Efrain Ayala is entering his eighth season at the helm of the UW-Oshkosh wrestling program.
Ayala has coached three Titans to four total All-WIAC first team laurels and four wrestlers to six All-America citations. He has guided the Titans to a 29-66 dual meet record, including a 9-26 mark in the WIAC.
In his first season as head coach, in 2013-14, Ayala was named the Rookie Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association after he guided the UW-Oshkosh wrestling team to a 10th-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Division III Championship. It was the Titans’ best showing at the national meet since 1982. Ayala helped Nazar Kulchytskyy, the 2014 WIAC Wrestler of the Year, win the third of his three consecutive national titles and the second of his consecutive Wrestler of the Year awards from D3Wrestle.com. Dan Schiferl also earned All-America status for his fourth-place finish at the 2014 national championship, marking the first time since 1983 that UW-Oshkosh had two D III All-America wrestlers in the same season.
Last season Ayala guided UW-Oshkosh to a 4-10 dual meet record. The Titans placed sixth at the WIAC Championship before finishing 11th at the Division III Upper Midwest Regional. UW-Oshkosh’s Jordan Lemcke won a WIAC individual championship and earned All-America Second Team honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The NCAA Division III Championship was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2018-19 Ayala’s Titans produced a 7-5 dual meet record on the way to finishing fourth at the WIAC Championship, sixth at the Division III Upper Midwest Regional and 16th at the Division III Championship. UW-Oshkosh’s Mark Choinski concluded his career with a third-place showing and his third consecutive All-America performance at the Division III Championship.
In 2017-18 Ayala and the Titans compiled a 4-10 dual meet record and a ninth-place showing at the Division III Upper Midwest Regional. The Titans went on to finish 29th at the Division III Championship behind Choinski's fifth-place All-America effort. Choinski also claimed his second straight individual conference title.
During the 2016-17 season, Ayala led UW-Oshkosh to a 3-12 dual meet record, including a 1-4 WIAC mark, and a sixth-place result at the NCAA Division III West Regional. Ayala helped Choinski win a WIAC individual title and achieve All-America status by finishing sixth at the Division III Championship.
In 2015-16 Ayala's Titans compiled a 5-10 dual meet record and an eighth-place effort at the Division III West Regional.
In 2014-15 Ayala led the Titans to a fifth-place finish at the WIAC Championship and a sixth-place showing at the NCAA Division III West Regional.
In his two years as an assistant, Ayala helped the Titans finish 14th at the 2012 NCAA Division III Championship and 17th in 2013. Kulchytskyy won an individual national title both years.
Before coming to UW-Oshkosh, Ayala spent two years as an assistant wrestling coach and special education paraprofessional in the Kettle Moraine School District.
Ayala has also taught special education at Kennedy Elementary (2009) and was an assistant coach (2008-09) at Saint Peter High School in Minnesota.
Ayala was a Nebraska state champion in high school before wrestling at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during 2003. He then transferred to Minnesota State University-Mankato and qualified for the 2005 NCAA Division II Tournament.
Ayala received his elementary education degree from MSU-Mankato in 2008.