SJU Wrestling Coach Resigns, Headed to Augustana (Ill.)

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Saint John’s University wrestling coach Tony Willaert ’11 was named head coach at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., on Thursday, June 22.

He replaces Eric Juergens, who resigned in May following a 17th-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships and 10 seasons as the Vikings’ head coach.

“I just want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to be at Saint John’s as long as I have,” Willaert said. “I will always be a Johnnie at heart and this place will always be home to me.” Continue reading

Carson Manville named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week

Carson Manville (Shakopee, Minn.) has been selected as TheMat.com Athlete of the Week on June 20, 2017.

Manville went 13-0 and outscored his opponents 145-9 in four days of competition at last weekend’s Cadet National Duals, assisting the Minnesota Storm to a Greco-Roman national title and a runner-up finish in freestyle.

Competing at primarily 126 pounds, Manville claimed six wins in Greco action, all by technical fall to outscore his opponents, 68-2. In freestyle, he recorded seven wins with six tech falls and one pin, collecting 77 points over his opponents, while giving up just seven.

In Minnesota’s Greco championship dual, Manville’s bonus points early in the match helped stave off a big comeback from Illinois. He took out Fabian Lopez with a 13-2 tech fall. It was the only points he surrendered in Greco. Minnesota Storm won the dual, 40-38. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Cooling Earns NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship

Indianapolis, Ind. — Minnesota State senior wrestler Adam Cooling has earned one of 184 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships which are awarded annually to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically.

This marks the eighth time that a Minnesota State student-athlete has received an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.

The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. The one-time non-renewable scholarships of $7,500 are awarded three times a year corresponding to each sport season (fall, winter, and spring). Each sports season there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women for use in an accredited graduate program. Continue reading

MCAC Profiles: Randy Rager, RCTC

Rochester, MN — During the lull in the action on courts, mats and fields during the summer months, the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is highlighting some of the many dedicated professional staff and coaches who make the MCAC a great league for student-athletes to pursue both athletic and academic opportunities. Today’s release is the fourth in the series and features one of the most successful wrestling coaches in the NJCAA: Randy Rager, head wrestling coach at Rochester Community and Technical College.

The MCAC was able to catch up with Coach Rager last week to learn more about his background, coaching influences and proudest moments. With RCTC coming off a season in which they were nation’s best non-scholarship NJCAA wrestling program, the sights are set even higher for the 2017-18 campaign. Rochester was featured in the national rankings for most of the 2016-17 season, and it is important to note that the RCTC wrestling program (and all other MCAC programs) compete nationally with other two-year college sports teams which offer partial or full scholarships to their grapplers. At last year’s NJCAA Wrestling national tournament held in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Rochester was the top non-scholarship program in the team standings coming in ninth overall with 61.5 points.

As a prep athlete at Pequot Lakes High School, Rager excelled on the wrestling mat and also competed in football and track for the Patriots. Growing up in near Brainerd, Minnesota, but having been in southern Minnesota for over a decade, Rager has become a fixture state-wide for the sport, which is sponsored by five NJCAA programs in the MCAC (RCTC, Northland, Minnesota West, Ridgewater and Itasca), as well as several NCAA Division I, II and III colleges. One of the longest tenured coaches in both college wrestling and at Rochester Community and Technical College, Rager is heading into his 13th season at the helm of the Yellowjacket program. Continue reading