UFC legend Daniel Cormier heads back to school as head wrestling coach in California

Photo: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

Daniel Cormier is saying goodbye to the octagon and hello to high school mats. Or, at least he’s doing that some days of the week.

In what can only be considered a surprising move, Cormier — who less than a year ago was lining up opposite Jon Jones in a UFC title fight — has been appointed as the head wrestling coach at Gilroy High in Northern California. Cormier lives in Gilroy with his wife and children, so the opening was apparently an ideal one for the longtime UFC prize fighter.

According to, Cormier’s new role won’t keep him from continuing his professional fighting career; he’s currently scheduled to hit the mats for a heavyweight title fight against champion Stipe Miocic on July 7, and there’s no indication that date or event will be changed.

Perhaps acknowledging that his future in fighting remains far more lucrative than his potential earnings as a high school coach, Cormier decided to take the higher road, agreeing to donate his entire salary to his assistant coaches.

“This opportunity is huge for me,” Cormier told “Wrestling has been the foundation for everything I’ve done. I’m excited to coach a great team in Gilroy and excited to give back to the town that has accepted me and my family so openly.”

It certainly sounds as though Cormier’s commitment to the program and to coaching, in general, is completely genuine. If he succeeds in Gilroy, he’ll take a major step in what his career may look like when he finally hangs up the fighting trunks. How soon that transition occurs is up to him.

More Outside The Box