Texas A&M Judo Wins First Collegiate National Team Championship



Founded in 1962, Texas A&M Judo is a club team currently coached by Bob Perez and Dan Gomez (center). Perez and Gomez received Coach of the Year awards at this year’s NCJA Championships.

Courtesy picture

For the first time in the club’s 60-year history, Texas A&M Judo won a national collegiate tag team championship this month — and earned top honors on home turf.

At the 2022 National Collegiate Judo Association Championships, held March 12 at the Texas A&M University Physical Education Program Building, the Aggie men beat the competition to claim first place and the team championship title. The Novice Men’s team also took first place, while the Novice and Senior Women’s team took second place. Texas A&M sophomores Isabella Garriga and Dario Maaskant were named 2022 NCJA Female and Male Athletes of the Year, while Aggie Judo coaches Bob Perez and Dan Gomez were jointly awarded the NCJA Coach of the Year Award.

“I’m very proud of the current athletes, whose hard work has reflected in the overall performance,” Perez said. “I am also grateful to have Dan Gomez as a coach with me. He is one of the best technicians I have had the privilege of working with and it helps in the development of athletes. Finally, I would also like to thank our alumni students who continue to support Texas A&M Judo.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this month’s competition was the first chance most Aggie Judo athletes had to compete in an NCJA Championship. Gomez said it was a great opportunity for the students to test their skills against a wide variety of opponents.

“I’m extremely proud of our team this year,” he said. “It was a great experience to show how we compare to the rest of the other colleges.”

Along with his Athlete of the Year award, Garriga has also earned a spot at the upcoming World University Games in Chengdu, China. She said she was honored to represent the United States on the world stage and was pleased with her team’s overall success.

“The whole day from start to finish was an absolute blessing,” said Garriga. “I am so happy and honored to be part of the Texas A&M Judo Team.”

Maaskant, who serves as the team’s president, said Aggie Judo’s impressive performance at the NCJA Championships serves to show the tremendous progress the team has made.

“A&M’s competitors, especially the new members, have come so far in a short time and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Maaskant said. “I believe the team’s success at this tournament reiterates that, under the excellent guidance of Dan Gomez and Bob Perez, the Texas A&M Judo Team is one of the most successful varsity judo programs in the United States. United.”

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