestled before high school.  Emiliano Hernandez started wrestling in 8th grade. Maine East lost a lot of matches getting reversed.  Coach Jerry Muccianti, while doing team stats, noticed that Maine East wrestlers were usually getting the first take down.  In fact, in most matches, Maine East was dominating in the take down area. This became the team’s focus, and their way to succeed.  By the end of Emiliano’s sophomore season, everyone on the team was letting people go and going for take downs. The team started winning and that was the beginning. The next two years was all takedowns - and the wining continued. By the middle of Emiliano’s senior year, many opposing coaches and officials thought the Maine East wrestlers were trying to humiliate their opponents.  The fact is, that was the only thing Emiliano and his teammates knew how to do - and they were good at it. They never tried to embarrass anyone and their conditioning had to be very good in order to keep up the pace. People from all over the state wanted to see Maine East and were amazed at the individual scores. Maine East and Emiliano Hernandez drew a lot of attention everywhere they went and it was exciting. Today it is a normal wrestling practice to score takedowns and release, it appears Emiliano Hernandez was a pioneer.  Takedown and release opened a new style of wrestling just like the Designated Hitter and the 3 point line did in other sports.

Emiliano won the 1979 State Championship and finished his high school career with a 96-16 record.  He was a three time regional champion and won one sectional title and four other regular season tournaments.  He set five national records in high school.  He was three time National Freestyle place-winner.

Emiliano went on to North Idaho College and then went on toe Washington State University.  He won four letters and was MVP and team captain at both schools.  He has been the head coach at Maine East for the past fifteen years.  He coached sixteen state qualifiers, four state place-winners and one state champion.  Emiliano was nominated as Coach of the Year in the CSL and also named CSL Coach of the Year for gymnastics.  He has served as the regional representative for the IHSA Wrestling Advisory Committee ten times.  His teams won six CSL Titles and two regional championships.

Emiliano presently works as a special education teacher at the Maine East Whole Center.