Skyhawk Rodeo | John Luthi - Head Coach

John Luthi

John Luthi has served as head coach of the University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo program since 1997.

Under the direction of Luthi – one of the most well-respected names in the rodeo ranks – the UT Martin rodeo program has evolved into a national powerhouse. Luthi's tireless efforts culminated in a historic 2013-14 season where UT Martin became the first collegiate team from the east of the Mississippi River to win the national men's rodeo team championship. UT Martin led for the final five days of the weeklong event and earned top honors after accumulating 755 team points to defeat Tarleton State University by 25 points. 

The UT Martin men’s team has made 42 straight appearances in the College National Finals Rodeo, considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo. The UT Martin men’s team has also captured 13 Ozark Region titles in Luthi’s tenure. Overall, Luthi has guided the UT Martin men’s rodeo team to seven top-10 national finishes since 2005.

Last season, Luthi helped guide the men's team to an eighth place national finish at the CNFR. The men's team finished in the top-four in all 10 rodeos (including four victories) while the women's squad placed in the top-five in seven of its eight rodeos, notching two victories in the process.

One of Luthi’s finest seasons came in 2013, when the UT Martin men’s team entered the CNFR with a No. 2 national ranking after winning the Ozark Region by a commanding 3,185 points. For his efforts, Luthi was named the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Coach of the Year award.

Luthi also coached Jeff Askey, who won the 2010 national bull riding championship.

Luthi has helped UT Martin produce one of the best rodeos in the nation. The UT Martin Annual Spring College Rodeo, which takes place at the Ned R. McWherter Agricultural Pavilion every April, was recently named the Ozark Region’s “Rodeo of the Year” for the 10th straight season in 2015.

Luthi was a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association from 1978-1990. He was a five-time Prairie Circuit qualifier in bareback riding and three-time qualifier in bull riding.

Luthi won 15 all-around saddles during his 22-year career as a contestant. He produced/promoted at least one college rodeo each year that he has coached.

Luthi judged five different state high school rodeos and some professional rodeos before becoming a head coach at Fort Scott Community College from 1981-97. Along with his head coaching duties, he served as an assistant athletics director from 1994-97.

Luthi is married to Diane Luthi and the couple has one daughter, Katelyn. 


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