San Jose Olympian Eric Guerrero never gave up on the wrestling mat when becoming a three-time state champion at Independence High School.
His persistence carried over to Oklahoma State where he won three NCAA titles and when he competed in the 2004 Athens Games.
So don't expect the Cowboys assistant head coach to go quietly in the wake of the International Olympic Committee's recent decision to drop wrestling from the 2020 Games.
"Something is wrong and the public needs to take notice," Guerrero said in a telephone interview. "They are trying to take people's dreams. And you can't take people's dreams when it's not justified."
Guerrero joined a chorus of dissent in the wake of the IOC executive committee's secret ballot that picked modern pentathlon over wrestling as one of 25 core Olympic sports.
Wrestling is one of eight sports that will lobby the IOC executive committee in May to try to gain entrance into the 2020 Olympics at a city yet to be named. The full IOC membership will make its final decision in September.
The other candidates are karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding, wushu (Chinese martial arts) and the combination of baseball and softball, which are attempting to re-enter the Olympics as one entry. Golf and "sevens" rugby have been added to the menu for the Rio Games in 2016.
Wrestling featured 344 athletes competing in 11 medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman at the 2012 London Olympics. Russia dominated the podium with Iran and Azerbaijan.
According to news reports, wrestling ranked low in several of the technical criteria that were used to determine which sport to keep. That included popularity in London where wrestling sold 113,851 tickets out of 116,854 available.
Wrestling also ranked low in global television audience with a maximum of 58.5 million viewers and an average of 23 million.
Guerrero begs to differ.
The international wrestling federation FILA has 177 member nations, compared to 108 for modern pentathlon. Wrestlers from 71 countries competed in London while modern pentathlon had competitors from 26 nations.
"Modern pentathlon had about 12 million" TV viewers, Guerrero said. "We doubled their viewership and we doubled their national governing bodies.
"Were we as popular as beach volleyball in terms of television? No. But we did well with the time slots we were given."
The coach said it just doesn't add up.
"The Olympics are supposed to be about two things: inclusion and fair play," Guerrero said. "They went against both of those things in this decision."
IOC Vice President Thomas Bach of Germany said the motivation is never based on a single reason.
"There will always be criticism, but I think the great majority will understand that we took a decision based on facts and for the modernization of the Olympic Games," he told reporters.
Guerrero has coached at Oklahoma State since retiring after the Athens Games. He mentored Daniel Cormier, the 2008 Olympic freestyle captain who now is a UFC heavyweight based in San Jose. Guerrero also coached Coleman Scott, a bronze medalist in 132-pound class in London.
"And I plan on coaching Olympians in 2016 and 2020," he said. "I plan on winning this."
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.